By Vladimir Kuzmenko, SVP of sales and business development, NIX United.
As healthcare becomes increasingly complex, the role of technology is evolving to offer new and innovative solutions that allow healthcare practices the opportunity to better serve their patients. However, as technology evolves and changes, healthcare as a whole must also grow and adapt to thrive in a complex and ever-changing ecosystem.
As we embark on a new decade (in which we’re now well into the first year), I’d like to examine a few of the more pressing trends that forward-thinking practices embracing currently and for the foreseeable future.
Some of these adoptions may include new systems and technologies being implemented, as well as technologies that are best-placed to keep up in these rapidly-changing areas of any profitable practice.
More importantly, however, is how these technologies might impact healthcare and how forward-thinking organizations take advantage of these opportunities. With this is mind, here are six trends that may influence healthcare in 2020 and beyond.
You may hear the term blockchain and think, “what does cryptocurrency have to do with helping patients?” However, blockchain has evolved and has many more applications than just new forms of currency. For instance, many urgent healthcare issues may be solved by utilizing blockchain, including:
Secure health information transfer
Health data management
Reducing the number of counterfeit medicines on the market
In addition, blockchain technology can be used in innovative ways to allow organizations to access information on a secure channel that maintains privacy.
Electronic health records
For all the integration issues U.S. healthcare organizations experienced in integrating electronic health records into their practices in the last decade, there has been no more profound change in the practice of healthcare in the U.S.
These electronic records create opportunities to track and improve patient care and to find new, more efficient treatment methods by incorporating artificial intelligence technologies. Protecting a practice’s and the patient’s data privacy is also an issue that must be addressed beforehand, not after a breach has occurred.
By Ramona Ramadas, Arizona State University graduate student — utilizing the resources provided by the HEALab, she launched New Trails Navigators.
Over the past decade, technology and its applications continue to impact and advance our everyday lives, from things like smartwatch wearables that track our daily activity and wake us up in the morning to 3-D printing of medical models and virtual reality innovations that have the capacity to accurately replicate an automated surgery environment.
Similarly, ASU Online has brought new technology and resources to students like myself pursuing health and health care-related degrees to encourage innovative approaches to coursework and career paths. One of the most impactful resources I’ve seen available to the student community is the Health Entrepreneurship Accelerator Lab (HEALab).
The accelerator, which provides networking, idea-generation support, pitch competitions and proposal prep assistance launched in September 2017 as a health innovation entrepreneurship lab for Arizona State University (ASU) students, faculty – both online and on campus, and the community to cultivate disruptive healthcare solutions. It is a collaborative effort with academic units and the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation with the goal of educating health-focused leaders to navigate the accelerating disruptions in healthcare and create new solutions to real-world problems.
As a recent Master of Healthcare Innovation (MHI) graduate, I have been able to leverage HEALab to kick start my peer health program, New Trails Navigators. The award-winning care transformation program I’ve created focuses on serving individuals who struggle to get the personalized care they need due to homelessness, incarceration, addiction or lack of insurance. The program connects at-risk individuals with peer health navigators who are uniquely qualified to re-direct them toward sustainable health and wellness.
The peer health navigators can relate in a way that other support service representatives can’t because they have been in an at-risk situation, themselves. This relatability allows the navigators to connect, build trust and positively impact the individual’s situation. Today, the program is supported by a learning management system that delivers our whole-person peer training. This training is unlike any other peer support program in place today, as an app-based platform allows peers and patients to interact in a variety of ways, ensuring that the patient is supported where they live, work, and play. Over time, artificial intelligence will become a part of the program delivery.
Technology has evolved, and it has positively affected all areas of our lives. When it comes to technological advances and innovations in medical technology, it can be said that life has been made easier for us.
With new medical technology, we are assured of longer life span with credits to various medical innovations in medical technology. It would interest you to know that technological advances are basically medical innovations in medical practices which are aimed at giving life a better meaning.
Hence, the basic aim of these evolving technologies in the field of medicine is basically an increase in the lifespan and ensuring our overall state of health is improved.
Below are the most recent technological advances used in medicine:
CRISPR stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, and it is a new medical technology, which is at the highest level of advancement when it comes to gene-editing technology. CRISPR functions by tapping into the natural mechanisms that are found in the immune systems of bacterial cells, and it lacerates the DNA strands that have been infected.
The cutting ability of the CRISPR has the capacity to modify the conventional way of disease treatment. When some genes are modified, some diseases such as HIV and cancer could possibly be totally defeated in few years. Although, when you read most medical essays with an essay plagiarism checker, an essay check or an essay corrector, you will discover that there are still further inquiries into the full capacities of the CRISPR and the unknown benefits to the human race.
This is another new medical technology which fits into this technologically guided world. It basically means a form of promptly evolving technology which enables patients to access medical care via their medical devices, rather than go to the hospital for appointments with their doctor.
Currently, there are some highly-functional personalized applications that are developed for the purpose of allowing patients to interact virtually with medical professionals and get prompt medical advice and diagnosis.
Telehealth makes full provision for all patients to have various access means to healthcare the moment it is needed. It also comes in handy for those who have chronic health problems because it makes health care available at a regular, convenient and affordable means.
3. Virtual reality
Virtual reality has been in existence for quite a while, and there are medical advances that are being integrated into exploring the full capacities of this modern technology. With virtual reality, medical students have been afforded the opportunity of accessing close to real-life experience using this technology.
There are top modernized tools which aid them in gaining the experience needed by memorizing and practicing procedures as well as and producing a visual knowledge of the entire connection of the human anatomy.
If you check legit medical essays with an essay corrector or an essay checker, you will discover that virtual reality devices are a profound help for patients, providing diagnosis help, treatment schedule and making procedures available for them. They are also essential in patients’ rehabilitation recuperation.
Medical technology is advancing, and it becomes more personalized to patients individually. One of the benefits which precision medicine comes with is, it enables physicians to choose therapies and medicines for disease treatment, which includes cancer hinged on the genetic make-up of the patient.
This form of personalized medicine is way more effective than other forms of treatment, as it effectively treats tumors using the specific proteins and genes of the patient as the basis. This then causes gene mutations and makes it more effortlessly annihilated by cancer medicine.
In addition, precision medicine can also be used for rheumatoid arthritis treatment. It employs a mechanism of combating the vulnerable genes of the disease, in a bid to weaken it and lessen the symptoms and damage to the joint.
When you hear the words “cancer treatment,” you probably think of things like chemotherapy, radiation or even hair loss. While many cancer patients go through painful procedures that create uncomfortable and life-changing side effects, there might be new ways to help them deal with the disease and their care.
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are technology trends in healthcare that have recently taken the industry by storm. While many researchers have been interested in this technology for some time, it’s only been in the past few years that studies have started to prove its usefulness in helping cancer patients undergoing care. Here are the essentials you should know to understand the use of VR and AR for cancer patients.
What are VR and AR?
Virtual reality is an immersive technology that closes the user off from the real world. Using a headset and video screen, the user can feel the experience of being transported to new locations. If you’re unfamiliar with this technology, do a quick online search to find videos of people who feel they are falling or that things are moving toward them in such a way that they instinctively shift their body to avoid contact. These videos are amusing, but this technology is so much more than just fun.
Augmented reality, often called AR, uses a camera or smartphone to add digital elements to the real world. Typical uses are lenses on the popular app Snapchat or the ever-intriguing game of Pokemon Go. AR has many applications in healthcare as well.
Use of VR and AR in healthcare
Medicine and other treatments are both palliative and curative. However, all medicines and procedures have limitations and at times create negative effects that patients must adapt to or learn to overcome. Researchers continually look for new ways to impact patient care with immersive technologies and other cutting-edge advancements. Both AR and VR have received acclaim for their role in the healthcare industry.
Not only can this tech help patients, but it can improve healthcare as a whole. A few of the ways VR is impacting healthcare can be seen in the treatment of chronic pain, the restoration of low vision in older patients or those with damaged vision, and the expedited recovery of patients after traumatic brain injury.
The essential purpose of virtual reality or VR is to shut down the real world and immerse a person into a different environment, be it a fantasy or just a place far away. While it is mostly used in entertainment, this technology gets wide adoption across other industries, including construction, education, retail and healthcare.
According to a recent report, the global healthcare VR market is expected to massively grow by 2023 with a 54.5 percent CAGR. The researchers name a range of major VR applications anticipated to drive even more investments in upcoming years, including PTSD treatment, rehabilitation, education and training, and surgery simulation. The actively growing market creates a supportive environment for better collaboration among payers, clinical stakeholders, and varied VR development companies, naming Osso VR, Iflexion, Psious and others.
Even though the VR technology is quite young, and healthcare isn’t always daring to adopt cutting-edge approaches and add them to the traditional practice, it is just too promising to ignore.
By Amy Sklar, SVP of advanced manufacturing communities, UBM.
As reported by Rock Health’s Midyear Funding Review, 2018 got off to a roaring start with $3.4 billion for digital health funding in the first six months of the year. All indicators point to continued momentum in 2019, as startups and veteran companies alike work to unlock the potential of digital health technology to increase efficiencies in healthcare delivery and improve patient outcomes.
In the coming year we will see innovations including smart, connected products offering opportunities for new functionality, consumer engagement, and higher product utilization. The industry will additionally see startups enter the space leveraging new capabilities for data collection and analytics to better apply insights to make medicine more precise. To learn more, a panel of experts will expand on this topic, speaking to the evolving nature of digital health at MD&M West Anaheim 2019.
While nanotechnology isn’t anything new, we will see continued interest in developing the space with an anticipated move toward more catheter-based and minimally invasive procedures. Medical devices are getting smaller with the demand for technology-driven advancements, and rapid developments are being made in design options to enable drug delivery. In particular, breakthroughs in new drugs and biologics are increasingly seeking localized delivery for better therapeutic effects.
Medical robotics has an exciting future. At the Medical Design and Manufacturing (MD&M) 2019 conference in Anaheim, we are seeing a significant increase in companies impacting the surgical robotics field. A few key players include Intuitive Surgical, TransEnterix, Medrobotics, Medtronic with its acquisition of Mazor Robotics and Neural Analytics. Robotic-assisted surgery has the potential to improve patient care and vastly increase the efficiency and accuracy of healthcare teams. We are entering a world where surgical robots are more than just a robotic arm. It consists of intraoperative-imaging, surgical navigation, 3D imaging, pre-surgical planning software, among others, that all mesh seamlessly into the surgeon’s workflow to enable improved outcomes.
Augmented reality and virtual reality: Changing the face of healthcare
One of the most exciting areas of development in the medical technology arena is augmented and virtual reality. While augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have a variety of benefits, we will see these technologies expanding access to healthcare in 2019. Telemedicine is still in its infancy, but with population health on the forefront of medical technology conversations, 2019 will see major strides in advancing virtual care to support the two thirds of the world’s population that doesn’t have access to safe or affordable surgery.
Guest post by Torben Nielsen, senior vice president of product at HealthSparq.
Significant policy changes are inevitably on the horizon for health care in 2017. Though the question marks about what is next for our industry seem endless, Americans are wondering how health care costs will change, and if their insurance carrier will continue to provide them with the coverage they need. One thing we know for certain is that health care industry disruptors will continue to innovate in a way that we can’t ignore. That’s why it’s important for health plans and hospitals alike to embrace the technology that could simplify the way people interact with the health care industry.
To that, here are my five predictions for the industry in 2017:
Artificial intelligence innovations will help people navigate the healthcare system.
From robots and chat bots, to increasing telehealth options, we’re expecting significant innovations in 2017 for both doctors and patients. On the hospital side, chat bots have the potential to streamline the processes that people often get caught up in when visiting their practitioner, or when dealing with insurance protocol. The chat bots of the future will be able to have meaningful conversation that will help people navigate the system, instead of confusing them. A member could say to their health plan, “I’m looking for a cheaper MRI,” and artificial intelligence can help with a more guided search.
Virtual reality will continue moving into the hospital side of healthcare.
With technology like Oculus Rift and HTC Vibe on the market, people around the world are getting used to the idea of virtual reality in health care, too, and we don’t expect that interest to die down anytime soon. Surgeons are already utilizing virtual reality to practice upcoming surgeries, and patients are beginning to see the benefits of this technology, too. For example, at the University of Southern California combat veterans experiencing PTSD are being treated using virtual reality gaming as a healing mechanism to help process trauma. As these tools continue to get smarter, both hospitals and patients will continue to see virtual reality extend into their care practices more regularly in the coming year.
Personalization of healthcare technology will help data transfers happen easier.
Block chain technology has potential to help secure EHR data and health plan member information in a way that streamlines the health care journey for both the patient and the provider. Healthcare processes and experiences can feel very stifled and complicated to all parties in the system (that’s why HealthSparq created #WhatTheHealthCare!) because hospitals and health systems are sitting on so much data that is not connected or easily shared. Data fluidity is a goal for the industry, and with new applications of block chain technology, the health care ecosystem may now see data transfers and fluidity happen much more simply, giving everyone a more holistic view of health care status, options and improvement opportunities.