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With technology advancing rapidly, the healthcare industry expects to undergo significant changes in the years to come. From personalized medicine to wearable devices, the future of health technology promises to increase patient satisfaction, improve care quality, and reduce healthcare costs.
Health Technology Trend: Internet of Medical Things
The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) has been a promising digital health trend for the past few years, and it’s a growing heath technology trend. According to Precedence Research, the global market size of IoMT, valued at $180.5 billion in 2021, is predicted to reach around $960.2 billion by 2030 with a 20.41% —compound annual growth rate. Consumers love these devices, yet they don’t exactly trust them. Brands in IOT or HealthTech have particular PR needs.
IoMT, or healthcare IoT, is a network of medical devices, hardware infrastructure, and software integrated via the Internet. It relies on automation, sensors, and machine-based intelligence to reduce the need for human intervention in routine healthcare procedures and monitoring operations.
Wearable devices like smartwatches and pulsometers, connected to health and wellness applications, are the most famous examples of IoMT. They expect to further revolutionize healthcare in the future through their real-time data tracking and reporting abilities.
These devices have sensors that can detect and measure our body vitals, like blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature. Healthcare professionals use this real-time data for observation, diagnosis, and treatment.
Moreover, tracking such critical data through IoMT in real-time allows patients to be more aware and educated about their medical conditions and bring healthy changes in their lifestyles. Some devices also include gamification features to reward patients for achieving health-related milestones, motivating them to stick to healthy habits. Besides smartwatches and pulsometers, other wearable devices joining the IoMT trend include bio-patches and smart hearing aids.
It’s not just wearable devices that are revolutionizing the health industry. We also have smart pills – edible electronics that not only play the role of pharmaceuticals but also provide valuable information to caregivers about the patient’s health. Such cloud-based networks of devices and software will continue to evolve, empowering doctors and patients to prevent, diagnose, monitor, and improve various health conditions.
Health Technology Future: Nanomedicine
Nanomedicine is a rapidly growing field within the health technology industry. It has the potential to introduce revolutionary advancements in various aspects of healthcare services.
For those who don’t know, nanomedicine uses microscopically tiny materials to diagnose and treat living organisms.
Healthcare researchers are engineering nanoparticles and other nanostructures to interact with the human body in specific ways, allowing for targeted drug delivery. New materials and therapies, like xenobots and nanosensors, are being developed to help diagnose cancer cells or viruses at an early stage and regenerate damaged tissues and organs.
Nanomedicine has the potential to increase the efficacy and safety of treatments, reduce side effects, and provide new opportunities for personalized medicine. Although this field has numerous challenges, such as regulatory hurdles and potential toxicity issues, it has already shown promising results in preclinical and clinical studies. As a result, there is significant investment and interest in developing nanomedicine technologies, making it a highly-promising present and future trend in medicine.
Health Technology Trend: Telepsychiatry for Mental Health Services
The COVID-19 pandemic has fueled the adoption of Telemedicine, including telepsychiatry.
Telepsychiatry uses technology to provide mental health services remotely, like psychiatric assessments, consultations, and treatments. It can take many forms, such as phone consultations, video conferencing, and even text messaging.
Telepsychiatry enables mental health providers to connect with patients in real-time without requiring physical proximity. It can save time, expense, and effort needed for a physical visit, making mental health services more accessible and cost-effective.
This field can also increase access to mental health services for individuals who may not have access otherwise, like those living in rural or remote areas or with mobility or transportation limitations. It also fosters more privacy and confidentiality by allowing patients to participate in sessions from their homes.
Moreover, telepsychiatry can offer more flexible scheduling and convenience for individuals with tight schedules or other commitments. People are likelier to stick to their treatment plan if they don’t have to visit the healthcare provider in person every time. Plus, studies have shown that telepsychiatry can be as effective as in-person mental health services. It can even lead to better outcomes in some cases.
Most importantly, telepsychiatry can help decrease the stigma and fear associated with mental health problems. People who feel anxious about openly discussing their issues with someone face to face can find comfort and relief in doing it remotely with the help of advanced health technology.
As health technology continues to improve, telepsychiatry is likely to become even more advanced, popular, and accessible to people all over the globe. However, it is essential to note that telepsychiatry is not a replacement for in-person mental health services for everyone.
Some individuals may require more intensive treatment or may prefer in-person sessions. Mental health professionals must evaluate the appropriateness of telepsychiatry for each individual, providing a range of treatment options to meet their unique needs.
Health Technology Prediction: 3D Printed Organs and Implants
Bioprinting is a cutting-edge health technology enabling the production of 3D biological structures, like tissues and organs, through a layer-by-layer approach used in 3D printing. Bioprinting uses bio-ink. Bio-ink consists of living cells and other biomaterials deposited using specialized printers to form intricate structures.
3D printing of biocompatible implants has been around in the healthcare industry for years but still needs to be mainstream. Many expect significant progress in the field soon, with new materials and improved methods for creating and maintaining external prostheses, cranial or orthopedic implants, and personalized airway stents.
They speculate that the progress in 3D printing decreases production costs and time for bionic prostheses and implants. It will also make customized bionic prostheses for the spine, knees, hips, and skulls more affordable. Plus, the new types and generations of 3D implants and organs should last longer, work more efficiently, and involve a lesser risk of rejection by the human body.
One of the main drawbacks of 3D-printed mechanical limbs is that they weigh a lot. The future anticipates bringing enhanced lightweight prosthesis designs that integrate easily with human bones. Another expected future outcome of advancing this field is the availability of life-saving cardiovascular and neurological implants.
Health Technology Future: AR and VR in Medical Education and Diagnosis
AR and VR have the potential to fully transform the delivery of healthcare services, leading to enhanced patient outcomes. However, they must address many technical and ethical challenges before these clinical practices can widely adopt these technologies.
AR and VR can help create immersive simulations that allow students and medical professionals to practice and refine their skills in a secure and controlled environment. For instance, surgeons can practice complex medical surgeries and procedures before performing them on patients.
AR and VR are critical in facilitating remote consultations between patients and healthcare providers. Patients wear VR headsets that enable doctors to examine them and provide remote diagnosis and treatment virtually. Many people expect Telemedicine to progress even more in the future.
AR and VR are used to create immersive and interactive rehabilitation programs that make therapy more engaging and effective. For example, patients healing from a stroke can use VR to simulate daily activities to improve mobility.
Another use of AR in the healthcare industry is overlaying medical images onto a patient’s body, enabling doctors to visualize the internal structures more intuitively.Companies are using AR and VR to produce educational materials for patients that help them better understand their condition and treatment options.
Health Technology Future: Big Data Analytics
The future of data analytics in healthcare holds significant potential for enhancing predictions and decision-making.
Personalized Treatment: With advanced data analytics, healthcare providers can provide more personalized treatments to patients. By examining genetic, environmental, and lifestyle data, healthcare professionals can better understand a patient’s unique health profile and create tailored treatment plans.
Predictive Analytics: Data analytics can enable healthcare providers to predict health outcomes and identify patients at high risk of developing specific health issues. By examining large amounts of patient data, healthcare providers can detect patterns and trends that may signify the onset of a disease.
Real-time Monitoring: Wearable devices and other health technology collect real-time patient data, allowing healthcare providers to monitor patients closely and make quick decisions. By analyzing this data, providers can detect changes in a patient’s health status and take action before a condition worsens.
Improved Decision-making: Data analytics can help healthcare providers make more informed decisions about patient care. Providers can identify the most effective treatments for a particular condition and determine which patients benefit most.
Data Sharing: Improved data analytics will allow healthcare providers to share patient data more efficiently and securely. It will help providers collaborate and make more informed decisions about patient care.
Health Technology Future: Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) uses software robots to automate repetitive, rule-based, and time-consuming administrative tasks, allowing healthcare providers to focus on patient care. RPA has the potential to streamline the way healthcare is delivered. Here are some potential advancements we may see in the future.
RPA can automate administrative tasks such as scheduling appointments, processing insurance claims, and managing patient records. It can free up time for healthcare providers to focus on patient care.Billing and Payments: RPA can automate billing and payment processes, decreasing errors and raising efficiency.
Electronic Health Records (EHRs):
RPA can automate EHRs, making it quicker and easier for healthcare providers to access and update patient data.
RPA can help healthcare providers make more informed decisions about patient care by providing real-time data analysis and recommendations.
RPA can monitor patients remotely, alerting healthcare providers about the looming medical conditions before they can turn severe.
RPA can automate medication management, ensuring patients receive the proper medication at the right time.
To sum up, RPA can transform healthcare by improving efficiency, reducing errors, and enhancing patient care. However, the critical point is that RPA should not become a substitute for human healthcare providers but rather a tool to help them deliver high-quality care.
Health Technology Trend: Retail Healthcare
Retail healthcare refers to providing healthcare services in non-traditional healthcare settings, such as pharmacies, supermarkets, and clinics in shopping malls. Retail healthcare providers offer various services, including primary care, urgent care, vaccination, and wellness.
Retail healthcare will continue to grow as consumers demand more convenient and accessible healthcare services. Here are some ways in which retail healthcare is likely to evolve in the future:
Expansion of Services: Retail healthcare will likely expand the range of services offered, including Telemedicine and virtual care options. It will enable patients to receive care remotely, improving access to healthcare services and reducing the need for in-person visits.
Integration with Technology: Retail healthcare providers are likely to integrate more technology into their services in the future, including wearables and other connected devices, to collect more data on patients’ health and provide more personalized care.
Collaboration with Healthcare Providers: We will see retail healthcare providers collaborate more closely with traditional healthcare providers, like hospitals and physician practices, to improve care coordination and patient outcomes.
Focus on Wellness: Retail healthcare providers will likely focus more on wellness services, such as nutrition and fitness programs, to help patients stay healthy and prevent chronic diseases.
The future of health technology looks promising, with numerous advancements in various fields. For example, the integration of virtual and augmented reality technologies is predicted to raise the standards of medical education and training, as well as patient engagement and rehabilitation.
Robotics and automation technologies are also ready to transform the healthcare industry, improving patient care, reducing errors, and optimizing clinical workflows. Conclusively, we can expect innovative and groundbreaking developments in the healthcare industry due to the continuous evolution of health technology.