The healthcare sector has been experiencing an information technology-propelled paradigm shift. In the last two decades, old systems predicated on manual operations have ceded way to premium and innovative technological tools that have transformed archaic work patterns. The introduction of modern technologies in the field has led to cost cutdowns, streamlined processes, and greater accountability and transparency in value chains, both internally and externally.
In 2022, the growth engine is likely to forge a new path ahead with higher speed and rigor. This growth will, sooner rather than later, become a reality thanks to the promising and truly path-breaking emerging healthcare trends that have amplified digital healthcare and innovation.
So let us navigate through the technological trends that are set to reimagine the healthcare industry, 1. AI Technology in Healthcare
Today, healthcare organizations sit on troves of data. However, extracting clinical insights is still a far-fetched idea for them, given that large-scale meaningful deployment of AI capabilities is yet to take place within the Indian subcontinent. These troves of a data compromise of device readings, images, electronic records, receipts, invoices, and medical histories. Unless avant-garde AI technology is leveraged, it is difficult to interpret this data and draw intelligent insights from them.
With deeper penetration of this new flank in IT (Information Technology) healthcare, millions of lives and trillions of dollars will be saved in the coming years. Several apps have stepped into this domain and are helping pathologists and doctors arrive at a diagnosis and indicative prescriptions quicker. Soon, applications of artificial intelligence in healthcare will emerge as a dominant force in the internal dynamics of hospitals.
PathAI, a leading AI technology and service provider, has set its sights on revolutionizing pathology using machine learning. It is working closely with drug and pharma companies to improve the accuracy of diagnoses and promote personalized healthcare significantly.
2. Cloud Computing in Healthcare
Cloud computing refers to storing medical, surgical, diagnostics, and administrative data on patients and suppliers in remote data storage cells. These data troves can subsequently be used for access to other medical organizations and institutions or can remain intra-organization. Cloud computing in healthcare has been gaining ground, and as per BCC research, the global healthcare cloud computing market is slated for a CAGR growth of 11.6% and is currently valued at $35 billion in 2022. Going by these statistics, cloud technology applications in healthcare will keep expanding their footprint in the present decade. Big data, for one, is an awe-inspiring innovation that has emerged out of cloud computing. Gone are the days when documents would be stored in paper files. When uploaded to a cloud, the insights from every case can now be extrapolated and applied across the board. 3. Telehealth
Doctors around the world reverted to telehealth strategies as a fallback measure, given the personal mobility restrictions in the aftermath of the lockdown imposed during the pandemic. Covid-19 boosted the innate capabilities of telehealth capabilities, and now the choicest of doctors can be leveraged for their medical and surgical opinion, notwithstanding geographical limitations. Digital healthcare and innovation are now powering the longevity of a patient's life like never before.
Telehealth is now transforming the face of the medical industry. While executing surgical procedures is still a little far off, consultations over long distances have become a common scenario.
In India, telehealth service providers like Practo, GetVisit, 1mg, etc., have disrupted the healthcare industry, especially during the pandemic. These apps provide services like video consultations, remote diagnoses, OCR-based report analyzer, at-home sample collection, and much more. 4. The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)
There are over a million wearables like insulin monitors, blood glucose measuring devices, pacemakers, scanners, and defibrillators whose data reading can be leveraged to extract intelligence-driven insights. IoMT can be the bridge that connects the world of data with real-life physical applications. This, in effect, will help doctors and scientists around the globe derive better insights into factors that mitigate diseases and those that foster them. Additionally, pharmacological formulations' efficacy can be verified by leveraging large-scale data on diagnosis and after-effects. Healthcare IoT (Internet of Things) applications are already setting new benchmarks for healthcare services and delivery.
IoMT is helping doctors and nurses track patients' medicinal intake, helping hospital administration track the location of patients, and other hospital value chain stakeholders monitor medicine and surgical device inventories. 5. Electronic Medical Records
As the title suggests, electronic medical records will be uploaded to a cloud server, and medical professionals worldwide can benefit from it. They will be able to access, assess, verify, and repeat the diagnosis for a large section of patients, who otherwise would have been deprived of the medical breakthroughs tapped into by other doctors. 6. Smart Wearable Devices
Healthcare wearable technology can help doctors and nurses closely monitor vulnerable patients and their positions. Besides this, smart wearable devices have been in vogue for the past decade or so, considering that people are increasingly becoming conscious of their health and wish to better their biological parameters. According to Transparency Marketing Research, the global smart healthcare devices market is growing at a CAGR of 7.5%.
Wearables include fitness trackers, health monitoring watches, ECG monitors, blood pressure monitors, biosensors, etc.
According to Counterpoint Research, the Smartwatch market has continued its double-digit YOY growth for the fifth consecutive quarter. Apple Watch, which currently has over 36% of the market share, is a crowd favorite regarding health tracking. It allows for ECG monitoring, fitness tracking, fall detection, etc. It also provides a secure platform for storing critical medical information that can serve as a medical ID in an emergency. 7. Remote Patient Monitoring
Be it chronic or regular patients, remote patient monitoring is gaining popularity. First pitched during the Covid crisis, patients can now access medical services without leaving the comfort of their homes. Doctors and other medical professionals can also keep an eye on the patient from afar by supervising data readings from several devices like pulse oximeters, blood glucose monitors, weight scales, and heart monitors.
All these devices have helped save much time, effort, and energy when it comes to collecting data and maintaining records. For example, Huma, a global healthcare company based out of London, has reimagined remote patient monitoring. Thanks to their digital-first approach, they can provide services like 'Hospital at home' and 'Decentralized clinical trials.'
The healthcare industry will continue to transform as technology will keep evolving for the better. Healthcare institutions will embrace technology furthermore as the demand for quality care is increasing and conscious efforts and investments will need to be made for the same. At Extentia, we work with many healthcare companies who are going one step further and proactively addressing the pain areas that exist in the industry. In the next blog, we will read about Extentia’s work in the domain and how it is making its mark in the transformation of the healthcare industry globally.
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