Technology has become such an intrinsic part of our lives that we hardly ever notice it anymore. Got a question? Google. Want to read a book? E-readers. Need to keep up with friends and family? Social media. Just want to sit back and relax? Netflix. New technology trends are permeating every aspect of our lives, including one of the most important aspects: healthcare.
From treating more patients and delivering information-driven diagnoses to including remote technology that improves people’s lives, innovation is changing the healthcare landscape for the better. In this article, we’re going to list the current tech trends you still need to keep an eye on as well as the new and emerging technology that will change the future of healthcare.
Healthcare Tech Trends To Focus On
Surgery is one of the fields where technological advancements are most visible. Surgeons are now able to perform less invasive operations thanks to microsurgery and other innovations.
Dr. Nicholas Jabbour states that even though surgery today has evolved, in the future we could further enhance these innovations “by better computing and software integration. This interaction will include the merging of radiological and potentially pathological information […] with real-time visualization of anatomical structure during surgery.”
This offers surgeons the chance to improve a surgical procedure’s speed and accuracy while reducing the patient risks. It’s a win-win for the OR.
Access to information
It’s never been easier to buy medical supplies online, find the doctor nearest you, discover new treatments, view online medical conferences, or simply look up symptoms. More platforms, information, and apps are being uploaded every day, allowing people to access key health information. On the flip side, healthcare companies have had improved security since 2009 that ensures patient health information is not easily accessible.
The development of tissues or entire organs through bio-engineering manipulation of the patient’s own cells, combined with 3D imaging and printing, will make organ transplantation take a gigantic leap forward. We’re certain this trend will keep evolving to change healthcare towards a patient-centered approach.
Collaborative robots are already assisting in ORs, but the use of robotics doesn’t just pertain to the operating room. Medical robots can transport and carry medical supplies, disinfect hospital rooms, aid in prosthetics and rehabilitation, automate labs, and even provide targeted therapy to specific body parts.
Artificial intelligence can be used in nearly any scenario and often helps companies become more efficient. This is especially important in healthcare. Some of the most practical applications of AI in healthcare are medication timers, speech recognition, patient follow-up alerts, and online diagnoses through chatbots. In short, AI is here to stay and surprise.
Emerging Technology Trends in Healthcare
Remote health services are on the rise due to their many benefits. The use of telehealth has jumped significantly due to coronavirus, with many hospitals using remote monitoring to free up beds.
“I think remote tools will be the number one trend this year for delivering care. Not only is telemedicine seeing an incredible surge because of fears of virus contagion, but it is also a very efficient and convenient way to get care in many cases that avoid all the unnecessary parts of care like looking for parking and waiting in waiting rooms.”- Marina Tarasova Co-Founder and COO, Paloma Health
The financial and physical toll of traveling to a doctor’s appointment can be avoided with telehealth – patients simply log on to their computer for an on-camera consultation from their trusted physician. This also helps free up doctors’ agendas, enabling them to treat more patients in a single day.
Virtual reality in healthcare
From touring a hospital to allowing medical students to practice virtually, Virtual Reality can change the way we view healthcare. Doctors can now explore a tumor before undergoing a procedure, a medical student can dive into the complexities of the human body and bed-ridden or special care patients can now entertain themselves by playing VR video games, viewing comforting nature scenes or even visiting vacation spots! VR truly has no limits to what it can bring to the healthcare table.
Personalized healthcare apps
It’s now possible for someone to add their own medical information to the app and keep a registry of doctor’s appointments, treatments, or even track their health day-to-day. These personalized healthcare apps can be used to track nutrition, fitness, medications, emotional & mental health, and many more things within the medical branch. This can actually help doctors keep track of a patient’s records and improve their treatment. As the saying goes, “there’s an app for that” – and it’s here to stay and evolve.
Smartwatches are one of the emerging technologies in healthcare that medical specialists use to track a patient’s health, recovery, and overall habits remotely. Wearable technology is just as important for everyday health tracking – some apps monitor steps and heart rate, others make nutrition tracking more accessible.
According to Healthcare Weekly, “voice search has become incredibly popular around the world and with 1 in 6 Americans now owning a smart speaker and 40% of adults using voice search once a day.” Voice recognition software is seeing a surge in use and can be tailored to specific needs.
Some doctors and medical staff still record memos and notes on old-fashioned voice recorders. The result is more time wasted transcribing, organizing, and filing all these notes.
"Speech recognition technology is an important part of delivering care. It can significantly reduce the time clinicians spend on note-taking, which is a critical part of the documentation of visits but is time-consuming and takes away from actual clinical time."- Marina Tarasova Co-Founder and COO, Paloma Health
Voice recognition isn’t new technology, however, it has evolved in recent years by mixing with new technologies (like apps, AI, and even wearables). These new applications have changed healthcare for the better. Integrating voice recognition software into healthcare processes can save time, increase productivity, enhance diagnoses, generate medical documentation and improve patient care.
The main thread behind technology trends in healthcare in 2020 is an intrinsic innovation focused on improving people’s lives, from virtual reality and telehealth to improved medical processes through speech recognition. If you would like to know more about Fusion Narrate® and our customizable solutions, contact us for more information.