Freelance writer Regina Thomas shared with Healthy Lombard that given the fragmented nature of the healthcare industry, many independent companies create innovative solutions for specific problems. In the last decade, we’ve seen advancements in telemedicine, AI, Big Data, and IoT technologies that have led to better solutions for patients and healthcare professionals. These innovations will continue to transform the healthcare industry in the upcoming years. From telemedicine apps to digital wellness services, here is a look at some of the most recent innovations in healthcare and how they will continue to change its landscape over the next decade.
One of the major healthcare industry trends has been the increased adoption of telemedicine applications. As more and more people are working remotely, it’s important to access health services that can be accessed remotely, too. This is especially true for mental health services, given that stigma surrounding mental health services is still a major issue in the U.S. .More than 6,000 telemedicine apps are available for mental health care, general health care, and specialty care services like virtual appointments for eye care, fertility, and OBGYN services.
Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare
Artificial intelligence has been a buzzword in the tech world since the early days of computing. While AI technologies have been used to create “thinking machines” for many years, we’re now seeing AI in the healthcare industry to help with administrative tasks and more complex functions like data analysis. AI interprets vast amounts of data, sifting through unstructured information such as video, images, and text to find patterns and insights. AI can also be used in predictive analytics to help forecast needs and future modeling outcomes. Some of the healthcare AI applications that have been developed include voice-activated assistants for managing healthcare records and AI-assisted imaging analysis.
Robotics in Healthcare
Robotics are used in various industries, from manufacturing to transportation and service industries. While they are often associated with manufacturing, they have also been used in healthcare for several years. Robots are used in healthcare settings to perform tasks that are either too dangerous or too difficult for humans to do. This includes procedures involving radiation or sterilization, areas that require complete cleanliness, and surgeries that are too complex or time-consuming for human surgeons. Some of the healthcare robotics applications include surgical robots and pharmacy robotics.
Wearable Technology in Healthcare
Wearable technology has been evolving over the last decade, but it has only recently become popular in healthcare settings. Wearable technology includes everything from fitness trackers to heart rate monitors and sleep trackers. These devices are used to collect information about a person’s health and wellness. Data such as heart rate, blood pressure, calories burned, and amount of sleep can all be helpful to healthcare professionals. Wearable technology has been especially helpful in managing patients with chronic diseases who need to track their vitals. A good example is an EEG headset that records the brain’s electrical activities.
Big Data and Analytics in Healthcare
Healthcare has always been an industry that collects data, but it wasn’t until the last decade that it started to understand the value of that data. Healthcare providers have traditionally kept data for billing and administrative purposes. Still, as technology has evolved, there has been a shift towards collecting patient data and using analytics to gain insights. Big data includes unstructured data such as medical records and images and structured data such as data collected from surveys, polls, and social media.
Internet of Things in Healthcare
The internet of things (IoT) is the network of physical objects connected to the internet and able to collect and exchange data with other devices. These networks of devices can be used to collect data, monitor, and control connected devices. IoT technology has been a growing trend in the healthcare industry over the past decade. IoT technology has been used in home healthcare devices like blood pressure monitors, glucose monitors, and scales to help patients track their wellness with less human interaction. Healthcare providers have begun using IoT technology to improve patient care and streamline operations. Healthcare IoT applications include wearable devices, sensors, data analytics, and remote patient monitoring.
In any industry, technological change is inevitable. In healthcare, it’s more important than ever to be prepared for change. By staying updated with new developments and technologies, healthcare providers can ensure they’re providing the best care possible for their patients. The healthcare landscape will look very different in the next decade with the way technology is changing and advancing.