Various advances in the healthcare sector, which include patient care, medical diagnosis, prevention, and treatment, have been made thanks to technological advancements. And as a result of the growing demand for accessible and quality medical services, we have seen a dramatic increase in the digitization of healthcare workflows, even the development of AI-driven technologies.
Forward progress in healthcare technology is the continuous focus, with recent studies showcasing a gradual increase in budget every year for improving medical-related technologies. In 2011, the healthcare industry spent at least USD$23.4 billion on Research and Development (R&D). Meanwhile, research projects that in 2023, the spending will be at least USD$37.3 billion for R&D.
Unlike other industries, healthcare trends and innovations rarely die out. This article looks into the emerging technological developments pushing the healthcare industry forward. Learn more about them below.
Automation And Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is rapidly becoming an indispensable tool in the healthcare sector, alongside remote technologies and machine learning. Improvement in healthcare delivery, reduction of errors when maintaining patient records, and wearable technology are just a few of its notable examples.
Some studies also suggest AI’s ability to compensate for a shortage of specialists interpreting echocardiograms to diagnose heart disease. The advancements in ultrasound solutions, including intelligent interpretation capabilities and automated quality assessment, can significantly aid medical professionals and shorten the time needed to diagnose.
Similarly, an innovative and automatic CRF annotations program can help medical researchers, as it streamlines the data collection process during clinical studies and trials. With such tools, filling out forms can be done with minimal input from the user and cut the time and effort needed for it. Utilizing such tools can also help ensure compliance with regulatory bodies.
5G-Powered Remote Emergency Channel
Connectivity, which is fundamental to remote healthcare, can also help increase the effectiveness of emergency response during the ‘golden hour,’ when prompt medical attention can mean the difference between life and death for a patient. Ambulances, emergency rooms, and specialists have never been able to share data in a way that allows for a timely response.
Doctors wearing virtual reality glasses can have the same experience as if they were inside the ambulance thanks to a 5G-powered remote emergency channel that connects to a command center. A patient’s ECG, ultrasound image, blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen saturation, and temperature are all displayed in real-time on a large screen in the command center, where doctors can monitor the patient’s condition.
With such innovation, a patient can get a better emergency response since doctors can guide the paramedics as they treat them on the scene. They can also be admitted to the hospital as soon as they arrive, with their information and condition already known.
Secure Blockchain Process
The term ‘blockchain’ can refer to either a digital ledger or a database of transactions that is stored digitally. However, since the cryptocurrency bubble burst, blockchain’s reputation has taken a hit.
Most people may think of blockchain as a vague and confusing concept that doesn’t matter in the real world. But this technology will soon be essential for ensuring that electronic health records are accurate and safe. The healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors have already invested millions of dollars into this market, vouching for its effectiveness. And recent research projects that the healthcare blockchain market will grow to $890.5 million by 2023.
Blockchain technology can be helpful in the healthcare industry for several purposes. This includes reducing costs, enhancing record accuracy, and preventing data breaches. The distributed computer network that runs the blockchain and keeps track of every transaction simultaneously can also spot data that doesn’t match up. And in addition to being impossible to falsify, records can also be difficult to penetrate.
The term ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) describes the comprehensive system of interconnected gadgets and the underlying communication protocols that make things like smartphone apps and cloud storage possible.
Teleconferencing, appointment management, remote healthcare evaluations, and virtual data sharing are some applications of this technology in the medical sector. And today, emerging examples of this cutting-edge technology include wearable sensors, 5G-enabled devices, and remote patient monitoring.
But in addition to that list, a smart pill is another notable innovation that can provide healthcare providers with data from within a patient’s body. In 2017, the Food and Drug Administration approved the first “smart pill.” Smart pills, as defined by research firm Gartner, are ingestible sensors that may keep track of a wide range of physiological metrics. They can also monitor the medication’s effectiveness and ensure the patient has followed the dosing instructions.
Wearables or wearable technology are electronic devices that a patient can wear as an accessory, implanted in the user’s body, incorporated into clothing, or may even be tattooed on a patient’s skin. But rather than discussing wearables as a novelty, we will focus on them as a game-changing development in monitoring a patient’s health and administering medical care.
Smartwatches, for instance, can be used to remotely monitor a patient’s vitals, such as heart rate and oxygen levels. Additionally, medical professionals can track their patients’ health through wearables like pedometers and other sensors.
However, smartwatches aren’t the only wearables that can assist medical professionals in making an accurate diagnosis, as other innovations like bio-patch technology and smart hearing aid also play a role. Doctors can get a more accurate read on a patient’s health using a bio patch. Similarly, AI can be used to improve the noise-isolating capabilities of hearing aids.
Wrapping It Up
Seeing all the possible medical breakthroughs due to the innovations and improvements due to technological advancements can be exciting. However, the list above features five of many top innovations that experts in the tech and medical industry have strived for and are continuing to develop to help save lives.
The medical field has much to look forward to due to more technological innovations in the future. It has the potential to facilitate the development of patient-centric healthcare ecosystems that can further improve the quality of life for everyone involved.