Technology is transforming our society in ways we could only imagine in the past. From smartphones through computers to smart home devices, technological advancements are everywhere around us. And this is also true in the healthcare industry.
Technology is shaping the future of medical care. Key technologies have laid the foundation for improving patient communication, boosting convenience, ensuring efficient documentation and reporting, and improving diagnosis – ultimately life-saving.
Medical wearables and digitization of medical records are just some of the numerous technological innovations that aim to improve health outcomes, provide personalized care, and reduce healthcare cost.
Below we take a look at five promising technology trends ready to revolutionize the healthcare industry.
As healthcare documentation shifts from traditional paper to electronic records, there is a stronger need for a more reliable and secured IT infrastructure.
Healthcare providers now heavily rely on IT hardware, software, networks, and systems as well as the internet for communicating and safekeeping of confidential information. A tech specialist at Dallas IT support company, Morgan Systems has noted a growing demand for IT services from hospitals and healthcare providers.
Healthcare organizations need to beef up their IT systems and cybersecurity to prevent falling victim to cybercriminals. Confidential healthcare information is among the top targets of hackers.
Newer and sophisticated data security measures and IT infrastructure will certainly be a major technological trend that will permeate the healthcare industry. For instance, the multi-factor verification process for accessing health records will not be uncommon for both patients and healthcare professionals. Better patient data security and privacy solutions are vital considering that the healthcare industry loses over $6 billion annually in breaches.
Telehealth or telemedicine is a rapidly growing healthcare field that is expected to expand and impact different aspects of healthcare. Telehealth is the use of telecommunications technologies in improving health education, public health, and healthcare delivery. It is estimated that telehealth patients worldwide will grow to around 7 million by 2018.
Chances are you too have used telemedicine. If you have ever consulted your healthcare provider through email, then that’s telehealth. The internet and smartphones play a central role in telemedicine. Some technological trends in the field of telemedicine include online portals to check your health records, email and text reminders for doctor appointments, and apps and wearable devices that track your health.
In the coming years, telehealth is seen to boost healthcare delivery, particularly in making healthcare accessible even to those living in rural or remote areas where health facilities or providers are lacking. We can also expect the prevalence of patient monitoring devices and even wearables that can automatically transmit information to their doctors.
Mobile devices will also play a central role in telehealth. Mobile apps devoted to bringing healthcare right at your fingertips and connecting customers and providers will be a popular trend.
Chatbots, AI and ML
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automation are technological trends that will certainly have a positive impact on the healthcare industry. Expect chatbots or AI-backed messaging and voice systems to take routine queries thereby relieving professionals from these nuisances and allowing them to focus on more pressing matters.
Chatbots can fill in the role of clinic assistants to help keep track of contacts, easily make adjustments, and offer appointments. Lab results can be instantly relayed to both patients and doctors. They can also help improve the billing process and getting refills of prescriptions. Chatbots can provide timely updates and reminders to patients. With more sophisticated data analytics, AIs can even be programmed to perform more advanced functions such as analyzing lab test results or warning about possible drug interactions.
Due to their cost-efficiency, reliability, and availability, chatbots and AI-powered digital assistants are seen to revolutionize the healthcare industry.
As wearable gadgets gain popularity and acceptance, we can expect the technology to have a significant impact on healthcare.
Smartwatches are an example of wearable technology that can revolutionize healthcare. These wearable devices are capable of monitoring vital signs (breathing, pulse rate, and blood pressure) that they can share with their healthcare providers. This health information can be of great use in monitoring and managing the health of a patient.
Soon we can expect smart watches to offer more advanced features. For instance, smartwatches capable of monitoring blood glucose levels will be something beneficial for diabetics. Accurate and continuous blood glucose monitoring can help doctors effective manage the disease.
Blockchain technology can help improve the integrity and availability of healthcare information. As healthcare data continue to shift to the digital sphere, this peer-to-peer system of sharing digital ledger offers a secure, portable and readily accessible system for healthcare providers.
The growing interest in blockchain technology and how it can improve data sharing and security can spill over in the healthcare field.
There’s no denying the fact that technological advancements will have a tremendous impact on healthcare. These five very promising technologies are just the tip of the iceberg. There’s still a lot of other technologies that make our healthcare system truly lifesaving!