When the COVID-19 reached full speed last March, healthcare providers had to change their way of working overnight. What was never supposed before became the right solution to reduce the risk of coronavirus. No entries without wearing masks, serious precautions while checking patients, online medical appointments and alot.
In the gap of 1 year, healthcare industries have witnessed a veritable transition in terms of, how care is delivered. The catalyst for such a drastic transformation is, of-course, the dreadful COVID-19. All over the world, physicians have embraced technologies and digital tools to minimize the health hazards associated with face-to-face interactions.
Without healthcare IT experts, it might difficult for the medical field to experience huge advancements because of their regiourous support in developing many mobile and web healthcare apps and digital solutions during global lockdowns integrated with technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, 3D printing, IoT (Internet of Things), Nanotechnology, AR/VR technology, so that healthcare companies can provide better patient care and maintain continuity in their everyday operations.
According to MarketsandMarkets, the worldwide vaccines market is expected to grow from USD 41.7 billion in 2019 to USD 58.4 billion in 2024, at a CAGR of 7% over the forthcoming years. Due to the high predominance of contagious diseases, many organizations have started taking initiatives to improve the vaccine process, support growing governments for vaccine development, and focus on immunization.
Mega trends such as like anywhere, anytime care, healthcare consumerism, and disruptive technologies like the Internet of Things as well as AI (Artificial Intelligence) have congregated to rejuvenate the healthcare environment, said Siddhart Shah, healthcare programme manager at Frost & Sullivan. Source: Pharmabiz
With the application and advancement of the emerging use cases such as hospital-at-home, digital transformation has hit an all-time high. The growing smartphones, tech-based tools, and the internet will take more weightage to accelerate healthcare delivery. Also, it is projected that global healthcare revenues will impress in the future as global healthcare industries experienced about $2 trillion growth in 2020, and this number will skyrocketed to $2.6 trillion by 2025.
The future of healthcare is running so bright. It’s time to discover the healthcare technology trends evolving in 2021 with focus on more and more technology, to give us quality care and everyday support for coping with severe illnesses.
Major Healthcare Technology Trends To CheckOut In 2021
1. The Internet of Medical Things for Smart Healthcare
One of the emerging trends in healthcare is the Internet of Things that is basically defined as the use of cloud and network technologies to connect medical devices and equipment with healthcare information technology systems.
With the Internet of Medical Things, from smart watches to implantable medical devices and equipment, it becomes possible to get remote access for transferring the most sensitive patient’s health-related data for further analysis.
The IOMT has played a vital role in helping healthcare practitioners while tracing, treating, and monitoring COViD-19 patients through interconnected devices and networks. It gives promises to the world to address the contract tracking challenges and fix the COVID-19 detection issues.
Regions such as South America [ Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Peru], North America [Canada, United States, Mexico], Middle East & Africa [South Africa, North Africa, GCC], Europe [UK, Germany, Russia, Italy, France, Netherlands, Turkey, Spain, Switzerland], Asia-Pacific [ India, China, Southeast Asia, Korea, Western Asia, Japan] may use the IOMT for making home-use medical devices, smart wearable devices, and point-of-care kits and get quick services from the applications such as remote medical assistance, real-time monitoring, data assortment and analysis, tracking and alerts, end-to-end connectivity.
The major key players that may consider the IOMT as one of the best healthcare tech trends in 2021 are Apple, IBM Corp., Wimm Labs, Sano Intelligence, GE Healthcare, LifeFuels Inc., Meru Health, Medtronic MiniMed, Nike, Sony, Amiigo, iRhythm, Hexoskin, Sano Intelligence.
The Internet of Medical Things (IOMT) has the potential to save lives, improve healthcare, and help companies experience massive savings. If the device using IOMT doesn’t meet the security standards, this technology can also become the biggest threat for organizations even if they wish to make healthcare smarter. In this case, one has to think of software testing to ensure that everything will be on the right track.
2. Blockchain in Healthcare
When it comes to discussing emerging trends in Healthcare 2021, it becomes essential to reveal the power of blockchain to the market. Its purpose is to connect professionals, empower patients, and improve care.
Blockchain is the ledger technology that one can use in healthcare. It has several applications that support while managing the medicine supply chain, transferring the patient’s medical records from one place to another while providing complete security, and allowing healthcare researchers to unlock the genetic code.
Blockchain is an ideal solution for tracing and securing medical/pharmaceutical supplies and also ensures to provide full transparency. It can even help companies monitor the carbon emissions involved in the manufacturing process of supplies and allow them to track the labor costs.
Apart from that, the reason to consider blockchain as one of the top healthcare industry trends in 2021 can be its capabilities, which it shows while preparing the reports of diseases in real-time. It helps discover the disease patterns and lets us check their origin with transmission parameters.
Blockchain can provide an online marketplace to scientists to purchase genomic information for research purposes. One of the marked fields in healthcare is health insurance claims that can get a huge advantage from blockchain’s transparency, immutability, and auditability of data stored on it.
Blockchain’s immutability is suitable for healthcare data as it ensures regulatory compliance and helps secure the results of clinical trials and health records. Smart contract employment defines how the technology can be utilized to support medical interventions and real-time patient monitoring.
Such systems assure that both patients and medical professionals will be able to store their records and access the information safely. Though the technology allows fulfilling the needs of HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) Compliance, one can get maximum protection while checking patients' sensitive information.
Thus, whether it is the matter of data management, clinical trials, or drug traceability, one can get as many benefits while using blockchain in healthcare.
3. Telemedicine Acceptance Among Healthcare Professionals
Telemedicine is the fastest exchange of health-care information and it allows to give health care delivery across distances. The prefix ‘tele’ obtains from the Greek for ‘at a distance’; thus, telemedicine refers to medicine at a distance.
There are mainly two situations where you can consider telemedicine in new healthcare trends in 2021:
- When there is no option (for example, in an emergency in remote locations).
- When it is superior to traditional services (for instance, using teleradiology for rural hospitals).
Much of the telemedicine implemented in industrialized nations, such as the United States, yet due to its capacity to provide quality care to patients, improving equity of access to health care, and the efficiency offerings during delivery of its service, developing countries can also show their interests in 2021 and may use telemedicine in Oncology.
Telemedicine has been popular for many years, but now the COVID-19 forces us to give importance to this technology more during communication with oncology patients when there is no requirement of in-person examinations and face-to-face visits.
There are numerous benefits of telemedicine for both doctors and their patients. So, one can anticipate this technology to come out as a boon and may try to work on it..
Telemedicine Benefits For Patients
- Money-saving and time-saving as there is no need to travel to book the appointment with doctors.
- It is especially beneficial for rural patients, and they can contact their doctors.
- One can have access to one or more specialists, and the best part is you can discuss your illness from your comfort of home.
- Less waiting time.
- Fully-convenient, and you will get on-demand care.
Telemedicine Benefits For Doctors
- Better work-life balance and improved patient outcomes.
- Easy to manage the maximum number of appointments with patients in one day.
- Better treatment adherence and flexibility.
- Reduce gaps in care.
- Increase competitive edge and revenue.
- More engagement with patients leads to more satisfaction.
4. Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare
The prime objective of artificial intelligence is to replicate or mimic the cognitive functions of humans. It has the potential to bring such a paradigm shift to healthcare, thanks to the rapid advancement of analytics techniques and the growing availability of healthcare data.
Recently, AI techniques have scared many more professionals that their jobs are at risk, and it has sent waves to human physicians that AI doctors will replace them in the future.
Our belief says that nothing will happen with human physicians or with other employees because when it comes to testing AI-based software, humans will become the right option. After all, they have specialized experience and knowledge about how to give accuracy, security, good speed to such systems, and how to take the healthcare business to the next level.
It is still not easy to say whether machines or AI tools will replace our skillful humans. Nonetheless, we can expect that this technology will give dedicated support to physicians while making clinical decisions and help them reduce their workload by using automated techniques.
Furthermore, the rise of data and the extreme complexity in healthcare means that AI will be a priority for many life sciences companies and providers of care. The essential type of its applications involves patient engagement and adherence, diagnosis and treatment recommendations, and administrative activities.
Countless applications have been developed using AI in healthcare. It can be used to power surgical robots, to discover links between genetic codes, and to reduce hospital efficiency. For example, some most promising AI applications in healthcare are predictive analytics for hospital resource optimization, AI-assisted image analysis for radiology, clinical workflow optimization, clinical decision support system, risk prediction system, cancer diagnosis app, and many more.
Related Read: RPA in Healthcare
5. Cloud Computing in Healthcare
Most healthcare institutions and practitioners are still dependent on traditional paper-based medical activities. Due to their poor practices, they even less communicate and collaborate with patients. To help healthcare get ready as per modernization, cloud computing is the masterpiece for transforming healthcare.
From software, infrastructure to management, the cloud helps you during cost reduction as it demands charges as per the feature you use in the service.
Various cloud-based software testing tools are available on the internet, from LoadStrom, Nessus, Xamarin, App thwack to Blazemeter that software companies use to make your application highly scalable and make it capable of performing under different load situations.
Due to its ability to provide you with the right information at the right time and other advantages like efficiency and better management support, healthcare organizations can quickly solve numerous collaborative issues in the system and improve quality in their operations. Therefore, you can expect cloud computing as one of the fascinating healthcare technology trends for 2021.
Related Reads: Role of Software Testing in Healthcare