6 Tech Trends Impacting the Healthcare Industry
Have you noticed how technology influences the workflow of hospitals, clinics, or other medical facilities? Everything relies on technology in one way or another, from the admission receipt to the discharge slip. Tech has come to the rescue to bridge the gap between the growing number of patients and the staff shortage. Technological advancements in the healthcare industry have been continuously improving and accelerating the system for high-quality service and optimized performance of healthcare staff.
Due to the significant role of technology in the healthcare sector, it is essential to become well-informed about health-tech trends. Regardless of your status as a healthcare professional, employer, or patient, everyone needs to know how technology shapes healthcare facilities to keep up with modern challenges.
Here are the six tech trends impacting the healthcare industry.
The nature of the healthcare industry is sensitive; there is no room for errors and negligence as it can lead to detrimental consequences. Professionals serving in this industry have to follow certain regulations and meet quality standards to ensure safe and improved patient care. With the countless medical and non-medical processes, compliance with regulations is not possible manually.
Automation is the best way to speed up workflows and reduce errors while saving costs. Healthcare facilities are using automated systems to perform day-to-day tasks such as issuance of admission forms to patients, record keeping, scheduling appointments, etc.
For instance, LIS software solution is cutting-edge software that upgrades the laboratory information system with automation. It provides a holistic view and ensures the delivery of correct information to the right people at the right time while maintaining operational efficiency and reducing turnaround times. It saves time required for manual work and generates a comprehensive report for all lab tests, including molecular, morphology, NGS, FISH, etc.
Technology has also changed the way healthcare professionals connect with patients. The use of tech has increased collaboration among healthcare service providers. Now tech-based platforms are crucial for training new inductions, implementing the new policy in an entire organization, and delivering quality patient care. For instance, learning management systems paved the way for increased collaboration among medical professionals. They can polish skills, gain valuable insights and expand their knowledge base through software even miles apart.
Similarly, telehealth has also become prevalent in improving doctor-patient communication. It is an affordable and convenient method where patients can consult doctors and receive care online with the help of tech devices.
Many apps such as Doctor on Demand, iTriage, and others shortened the distance between doctor and patient. It provides quality patient care access to remote areas where the number of healthcare facilities is limited and costly. Moreover, telehealth also eases the lives of patients dealing with immobility issues who cannot visit medical hospitals.
Robotics is becoming an increasingly common practice in healthcare where you can expect robots to perform daily medical and administrative tasks. The range of enhanced capabilities in robots has contributed to improved efficiency and precision in the healthcare industry.
Do you know robots like CyberKnife, Paro, and Xenex? From robotic surgery to therapy to disinfection to pharmaceutics, robots are transforming patient care. Paro is a therapeutic robot that deals with elderly care, especially dementia patients, to comfort and calm their nerves when they become anxious.
Robots are playing a vital part in moving immobile and elderly patients and providing patient care in rural and remote areas. Moreover, telepresence robots are making the lives of nurses and doctors easier by checking patients’ rooms and keeping up with the schedule.
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)
Virtual reality and augmented reality have tremendously impacted the healthcare industry by upgrading the experience of surgeons, doctors, and patients alike. VR and AR are commonplace technologies to train aspiring surgeons and pain management patients.
ImmersiveTouch and Osso VR developed VR-empowered software to train future physicians to have a real-time experience of human anatomy and surgery. Apps like HoloAnatomy provide the best view of human anatomy with much detail and accuracy.
In addition, VR is also used for pain management. Pregnant women wear VR-enabled headsets to relieve labor pain by visualizing beautiful landscapes.
Thanks to advancements in augmented reality, doctors can now directly project real-time ultrasound, X-ray, and MRI results onto the patient’s body. AR is also helping surgeons to perform complex medical procedures like brain mapping and simplify the feedback process to choose well-suited treatment.
Technologies like 3D printing are shaping healthcare for good, where any patient suffering from immobility or critical health issues can receive customized medical devices. 3D printing has made it possible to design prosthetics, artificial organs, and implants faster. It greatly relieves patients who require customized medical devices at less cost.
3D printing proves to be a breakthrough for the treatment of acid survivors and burn victims. For instance, skin grafting with 3D printing achieves quick and desirable results. It is a reliable tool for a closer look at blood vessels, bio tissues, and others. In 2019, US-based researchers could get a 3D print of blood vessels within the skin.
DNA sequencing has made a robust shift in diagnosing and treating critical illnesses like cancer. Advanced healthcare technologies like circulating tumor DNA and deep sequencing hold huge potential to monitor and cure cancer patients. These are non-invasive to keep an eye on the spread of disease after treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Technology has enabled physicians to create tailor-made treatment plans while considering the genetic profiles of patients. For instance, a prostate cancer patient may have a higher risk of developing metastasis as compared to another patient. The genetic profile of the patient allows the doctor to monitor the health condition more closely.
Healthcare technologies in this regard can unveil pregnancy complications and the occurrence of genetic diseases in newborns, which ultimately helps physicians intervene earlier and change the outcomes. In addition, a pregnant woman can avoid invasive sampling procedures like chorionic villus or amniocentesis sampling and go for non-invasive testing samples like blood and urine for DNA sampling.
Technology has significantly improved medical procedures, administrative tasks, capacity-building of medical staff, and doctor-patient rapport building. In the wake of the increased role of technology in the healthcare industry, it is crucial to adopt modern tech trends and prepare for the future. It is the only way to stay relevant and meet the growing demands of healthcare services.