Technology is helping the healthcare industry meet growing expectations and efficiently operate to deliver better care outcomes. While most industries readily accepted a long time back that consumers come first, healthcare lagged on that front. However, the recognition has finally dawned on healthcare institutions who are now experimenting with technologies to improve customer experience.
Here are five technologies at the helm of this change.
Healthcare productivity is getting revolutionized by reducing traveling time and waiting times for patients, and eliminating inconvenience by offering routine contacts to physicians with telemedicine-enabled clinical e-visits, supported by digital diagnosis tools that facilitate physical examination from afar.
At Mercy, the fifth largest Catholic health system based in the US, a program called SafeWatch acts to solve the problem of shortage of intensivists. Critical care specialists work in a telemedicine hub motoring patients in the ICU round-the-clock.
They identify anomalies, uncover potential issues, and assist with proper care when a patient’s attending physician is not in the ICU. Specialists in the telemedicine hub monitor over 450 beds in 25 ICUs across a five-state region. They have realized benefits such as a 15-20 percent reduction in ICU mortality rates, reduced code blues, a 10-15 percent reduction in ICU length of stay, and a significant drop in ICU nurse turnover, besides improved patient satisfaction.
The expansion of mobile and wireless technologies around the globe has offered an unprecedented opportunity for more effective care delivery in remote areas in emerging markets. As communication infrastructures in the emerging markets improve, telemedicine will continue to extend access to specialist care to more people.
Over 500,000 medical devices are currently available, according to this Deloitte report. Connected devices in today’s world are designed to improve operational efficiencies, lower care delivery costs, and drive better healthcare outcomes.
Internet of Medical Things is these devices’ capability to collect, analyze and transmit healthcare data over a network. While the IoT is revolutionizing many industries, in the healthcare setting, it’s a wave of sensor-based tools and the marriage of internet-connected medical devices with patient information that’s driving change.
The global IOMT market was valued at USD 44.5 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow up to USD 254.2 billion by 2026.
Digital medicine companies such as Proteus Discover have zeroed-in their smart pill capabilities on assessing medication treatment effectiveness to improve clinical outcomes. Some others like HQ’s CorTemp use the pills to monitor patient’s internal health, wirelessly transmitting data such as core temperature – and other measurements that can be critical.
Extended reality is not limited to entertainment anymore. It’s found application in healthcare. The AR/VR healthcare market is expected to reach USD 5.1 billion by 2025. This technology is not only beneficial in training and surgery simulation but is playing a critical role in patient treatment and care.
At hospitals such as Imperial College and St. Mary’s Hospital in London, doctors, and surgeons have already begun leveraging Microsoft’s HoloLens AR glasses during reconstructive surgery on patients suffering severe injuries.
The scientists at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute had a major breakthrough in cancer research and treatment by building a 3D model of cancer supported by Virtual Reality. This allowed scientists to see cancerous tumor cells up close, with a detailed view, from different angles. The aim of developing a 3D model was to study the tumor better and develop new treatments to cure it.
Blockchain can help make the healthcare industry more efficient as well as secure while providing greater safety assurances for patients. By distributing transaction records through a peer system with a shared digital ledger, we can largely improve the integrity and availability of information.
Using public-private key methods, healthcare information can be created, modified, and distributed with Blockchain. For instance, a specialist physician brought in for consultation can be given quick access to patient records through a Blockchain ledger that all parties use.
The global blockchain market in healthcare is expected to grow at a CAGR of 47.23 percent from 2019 to 2027.
Information can be kept as anonymous as needed, allowing patients and doctors to provide data for research without hesitation, all while staying compliant with HIPAA and GDPR standards. In case questions arise about the provenance of a data point, finding the origin of the information can be as simple as reviewing a digital ledger.
SimplyVital Health has two projects on Blockchain- ConnectingCare which leverages care coordination and financial forecasting to help care providers in bundled payments learn what happens to patients after they leave a hospital. And, Health Nexus, which stores a patient’s information on a blockchain for all parties to view.
As the global population grows and ages, AI and ML offer new and better avenues to diagnose conditions, identify diseases, crowdsource and develop treatment plans, create efficiencies in clinical trials and medical research, monitor health epidemics, and make operations more efficient to handle the growing patient expectations.
McKinsey estimates that medicine and pharma companies could save USD 100 billion in annual savings by exploring and implementing big data and AI/ML tools to process it. AI algorithms powered by the recent advances in computational power learn from the data at hand and can predict the probability of a patient developing a condition to help doctors come up with treatment plans
Healthcare is undergoing a major transition, as players shift their focus toward the consumer. Explore the world of revolutionized care with us!