The years 2020-2021 have shown us how urgently medicine needs innovation. New problems, i. e. care personalization and the reduction of its cost, have been added to the ones that were in place before COVID-19. The huge number of cases, quarantine measures, and the need for remote health monitoring have accelerated digitalization. About 80% of healthcare providers will increase investment in custom healthcare software development within five years. In this article, we will figure out what technologies you should invest in to provide quality medical care and remain competitive.
Digital transformation in Healthcare statistics
Digital healthcare has become the basis for the development of global medicine. While in 2021 the global Digital Health market was estimated at $ 268 billion, it will more than double by 2025.
The fact that a new era of medical services has come is also evidenced by a significant increase in investment. In 2020, more than $ 21 billion was invested in digital medicine. Healthcare providers have invested in telemedicine, analytics, mobile health apps, management solutions, wearables, and more.
Healthcare technology trends
The authors of The 2022 Hospital Vision Study state that clinical mobility will determine the future of medicine. Doctors, nurses, and other personnel will use mobile devices to provide medical care.
Up to 98% of doctors and 96% of pharmacists will be able to benefit from smartphones and tablets in the coming years allowing them to:
- automate procedures to improve the quality of care;
- improve communication with staff in order to provide service to patients and obtain test results more quickly;
- reduce the number of errors;
- personalize patient care, and more.
A new medical ecosystem is emerging, which includes:
- Doctors, nurses, and other professionals who use technologies in their work;
- IT teams that develop and maintain software;
- Patients who use the possibilities of digital medicine.
According to Deloitte, the following five trends will transform healthcare in the coming years:
- People will independently monitor their health using apps and IoT devices.
- Medicine will become more accessible thanks to IT technologies.
- Innovations in healthcare will increase productivity.
- The industry will learn to work with large amounts of data for disease diagnosis and treatment.
- A new type of medicine, i. e. P4 Medicine will emerge. The approach aims to find and treat abnormalities in people before signs of an illness appear.
The right technology will help you achieve these goals.
What healthcare IT trends will change the industry in 2022-2025?
Health experts are identifying seven trends that will change medicine in the coming years.
Contactless service has become especially relevant during the pandemic. For telemedicine to fully perform its functions, the following components are required:
- IoT sensors collecting information about the state of a person in real-time,
- apps that allow doctors to communicate with clients through messages, video chat, and file transfer,
- API and cloud hosting for integrating EHR, interactive voice response, Google fit, and other third-party systems in a telemedicine app.
Telemedicine is the most promising digital healthcare market. Statista estimates it will grow to $ 460 billion over the next nine years. In the future, electronic visits will be supplemented with diagnostic tools, virtual examinations, and e-prescriptions.
- Artificial Intelligence.
In healthcare, large amounts of data are generated. Artificial intelligence is a technology that helps people to quickly process information and apply it in the following areas:
- chatbots – AI-based virtual assistants understand users’ questions and give accurate answers, make doctor appointments, provide psychotherapeutic assistance, etc.,
- surgery – robots study medical records and guide surgeons while they conduct surgeries,
- diagnostics – AI helps to diagnose diseases, identify pathologies by ultrasound, analyze CT scans, etc.,
- pharmaceuticals industry – algorithms analyze combinations of substances for drug development.
The role of AI and its share in the medical technology market is growing rapidly. According to analysts, the market will reach $ 28 billion by 2025.
- Analytics and Big Data.
It’s not enough to collect the right information, you also need to analyze and apply it. This is a major challenge as the volume of medical data is constantly increasing.
According to Frost & Sullivan, AI in analytics will save the healthcare industry about $ 150 million by 2025. AI structures unstructured data from various sources. Algorithms process information and provide analytics to decision-makers.
AI helps to make predictions based on historical information. For example, if the system “sees” that in the last five years a hospital has been overloaded from October to December, it will warn about its possible overload for the next period.
Data protection is an important issue in digital healthcare. People who transfer their data to medical institutions require it. Clinics and hospitals are interested in data security in order to protect clients’ interests and their image.
Blockchain is a distributed system that securely records and stores data. Information is protected thanks to complex and secure codes. The decentralized nature of the system allows medical personnel to share the same information quickly and securely.
Users control access to their personal information. Electronic medical records are encrypted and can only be accessed with a private key.
- Cloud computing.
The cloud provides healthcare with capabilities such as data storage, databases, software, and networks. It offers healthcare providers the following benefits:
- lower costs for IT infrastructure – clinics don’t need to buy lots of equipment and servers,
- scaling – the cloud is becoming an ideal environment for scaling,
- collection of information from various sources and the ability to store and transfer it to pharmacies, insurance companies, etc.
The medical cloud computing market is projected to grow from $ 28.1 billion in 2020 to $ 64.7 billion by 2025.
- AR/VR in healthcare.
Previously, AR / VR was mainly used by the gaming industry. Gradually, this technology becomes one of the main healthcare IT trends and helps people to:
- Train doctors. VR simulates surgeries and helps doctors to study the location of organs.
- Carry out operations. VR helps surgeons to prepare for complex operations and rehearse their actions without endangering human lives.
- Develop social skills for people with mental retardation. The technology simulates different situations in which people learn to overcome obstacles and communicate with others.
- AR and VR simulate an environment that stimulates people to move and thereby restore motor skills, for example, after a stroke.
- Deal with stress, phobias, and depression.
The VR market was valued at $ 6.1 billion in 2020 and will hit the $ 20.9 billion mark within five years.
- Hyper-Personalized Medicine.
Hyper-Personalized medicine is a set of digital tools for the treatment of specific diseases by using methods developed individually for each person.
The trend towards personalizing treatment is gaining momentum as doctors now have more options. Electronic health records provide instant access to patients’ medical history. Healthcare workers have access to Big Data, on the basis of which they plan treatment. ML and AI algorithms help clinicians to diagnose diseases, “read” the results of examinations and CT scans.
Doctors will customize treatment plans for each patient, from cell and gene therapy to 3D-printed surgical implants and single-person drug production. The new approach will help maintain the health of a client with genetic mutations according to an individual treatment plan.
The global hyper-personalized medicine market is projected to reach $ 3.18 trillion by 2025.
Examples of IT solutions for healthcare modernization
Surgical care imaging software. The system includes the necessary tools, i. e. cameras, primary and secondary displays, digital color printers, arthroscopes, sheaths, and so on. The software helps physicians around the world to perform joint surgery.
The app tracks, processes, and manages images during joint surgical procedures. The system has been approved by reputable medical organizations.
Telemedicine. Platforms like Telecare help users:
- schedule doctor visits and receive appointment reminders by email;
- make video calls to their doctors for consultation;
- receive e-prescriptions;
- choose clinics and doctors by rating;
- make online payments.
IoT Heart Rate Monitor is an app for non-contact heart rate detection. The app is connected with Ferro-electret sensors. They collect information about the movements that occur during the sudden release of blood into large vessels with each heartbeat. This information is collected in the app and displayed in the form of graphs and statistics. In case of an emergency (epilepsy, heart attack), the system automatically notifies doctors.
Thus, healthcare software development companies determine the future of care. Healthcare providers need to build a new ecosystem based on tech-savvy users who trust innovation and IT teams that build and maintain healthcare solutions. Therefore, it’s crucial for companies to find a technology partner who will develop reliable software based on healthcare technology trends.