Reimagining Healthcare with Technology
“Information is the lifeblood of medicine, and health information technology is destined to be the circulatory system for that information.” – David Blumenthal, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (2009-2011)
The role of technology in healthcare has grown exponentially, with the valuation of the HealthTech industry expected to touch a whopping $102.35 billion by 2023. Fitness trackers and telemedicine apps have become regular features of our lives, making it much easier to meet essential healthcare needs. The pandemic highlighted the pitfalls in the global healthcare infrastructure, and it was critical for economies to rise to the challenges. Technology in various forms played a vital role in the resurgent battle against the Covid-19 virus. There is still a lot to accomplish to bring meaningful change to the bottom of the pyramid, but the future of healthcare looks promising, thanks to the enormous investments made by private firms and public entities.
So, let us take a closer look at how technology is augmenting healthcare and making it more accessible and effective.
Improving Patient Care and Experiences
Technological advancements have significantly elevated patient care. Healthcare was one of the few industries which entirely relied on a traditional, in-person appointment model and paper forms before the pandemic. This has drastically changed with the advent of telemedicine apps.
The benefits of healthcare technology on patient care are visible. For example, 83 percent of surveyed patients said in June 2020 that they planned to use telehealth even after the pandemic subsides. This is a testament to patients’ positive experiences with HealthTech.
Healthcare technology has enhanced the accessibility of healthcare and improved waiting room management in hospitals in line with social distancing norms.
Real-Time Information Exchange
One of the many benefits of modern technology in healthcare is the development of wearable fitness bands and smartphone apps which monitor crucial patient data in real-time. This data is shared with medical professionals for monitoring patient vitals and forming an accurate diagnosis. This data helps doctors analyze the amount of sleep the patient gets every night and how much exercise he gets during the day.
Fitness bands have even developed life-saving capabilities. For example, the latest Apple Watch calls emergency services to detect a hard fall if the person remains immobile for about a minute. Telemedicine apps have also incorporated several features using which doctors can send electronic prescriptions and lab test reports to patients in a matter of minutes.
Flexibility for Patients and Clinicians
Telemedicine has created an indelible impact on the healthcare industry. Patients have finally started to realize the amount of flexibility offered by online medical consultations. 1 in 5 survey respondents stated that they would switch doctors if their doctor did not provide a virtual consultation option. Telemedicine helps patients save over 100 minutes of their time compared to a physical appointment at a doctor’s clinic.
Healthcare technology providers also help patients circumvent the societal stigma attached to seeking treatment for mental health problems. These tools help people feel less vulnerable by giving them the option to undergo therapy in the comfort of their homes.
Medical professionals are also benefited from healthcare technology providers. Hospitals now have access to data that helps them estimate the amount of patient traffic each day during various times. This enables them to schedule their staff shifts more efficiently.
Technology Trends that will Define the Future of Healthcare
“By giving us comprehensive access to our personal medical information, digital technology can make us all change agents, capable of pushing for the one thing that we all care about: a medical system that focuses on our lifelong health and prioritizes prevention as much as it does treatment.” - Bill Gates, Former Chairman, Microsoft.
Some of the most exciting future trends in healthcare technology involve the use of Artificial intelligence as a tool to facilitate advancements in the field.
Artificial Intelligence has developed a plethora of applications in the Healthcare Technology industry. Industry leaders have started to pioneer the creation of innovative HealthTech tools. Project InnerEye is a revolutionary open-source project established by Microsoft that reduces the time required for 3D contouring of a patient from hours to a few minutes.
Researchers from MIT and Harvard University utilized machine learning to analyze thousands of online Reddit comments. They found that messages related to topics of suicide and loneliness had nearly doubled over a while during the pandemic. Artificial Intelligence models such as these have the potential to transform our understanding of mental health issues.
Augmented reality headsets have an increasingly prominent role in the operating room. Mixed reality headsets such as the Microsoft Hololens 2 allow surgeons to use both hands during the procedure by blending 3D imagery with the physical environment. The holographic nature of this device is also used to train medical students using a firsthand approach.
These are but a few entries in the giant catalog of upcoming trends in healthcare. Suffice to say; the HealthTech boom is well and truly underway. Extentia’s healthcare program is designed to improve patient relationship management with the help of Salesforce Health Cloud. Our program helps healthcare professionals and nurses gather the patient treatment details and track their health during the medication period, which in turn helps medical companies improve their medicine quality by understanding the impact of existing medicine on the patient's health.
Program features provide regular alerts to a healthcare professional so as to engage with patients for their regular medical interaction, send reminder SMS, share medication education details, and help capture and report unfavorable symptoms. Our program also helps to pull the patients, medication, healthcare professionals, and hospital details in a simplified report format which helps medical companies analyze the data for future growth.
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