Due to Covid 19, a seismic shift has been witnessed in the overall growth of the digital healthcare industry. The global digital health market was estimated at US$ 144.2 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow to US$ 206 billion by the end of 2020. IT healthcare industry has made remarkable progress by launching new age products and services backed by innovative technology. Big Tech companies have made huge investments in digital healthcare systems to enhance the healthcare facilities.
Following are the digital health trends that will transform the healthcare industry -
Covid 19 has accelerated the adoption of artificial intelligence in the healthcare industry. AI systems ensure accurate and quick diagnosis.
With the intense pressure on the health care system, robots have been performing functions like taking care of patients to support the medical staff. Robots have been quite effective in dealing with Covid 19. Robot are efficient in conducting tasks like arranging video conferencing services between patients and doctors, monitoring the body temperatures of patients, and disinfecting the hospital area.
Another development in the field of artificial intelligence has been cloud technology. It offers single-point access to doctors for all the information of patients. The collected data could be analyzed by the healthcare systems to provide more efficient services to the citizens.
IOMT (Internet of medical things)
The IOMT is a connected network of medical devices, software applications, and health systems. One of the most significant measures to stop the spread of coronavirus is the effective quarantine of infected people. From connected drone monitoring to thermal heat scanners, IOT devices have been utilized to collect data by Governments or healthcare sectors.
With health issues like diabetes, obesity, etc. on the rise, consumers have become more conscious regarding their health. They want to monitor their health regularly. Therefore, this has lead to an upsurge in the demand for medical wearables. Wearable technology is equipped with sensors to keep track of the consumer’s health and daily activities. The latest technological advancements have made it possible for the users to sync the data with their smartphones and share it with their doctors.
Biosensors are the new age development. They enable a person to put just a self-adhesive patch on his arm. The device will collect all the data regarding blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, body temperature, body posture, fall detection, etc. This helps to monitor the progress of the patient, in-hospital as well as remotely.
With social distancing and lockdown in place, the demand for telemedicine services has grown exponentially. Telemedicine allows greater access to medical facilities, especially for those living in rural areas. Interestingly, with the new Covid situation, the telemedicine industry has witnessed a rapid growth in urban areas as well.
It addresses the barriers which lead to the limited access to healthcare facilities. Telemedicine has multifarious benefits. It reduces the overall healthcare cost and ensures higher patient engagement. Now that telemedicine has established itself as a game-changer in the healthcare delivery modal, healthcare leaders must utilize the telemedicine technology.
Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality
One of the most promising technological advancements is augmented reality in healthcare. New age augmented reality innovations can enhance a surgeon’s ability to diagnose and perform surgery on their patients more accurately. Vein visualization technology creates a real-time visual map of veins and helps doctors to find the right blood vessels for IV and blood draws.
One such example is Proximie, which is a cloud-based SaaS product. Proximie puts digitally created content on a live video, to provide virtual assistance. Another example is AccuVein that uses augmented reality to scan all over the skin and shows healthcare professionals the exact location of veins in the human body.
In keeping the patients' data confidential, blockchain healthcare application plays a pivotal role. Blockchain's ability to keep a decentralized and transparent record of all patients’ data makes it a perfect choice for security application.
Blockchain-based systems can reduce the costs of current intermediaries. Placing the patient in the center of the healthcare system, blockchain technology enables one to access data in a short duration of time.
Blockchain technology is expected to improve the medical record system and fastens the insurance claim process.
3D Bioprinting is the future of the healthcare industry. It has various applications that have been appreciated across the globe. It is used to develop precise and personalized surgical tools. Medical professionals have been creating and working on 3-D anatomical models for preoperative planning, intraoperative visualization, especially for complex surgeries. Custom made body parts for individuals can be tailored with 3-D printing.
The Future of Healthcare Industry
This is a time of big transition for the healthcare system. In the US, patients are no longer passive participants in their health care. They are insisting on easy accessibility, data confidentiality, convenience, and customized services. The health care industry is looking forward to employ the best of the available technology to serve their patients.
The digitalization of health care services would drive the future of the healthcare industry. The promise of providing highly efficient healthcare services would only turn into a reality if every stakeholder in the healthcare industry works towards accomplishing this goal. Tech giants, health institutions, pharmaceutical companies and governments need to come together and collaborate to revolutionize the healthcare sector. The latest and innovative technology has to be implemented as quickly as possible to make sure that it reaches the masses.