The global COVID-19 pandemic has become a life-changing catalyst for new clinical innovation technologies.
The last two years have reshaped the healthcare industry and changed many treatment methods. Doctors now have an unprecedented number of new digital platforms and data tools they can use to manage workflows and improve patient outcomes.
The adoption of the latest medical technology has made hospitals smarter and enabled ongoing development. The global digital health market size was valued at $96.5 billion in 2020 and is forecast to reach a mind-blowing $295.4 billion in 2028.
Below are four latest technological advancements in the medical field that healthcare providers have been adopting in 2021.
1. Medical Artificial Intelligence
One of the most common trends in American hospitals in recent years is medical AI. AI in the medical field helps doctors optimize working processes and design tailor-made treatment plans for every patient.
At its core, AI reveals hidden correlations between disease prevention and patient outcomes. Thus, it can drastically improve data interpretation and ensure a more accurate diagnosis.
The healthcare domain produces colossal amounts of data. The widespread adoption of EHRs over the past decade has flooded healthcare systems with structured and unstructured data.
Medical professionals need modern tools to process and understand the enormous volumes of data generated every day. In addition to comprehending new insights, medical professionals are looking for ways to reduce human error.
Misdiagnosing and medical mistakes result in an estimated 40,000 to 80,000 deaths in US hospitals each year.
That’s where AI technology can pitch in to save the day.
AI leaves no room for competition in its ability to process large data sets in no time. AI healthcare solutions help doctors acquire in-depth insights into patients' data to predict and monitor severe health disorders like cancer, Alzheimer’s, Diabetes, Cardiovascular diseases, to name a few.
Remedy partner HealthReveal uses an advanced data insights platform to help clinicians provide optimal, personalized care to patients living with chronic diseases.
So what are the most crucial benefits of AI in healthcare?
- The more information AI-driven algorithms ingest, the smarter they get, the more data-driven decisions they can make. You can feed data into AI software so it can mimic human behavior and intelligence.
- AI helps healthcare providers automate daily tasks and manage medical resources. Doctors can concentrate on their core responsibilities, while saving time and costs spent on administrative tasks.
- AI tools powered by machine learning features go beyond human brain limits in data evaluation and analysis. AI can process data with speed and accuracy that is yet unreachable for any human.
- AI healthcare software can compare patient information based on previous and current health issues. This gives physicians access to more accurate data for diagnosing disease at the early stages.
- AI-powered surgery assisting robots are equipped with sensors, cameras, and surgical instruments. Robots guide a surgeon during surgery to ensure minimally invasive procedures, resulting in less pain and quicker recovery.
2. Telemedicine Solutions
The global pandemic and lockdown situation has fostered the adoption of various telemedicine products. Restricted physical contact fueled rapid adoption of telemedicine solutions.
The numbers tell the story quite clearly: the global telemedicine market generated $40.20 billion in 2020 and is estimated to reach $431.82 billion by 2030.
Telemedicine is an umbrella term that refers to delivering healthcare services to remote patients. To cope with the pandemic issues, many governments, healthcare providers, and patients have been opting for this health IT innovation.
Telemedicine companies offer multi-functioning solutions that move healthcare outside of clinics and hospitals. This approach facilitates social distancing and saves doctors’ time for patients that need immediate medical assistance.
- Many rural area hospitals lack appropriate resources and fail to provide adequate specialty care. Healthcare practitioners can deploy telemedicine software to connect with their colleagues to ensure the diagnosis is correct and urgent help is not required.
- Patients can use virtual clinic services to reduce the time spent on travel. Most patients are willing to pay a small fee for an online consultation instead of taking time off work.
- Telemedicine helps to provide post-op patient support and recovery programs, thus reducing readmission. Remote monitoring allows doctors to control and adjust a treatment schedule for vulnerable patients while at home, which by itself improves a recovery process.
- The total number of Americans over the age of 65 is forecast to reach 98 million by 2060. Nursing facilities won’t physically be able to deal with such tremendous growth. This creates an opportunity to adopt cutting-edge telemedicine software.
3. IoT Wearable Monitoring Devices
The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) is not an all-new technology in 2021, but it’s definitely on the rise and will keep booming. The global IoMT market is expected to reach $142.45 billion by 2026.
Wearables are another promising health care industry trend. The number of wearable devices is forecast to exceed one billion by 2022.
A wearable health device is a smart data tracker that you can use to gather real-time info through various sensors. Healthcare wearables help you track your pulse, temperature, blood pressure, stress level, and other vital metrics.
Sometimes, there is a mobile app that you can synchronize with your wearables, such as fitness trackers, bracelets, glasses, clothing or even jewelry. The apps provide in-depth reports you can share with your physician for further analysis.
But wearables are not just a toy to play with during sports activities. They can save your life, all thanks to location tracking and health monitoring features.
- An Apple Watch saved its owner when he felt sick at work. Dennis Anselmo found out he had a pulse of 210 bpm. He called an ambulance and was later diagnosed with arterial thrombosis. Medical experts wouldn’t have been able to save his life had he not used his health tracker.
- Thanks to a wearable device, a Sheriff’s team found the location of a missing 19-year-old autistic teen.
- Diabetes is a severe disease that requires constant control. Almost 90 million American adults have prediabetes, and 90% of them don’t even know they have it. Wearables allow you to monitor and adjust your diet, thanks to data-driven mHealth nutrition programs.
- Adamm is an AI-fueled wearable device designed to help people cope with asthma. It can monitor your cough rate, respiration patterns, wheezes, and heart rate and detect anything that deviates from your norm.
4. Blockchain Integrations
There are no 100% secure systems yet. Data vulnerability is the primary reason why patients and healthcare providers sometimes don’t trust digital technology to share and store personal medical data.
To date, there is but one solution that might offer a winning recipe.
Blockchain is an open, decentralized, and distributed digital ledger designed to be invulnerable to data hacking.
Every feature of a blockchain is built to maximize safety during operations so that end users can enjoy a highly secure platform with no third parties involved.
As the name implies, the chain consists of blocks, which contain comprehensive information, including the amount and time of data transfers or cryptocurrency transactions.
A block contains a unique digital fingerprint called a hash. The hash is a remarkable security solution.
Each original block has the hash of the previous and the following blocks. However, a fake block doesn’t have the hash of the original one, so it can’t replace it accurately.
Blockchain was originally designed for cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin. But it has since evolved beyond its original use case. Many industries can benefit from blockchain features, such as:
- Enhanced transparency
- Robust security algorithms
- Reduced costs
- Improved traceability
- Streamlined working efficiency
- Increased speed of data transfers and cryptocurrency transactions
- Hyperledger Fabric framework designed to work within private corporations for confidential transactions
Traceability, security and reliability made Blockchain suitable for various solutions in the global healthcare domain:
- Remote patient monitoring
- Ensuring HIPAA compliance
- Health insurance claims
- Electronic medical records management
- Monitoring and management of pharmaceutical supply chain
- Storing and sharing remotely collected biomedical and healthcare data
- Counterfeit drugs control
It’s no wonder the global Blockchain technology in the healthcare market is projected to reach $3.49 billion by 2026.
The healthcare industry trends and the latest medical technology outlined in this article are only the tip of the iceberg. Most of the state-of-the-art innovations and technology enhancements are still ahead.
In the coming months, Remedy will be diving deeper into these topics. If you have any questions or want to see specific areas covered, drop us a line. Our in-house seasoned experts have years of expertise in the Healthcare domain and are happy to provide professional advice to fit your particular needs.