Healthcare is one of the most used and needed industries. At some point during our existence, we will likely require the support, treatments, and services of those working in healthcare.
The global healthcare market is predicted to reach an eye-watering $665.37 billion by 2028. The US spent almost 17% of gross domestic product (GDP) in just one year on healthcare.
Much of the spending in healthcare goes towards investing in newer technologies. These investments are worthwhile as they have led to countless medical breakthroughs and life-saving treatments and operations. These are just some ways technology has transformed the healthcare industry today.
Detailed Images of Vital Organs
One of the greatest technological advancements has been the introduction of MRI and CT scans. It has helped to detect early signs of different health issues for countless individuals. Spotting and identifying these issues have meant people could seek treatment sooner and reduce the chances of the health problem intensifying or spreading.
For example, a cardiac CT scan provides medical professionals with a detailed image of the health of an individual’s heart. Some medical providers use a cardiac CT scan to give those they treat valuable information regarding their health, especially about their heart and the steps to take. With each passing year, the improvement in image quality becomes more noticeable. Today, medical professionals can use CT or MRI scans to see the damage a heart attack has caused to a person’s heart.
Improved Results Time
Receiving a medical test’s results took weeks, sometimes even months. Today, results can be obtained not long after the labs have finished testing the collected samples. Of course, if the results show something of concern, a person’s doctor will likely ask them to visit the clinic for an in-person meeting. However, if the results show no concerning issues or do not highlight anything unusual, medical professionals will not ask for a person to come in to discuss their results. Instead, they might send a letter, inform them on the phone or post the results on their web portals for their patients.
Modern medicine is constantly evolving. Whether it’s wireless stethoscope or infrared scanning that can detect minuscule cancers, it’s nothing short of amazing. And as we continue to dive deeper into technology, as a healthcare provider, you might be wondering how this can benefit both you and your patients. Read on to learn about the latest health IT trends and how they can help your practice.
During the height of COVID, healthcare facilities had no choice but to find ways to treat patients. And while virtual care isn’t necessarily new, it became the go-to choice to treat patients who otherwise wouldn’t be seen. And even though most medical establishments are seeing patients in office, virtual care is still being utilized.
Over the last few years, hospitals and healthcare practices throughout the country have started adopting new technology that helps them provide better care to their patients and make life easier for their employees.
For example, 64 percent of physicians now send electronic messages to their patients via text or email. Meanwhile, 63 percent allow their patients to view their medical records online.
Are you looking for new ways to bring your practice into the 21st Century? Listed below are seven of the top healthcare technology trends you ought to know about and consider implementing in your practice.
- Electronic Medical Records
Electronic medical records (or EMR for short) are one of the most popular tech trends in the healthcare world.
Lots of practices have started using EMR to simplify the process of searching for patient records. EMR has also made it easier for patients to access their medical records online.
Even though plenty of practices are making use of EMR, there are still a lot of them that haven’t made the switch yet. The sooner you start making your files available in a digital format, the sooner you’ll start reaping all the benefits of EMR.
For example, EMR provides immediate access to patient records. It also helps physicians make better decisions about their patient’s care.
They can spot patterns more easily when everything is in front of them. This, in turn, allows them to choose the best treatment approach and avoid missing something important.
- Blockchain Technology
Blockchain has started to make its way into the healthcare world, and it’s not showing any signs of leaving.
Blockchain technology allows healthcare practices (and other businesses, for that matter) to store digital information without taking up a ton of space. It also allows them to store their information in a more secure way since it cannot be copied.
In the digital age, patient security and privacy protection are of the utmost importance to many healthcare professionals.
Blockchain systems allow practice owners and managers to ensure they’re keeping patient records and information safe. It also helps them to avoid expensive and harmful (on many levels) data breaches.
In 2019, many people are looking for new ways to get things done without leaving their homes. They have groceries delivered to their door, for example, and they communicate with friends and family via video chat.
Lots of healthcare practices are jumping in on this trend and are making it easier for patients to have their medical needs met from the comfort of their own homes as well.
Telemedicine allows patients to talk to doctors, receive medical advice, and even have prescriptions filled, without having to make a special trip to the doctor’s office.
Physicians are also using these same technologies to communicate with each other in more effective ways and come up with better, more comprehensive solutions for their patients.
- Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is for way more than gaming. It’s also one of the biggest healthcare trends of 2019.
Physicians and researchers have started or have plans to start using artificial intelligence in a variety of ways.
As artificial intelligence technology becomes more refined, it will be easier for healthcare professionals to monitor their patients and provide better diagnosis and treatment.
It will also likely enhance the telemedicine world as well, as it will make it easier for physicians to see their patients without having to be in the same physical location as them.
Wearable health monitoring devices are not new. However, they’ve become more popular than ever, and they’re also becoming more advanced.
As these devices become more accurate and able to provide more details about the wearer’s health, it’s likely that many physicians will start relying on them to gather information about their patient’s health and daily habits.
Thanks to the advent of technologies, we can witness irreversible changes in our daily life today. It is now easier to cope with our everyday routine because we have smart solutions that speed up the pace of our life and make it more convenient.
Healthcare is where technologies are expected to revolutionize treatment and research methods we are used to so much. Hence, we have prepared some technological trends that will make healthcare more advanced in 2019.
The Internet of Medical Things
The notion of The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) is tightly connected with wearables. This technology is designed to transmit the patient’s data through various sensors and gadgets attached to the patient’s clothes or directly to their body. Fitness trackers and smart sensors are specifically elaborated to measure blood pressure, glucose level, pulse, heart rate, etc. Along with that, you can count calories you’ve burned, and miles walked.
Well, it doesn’t sound that innovative in 2019. But what makes it one of the most progressive trends is that the gathered data can be used in many various and innovative ways. For example, preventive medicine can benefit a lot with the help of IoMT. Research gets more accurate and timely, and it is even possible to prevent epidemics using the stats gathered in this way.
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Well … yes, consulting a doctor through your telly looks like a scene from one of those futuristic novels showing what the world would look like in the 21st century. In fact, it is what we have now. Modern technologies allow us to forget about hours spent in a clinic waiting for your doctor to invite you. That also includes waiting for the results of your tests.
Now you can consult any doctor in the world having a computer and an Internet connection. Imagine that you needed to see a reputable specialist in another country. It would be highly inconvenient to go all the way there just for a consultation. Firstly, you’d have to spend a lot of time. Secondly, you might need help to move around. And finally, it would be costly.
Today, you can contact your doctor from any spot in the world and get their consultation. It will not work in emergency cases, but it can work well if you need help with urgent but small issues. This is a good possibility for those who reside in far rural areas or require a highly specialized doctor to receive timely medical assistance.
The technology can also allow people to get consulted more frequently, which will improve the overall health of the population and establish better relations with doctors.
Might healthcare learn a thing or two from research firm Gartner’s top strategic technology trends? Fresh off the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2013 held in Orlando where tens of thousands of IT executives gathered, Forbes magazine offers up the following from the research giant:
Mobile Device Diversity and Management
“Gartner suggests that now through 2018, a variety of devices, user contexts and interaction paradigms will make ‘everything everywhere’ strategies unachievable. The unintended consequence of bring your own device (BYOD) programs has been to render much more complex (by two or three times, Gartner estimates) the size of the mobile workforce, straining both the information technology and the finance organizations. It is recommended that companies better define expectations for employee-owned hardware to balance flexibility with confidentiality and privacy requirements.”
Even the world of healthcare will not miss out on MDM as workforces become more mobile. In addition to infrastructure needs, practices will need BYOD policy and MDM solutions to help them protect and manage their data.