Technology has been transforming industries and the healthcare industry has seen technology inspire progress and innovation. The idea that customer comes first has dawned on each and every industry. The healthcare industry is no exception. Healthcare service providers realize that the rapidly-evolving technologies will disrupt hospitals worldwide.
The Healthcare IT Market is expected to be $390.7 Billion by 2024 and is growing at a faster rate than the GDP of most countries. It costs nearly $250 Billion to process 30 Billion healthcare transactions each year. The Healthcare expenditures for the U.S are projected to be $5.4 Trillion by 2024 representing an average annual rate of 19.6% of GDP.
Healthcare IT solutions are a highly complex and meticulous system comprising of large-scale and interconnected systems- where even small-scale inputs have dramatic effects. While the industry continues to contemplate and discuss about what is the future technology trends in healthcare industry, the following are the most disruptive trends according to us.
Internet of Things (IoT)
Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming healthcare delivery, making it more reliable and efficient. IoT applications have made several things possible such as remote monitoring, as well as tracking real-time location of medical devices and apparatus like wheelchairs, scales, nebulizers or defibrillators can be easily located with IoT sensors. IoT is beyond doubt, bringing a new wave of change in the healthcare industry by redefining the interaction between devices and people in delivering healthcare solutions.
IoT has several applications in healthcare which enhance benefit different stakeholders of the healthcare ecosystem patients, families, physicians, hospitals and insurance companies. This emerging technology allows elderly patients to track health conditions, as well as monitor health conditions. In case of any deviation or change in periodic activities, there is an alert mechanism to inform or send signals to family members and healthcare providers.
With patient data and real-time tracking, healthcare delivery is touching new heights than before. Now, it’s for healthcare providers to utilize technology in the best possible way.
Natural Language Processing (NLP)
Natural language processing represents and analyzes human language computationally. As a subfield of linguistics, computer science, information engineering, and artificial intelligence, NLP deals with the interactions between computers and human languages. This emerging technology has benefited the healthcare industry tremendously. The combination of analytic tool and deep learning allow interpreting medical data and enhancing clinical decision to drive the growth of NLP in healthcare. The unstructured clinical record contains voluminous insights about patients that are not available in the structured record.
Additionally, advances in data science and artificial intelligence have introduced new techniques for analyzing text to gain an understanding of the patient. Any organization looking to leverage data to improve outcomes, reduce costs, and further medical research needs to consider voluminous insights stored in text and how to create value from data using NLP.
- Condense extensive chunks of narrative text, such as a clinical note or academic journal article by identifying phrases in the source material
- Enhance clinical data integrity by mapping data elements in unstructured text to structured fields in Electronic Health Record
- Convert data from machine-readable or different formats into natural language for reporting and training/education purposes
- Answer unique free-text queries for the synthesis of multiple data sources
- Engage in optical character recognition to turn images into text files for parsing and analysis.
NLP will be the driving force in the future for better clinical decision support and patient health outcomes.
Machine Learning (ML)
ML for healthcare is still in nascent stage for production, development, and planning stages in healthcare with algorithms that learn from data. Data in healthcare revolves around everything from diagnosis, treatment, medical procedures to image analysis.
Below are some innovative ML use cases.
- ML powered chatbots are transforming the way patients interacted with people. They also bridge the gap of information which exists between patients and doctors.
- ML can assist radiologists in identifying differences in scans, thereby helping them detect and diagnose the health issues at the early stages.
- Create a different stance with the help of Machine Learning. Health records in this industry effectively mean improved access to medical data. Now, with the assistance of ML applications, health care providers can identify better treatment plans.
Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality in Healthcare
The rapidly evolving virtual and augmented reality solutions have significantly changed healthcare technologies. Advances which were unthinkable a decade are now implemented. From training new students to planning procedures, the field of AR and VR in healthcare offers a wide range of possibilities. Data can be accumulated to assist therapists in crafting unique custom care plans. They have complete access to activities that are not available in the current environment and let patients improve overall health and emotional wellbeing.
Data Science and Predictive Analytics
When you treat a patient with a chronic disease, there is a great deal of data generated. Turning this information into actionable data can be a challenge. Big data analytics can come to the rescue in such a case, providing deeper insights to healthcare practitioners. Data can be obtained from different sources from the nearby environment, allowing doctors to identify and address problems. Healthcare organizations depend on the expertise of the analytics to decipher the data collected from various sources and monitor the efficiency of processes to help understand how patients respond to the program. The overall health of the population will significantly improve over time, and the general costs will reduce.
Healthcare IT solutions are transforming the world of patient care and overall operations of the entire health ecosystem. Are you ready to take the leap and move ahead?