Technology Trends in Healthcare: What to expect
Advances in healthcare and technology have been growing at a rapid rate. The digital transformation of the healthcare industry has the potential to radically improve the ability for doctors, hospitals, and organizations to treat patients and help them live longer, healthier lives.
Healthcare providers are adopting innovations with the main goal of streamlining workflows, optimizing systems, improving patient outcomes, reducing human error, and lowering costs through amazing web and mobile experiences.
Technologies bring a lot of value into patient-centric care, enabling the following functions:
- remote patient monitoring, including those with chronic diseases
- virtual screening using devices that transmit a patient’s health information
- individual treatment plans
- early detection of disease
Thanks to technology, patients get better treatment and doctors can streamline their workflows.
Let’s take a look at some of the key trends in the healthcare digital transformation.
1. Wearables & Internet of Medical Things
Wearables and the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) continue to be a major trend in the digital transformation of the healthcare industry.
IoMT lets doctors focus on prevention. Instead of doing a check-up once a year, patients can get health updates more frequently. As a result, healthcare providers rely on wearable tech to have access to real-time health monitoring of high-risk patients.
Those devices can remind patients to check their oxygen levels or temperature, and enter results into mobile patient portals. Even better: They can transmit the results to patients’ healthcare provider in real-time.
2. Remote Care or Telehealth
Gone are the days of sitting in waiting rooms for hours for a basic diagnosis. Now, doctors and clinicians will meet with patients virtually and meet them in-person only when it is needed.
Remote patient care is solving many problems in healthcare. Relying on IoT in transferring data between devices, remote care offers convenience while maintaining quality care for patients. With the help of technology physicians can monitor and diagnose patients miles away — discussing with them about symptoms and even being able to see medical concerns to make an informed decision patients’ treatment.
The availability of electronic records has also made it simpler to forward documents to specialists. In rural areas, this can mean the difference between having or not having expert input into a case.
Data exchange platforms are transforming what we think of as telemedicine. For example, hospitals are able to reduce readmission rates by providing real-time monitoring of patients outside the office. Thanks to the advent of wearable devices, it’s normal for remote monitoring systems to now be included in post-discharge plans for patients.
3. Evolvement of EHRs
In the last years, electronic health records have evolved a lot. With the IoT, big data and the connectivity of devices, EHRs are now providing up-to-date information about a patient at their point of care. In our age of technology, a healthcare provider can pull up an EHR and know a patient’s entire medical history. EHRs are helping providers more effectively diagnose patients, reduce medical errors, and provide safer care.
One of the main benefits that EHRs provide is the ability to share securely electronic information with patients and other clinicians. Ideally, the records should flow seamlessly. But, effective communication between the systems, known as interoperability, is still a major issue. Currently, only 25% of the healthcare organizations are finding, sharing and receiving medical data and only 40% of the hospitals integrate the data with their EHR system.
In the next years, we expect to see hospital CIOs, developers, and vendors start working towards developing a unified standard of medical data. This will ease information sharing and processing.
4. Increased access to health analytics
Data-driven medicine is another emerging trend. Tons of information come from a variety of medical sources. This information can be gathered, analyzed and used to inform future healthcare decisions. While clinical trials, for example, provide critical and important information about the effectiveness and safety of prescription medications, they account for a very small percentage of the people who will ultimately take a drug. With data collected from patients, providers would have a large number or real-world examples revealing how medications work with different concerns, such as allergies.