Are you ready to experience the future of healthcare? A recent survey revealed that only 7% of businesses in the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors had adopted digital technology, compared to 15% of companies in other sectors.
However, things are changing rapidly. Since the Covid-19 epidemic, the healthcare sector has been significantly disrupted by digital health tools and creative innovations aimed at streamlining clinicians' work, reducing human error, enhancing old, outdated systems, improving outcomes, and significantly lowering costs through web and mobile apps.
The adoption of digital technology in the healthcare sector is best illustrated by data collection, artificial intelligence (AI), and telemedicine, which improve interactions between clinics and patients.
The way we interact with medical experts and even our health is changing due to digital health (i.e., tracking our fitness through wearable technology and utilizing apps to meditate and journal). Patients are becoming more involved in their health because of tools like online patient portals that offer medical test results, diagnoses, and explanations of ailments. The application of technology has also shown how our data can be used to deliver the best care and health outcomes. So what are the top innovative digital tools in healthcare?
Emerging Technologies In The Healthcare Sector
#1 - Artificial Intelligence
AI streamlines operations while giving managers access to vital data that can help them make wise decisions. They might therefore reassess how they combine information, evaluate data, and use the insights obtained.
When the AI solution is used, it begins processing data and analyzing trends to determine the best course of action, which manifests as suggestions. As you feed AI more data, its accuracy improves over time. After months of data analysis, the AI can make precise predictions.
With the advent of ChatGPT, an AI chatbot by OpenAI that could answer many questions tailored to you, some experts imagine that soon, AI chatbots could replace or assist doctor visits by providing a personalized experience and accurate assessments. These robot doctors would have instant access to the latest peer-reviewed research (whereas many doctors would have to be updated) and serve countless patients simultaneously. This frees up time for doctors to research and advance the medical field of study. How close are we to that? Perhaps there's still a long way to go depending on the medical data available to train the AI. Here, however, is a video of Doctor Mike asking tough medical questions to ChatGPT. You be the judge of how close we are to that future!
#2 - Wearable Technologies
The integration of AI in wearable technologies is also playing a crucial role in healthcare. AI algorithms can analyze data collected by these devices and provide actionable insights to patients and healthcare professionals. This helps early detection of potential health issues and enables healthcare providers to deliver more efficient and effective care. Furthermore, AI-powered wearables can also provide personalized recommendations to patients based on their individual needs, such as diet and exercise plans, making it easier for patients to manage their health conditions.
#3 - Big Data
Big Data is disrupting the healthcare industry by providing valuable insights and enabling more efficient and personalized care. With the help of AI, healthcare organizations can analyze large amounts of patient data and identify patterns and trends that would have been difficult to detect manually. This can help to improve patient outcomes and streamline care processes.
One example of how Big Data is being used in healthcare is in the field of precision medicine. By analyzing large amounts of genomic data, healthcare providers can identify genetic markers associated with a particular disease or condition. This can help to tailor treatment plans to individual patients, leading to more effective care.
Another example is in the field of population health management. By analyzing large amounts of data from various sources, such as electronic health records, claims data, and social determinants of health, healthcare organizations can identify patterns and trends associated with specific health conditions. This can help to identify at-risk populations and target interventions to improve their health outcomes.
#4 - Predictive Analytics
Predictive analytics is a game-changer in the healthcare industry. It's a powerful tool that uses historical data and machine learning algorithms to predict future events or outcomes. This can help healthcare organizations to identify potential issues before they become severe and take proactive measures to prevent them.
Let's take an example, imagine a hospital where nurses are swamped with patients, running from one room to another, with little time to catch their breath. Predictive analytics can help alleviate some of this burden by identifying patients at high risk of readmission. By doing so, the hospital can take proactive measures to prevent readmission and reduce the workload for nurses. This not only improves patient outcomes but also frees up resources and reduces the stress on healthcare workers.
Another example is in the field of chronic disease management. By analyzing large amounts of data from various sources, such as electronic health records, claims data, and social determinants of health, healthcare organizations can identify patterns and trends associated with specific health conditions. This can help identify at-risk populations and target interventions to improve their health outcomes. This way, predictive analytics can help healthcare providers deliver more efficient and personalized care to patients with chronic diseases.
#5 - Blockchain
Blockchain technology, though still in its infancy, could be a game-changer for the healthcare industry. It allows for secure, transparent, and tamper-proof storage of data, which is crucial when it comes to sensitive medical information. It could also track the movement of drugs and medical devices throughout the supply chain.
Since data on most Blockchains are stored publicly (everyone could view it), there may also be a possibility that anonymous and private medical data would be held on the Blockchain and only be accessed by authorized parties. This would be very useful when combining insurance and blockchain technologies. Smart contracts, self-executing codes based on pre-defined rules on the blockchain, can enable instant compensation transfer when an insurance claim condition is met, significantly reducing the time and errors associated with claims processing.
Emerging technologies in healthcare are making it possible to deliver better care at a lower cost. The possibilities are endless, from wearables to AI, big data, predictive analytics, and blockchain. These technologies can revolutionize how healthcare is delivered and can help improve patient outcomes and experiences. So, whether you're a patient or a healthcare professional, it's time to embrace the future of medicine and have some fun with it.
As we continue to embrace these new technologies, we must be comitted to stay vigilant about addressing the challenges that come with them, such as data privacy, security, and ethical considerations. But with the right approach, we can ensure that the benefits of these technologies are realized for all. So, let's continue to push the boundaries of what's possible in healthcare and make the future brighter for everyone.