The COVID-19 pandemic created a greater demand for digitalization across all industries. The healthcare industry was one of the first to incorporate new technologies to combat the pandemic. Since then, the trend toward digitalization has improved many aspects of care and research. Here are six trends in health tech that are innovating the healthcare industry.
AI is a hot technology in many different industries. Artificial intelligence was used during the pandemic to predict the spread of the virus and automatically temperature check crowds of people. AI has many applications for healthcare, including administrative assistance, machine learning for vaccine development, and facial recognition. Artificial intelligence will continue to help us fight disease and improve the efficiency and accessibility of healthcare.
The pandemic introduced a greater demand for virtual healthcare. Today, telehealth appointments provide a more affordable and safer alternative to regular in-person checkups. Though specific diagnoses will still require in-person appointments, virtual healthcare offers many conveniences for people with chronic illnesses and allow everyone greater access to their doctors and nurse practitioners. Some virtual healthcare practitioners are also adopting artificial intelligence in the form of chatbots, which will assist in telehealth diagnosis and administrative processes.
Biopharma and Genomics
To manufacture biopharmaceuticals, scientists modify the DNA in cells to program them to better fight diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and blood disorders. Recent advances in machine learning and computing have allowed researchers to utilize analysis tools that more efficiently locate variants in DNA that could act as biological markers of genetic disease. Avantor creates “biopharma products and materials engineered and manufactured to satisfy the highest quality standards and regulatory requirements for your final product, whether it is a vaccine, monoclonal antibody, recombinant protein, cell therapy, gene therapy, or small molecule treatment.” The general uses of biopharma products combined with the advances in manufacturing and data analysis are revolutionizing the field of genetics.
Virtual reality and augmented reality technology have applications in healthcare, from assisting with surgeries to improving the quality of care for telehealth professionals. VR and AR can improve training for surgeons and doctors while offering real-time efficiencies in the OR. The metaverse is a fully immersive experience of the internet that could provide improved opportunities for medical professionals to gain training in a virtual setting.
Digitalization and The Cloud
As more healthcare professionals are turning to digitalization and virtual solutions for improved quality and accessibility of care, cloud-based software has improved administrative efficiencies in hospitals worldwide. New SaaS products allow medical professionals to design more personalized and collaborative care plans for patients who require data sharing between multiple specialists and regular appointments. These digital tools enable medical professionals to store, access, and analyze health data and patient histories to create better treatments and improve the quality of care. Cloud-based technologies are critical for creating shared infrastructure between clinics and streamlining healthcare.
Wearables and Mobile Apps
Remote patient monitoring via internet-connected wearables such as smartwatches is critical for modern at-home health maintenance. Patients can monitor their health and access apps through their smartphones to help them see trends in their health over time. Exercise, healthcare, and wellness apps are becoming more and more popular as people search for ways to take more control over their health at home.
Advances in health tech will continue to revolutionize the industry and improve treatments and care worldwide. These new technologies can help us prepare for another pandemic and generate innovations in current fields of medical research.