The 4 Technologies that will Shape the Future of Healthcare
Healthcare is changing. This phenomenon is not new, but it is picking up in speed. Advances in technology across industries have come at a breakneck pace and show no signs of slowing. For companies to remain relevant and competitive, they must make use of the most cutting-edge technologies available.
In considering the many innovations that will undoubtedly shape healthcare in the coming decades, we see several trends emerge. Four key areas of technological advancement are positioned to make the most impact on providers, patients, and the healthcare system as we know it.
Technology is giving healthcare providers new ways to see their patients. Innovations like the CT scan and MRI have become staples of the medical profession, and new vision technologies present opportunities for continued improvement. From machine vision to monitor blood loss, to surgical vision aids, to VR for therapy and remote treatment, the way we see healthcare is changing.
But crafting these new technologies require unique expertise in sensing and vision systems. Medical equipment producers are increasingly partnering with electronics manufacturing experts to properly leverage the advantages of vision and sensing technologies. Some electronics manufacturers even specialize in developing such devices for medical applications.
The true potential of advances in vision technology lies in its power when combined with coincident advances in machine learning and communications. When technology gathers, interprets, and shares information instantaneously the healthcare system becomes more responsive. Vision technologies represent a necessary prerequisite to further medical advances. As technology offers providers visibility in new areas, the healthcare industry is poised for a transformation.
Vision technologies, advanced sensors, and artificial intelligence have enabled highly accurate, reliable automated diagnostics technology. Diagnostics are becoming less invasive and more effective. With vision and sensing technology enabling data to be harvested more easily and accurately, predictive AI modeling becomes increasingly powerful. As these innovations reach new markets, healthcare providers face less barriers to delivering high quality medical care.
Beyond merely diagnosing existing conditions, these technologies are being used for preventative applications. Predictive AI monitoring is able to identify risks before they are even presented. AI technology is being used to predict seniors falling, identify early signs of sepsis, and prevent medical mishaps before they even occur. Investment in preventative care is on the rise as populations age. With this comes an opportunity to deliver devices that help doctors identify and mitigate health risks before they become conditions to be treated.
Implementing cutting-edge diagnostic technology has the potential to improve patient outcomes while reducing costs and uncertainty. But the 21st century healthcare ecosystem will have patient experience at its core. It is clear that consumers have rising expectations of their healthcare providers, and these consumers are also patients. To meet the demand for cutting edge technology, vision and diagnostic tools will need to be available in a patient-oriented package.
Wearable technology has already been readily adopted by consumer markets. The smart watch has healthcare professionals seeking innovative wearable medical device solutions. If a watch can monitor fitness, surf the web, or even make phone calls, why can’t it serve as a medical device?
Wearable medical devices will be held to a higher standard than consumer gadgets. When healthcare outcomes are at stake, patients need unwavering reliability and processing power, in a package compact enough to be a comfortable accessory. Wearable medical technologies are already available ranging from precision injection administration devices to vision aids for the blind. The technology exists, and early adopters will be rewarded with market share.
Embedded technology is more versatile than ever before. Cutting-edge sensors, connectivity, and reliability can be integrated into a package the size of a dime. The applications of such technologies are limited only by the imagination. The next generation of medical innovations will be seamlessly integrated into our lives as wearables. To do so they must rely on embedded solutions capable of powering their full functionality.
Secure Real Time Information Sharing
Real time information sharing is hardly a new concept. Up-to-the-second data has already become a baseline expectation in many industries. But security threats have impeded the adoption of connected technology in medical settings. Recent advances in cybersecurity have facilitated the rise of the connected healthcare ecosystem.
AI isn’t just for diagnostics or operations optimization. AI behavior analysis can detect unusual or threatening patterns in network activity. Smart security has come a long way since reCAPTCHA tests, and now presents an opportunity to revolutionize cyber security. With computer systems themselves now acting as vanguards against malware, ransomware, and data theft, healthcare providers are seeking to enter the connected era. The threats will remain as AI is incorporated into cyber attack strategies, but cybersecurity technology now offers the vital security necessary to maintain patient privacy.
Formerly separate institutions of the healthcare industry are becoming more intertwined. Instant communication has promoted a closer relationship between prescribers and pharmacists. Remote monitoring connects providers to medical device OEMs. These advances in connectivity are improving the patient experience and streamlining healthcare processes. When 21st century technology is effectively leveraged for medical innovation, patients and providers win.
What Does This All Mean?
The healthcare system as we know it is in the process of a fundamental transformation. Vision and diagnostic technologies are making preventative care easier and more accessible. Wearable technologies are changing the way patients view healthcare. With connectivity streamlining healthcare process, the opportunities for industry participants abound. The connected healthcare ecosystem will be characterized by the seamless integration of all these technologies. As new innovations reach the market, the future of healthcare is already beginning to take shape.