Just like in any other industry, embracing artificial intelligence among other advanced technologies is crucial not only to resolve this current crisis but also the future ones. A better understanding of the healthcare technology landscape facilitates adaptability and further growth of the industry.
Here are the top 10 emerging technological trends in the healthcare industry for 2021 and beyond:
Top Emerging Healthcare Technological Trends in 2021 and Beyond
The outbreak of the Coronavirus disease has significantly increased the use of telehealth services. During the early months of the outbreak, a lot of people used telehealth methods instead of the usual in-person visits for checkups and follow-ups.
One important advantage of telehealth alternatives is that it minimizes physical contact between and among patients and healthcare workers. Wearable devices allow healthcare workers to have real-time access to patient information while they are at home.
What is also noteworthy is the likelihood that telehealth will continue to grow even after the pandemic. The market projected that the industry will worth $185.6 billion by 2026. Since most patients find telehealth solutions more convenient over in-person visits.
Artificial Intelligence Against COVID-19
Artificial intelligence (AI) plays a significant role in fighting the Coronavirus. AI has been extensively used in areas including vaccine development, thermal screening, analyzing CT scans, and facial recognition with a facemask.
Non-contact infrared thermometers and other thermal imaging and fever detection solutions are a great help in identifying individuals with high temperatures. This technology makes it easier to detect symptomatic individuals, facilitating a faster response to contain the spread of the disease.
Identification of individuals who are wearing masks has become possible thanks to facial recognition technology. Facial recognition offers up to 95 percent accuracy, a significant improvement that comes in handy. People no longer have to remove their face masks in public upon entering establishments.
CT Scan Analysis
There are plenty of human errors in the field of CT scan analysis. But with the help of AI, it has become easier for health workers to detect pneumonia caused by the Coronavirus in a patient’s chest CT scan. Not only are AI-aided CT scans able to produce high-quality images, but it also reduces radiation to patients.
In compliance with the social distancing mandate, remote communication between patients and their healthcare providers has become more crucial. With this comes a major challenge for telehealth technologies to safeguard the privacy of patients.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) mandates to uphold data privacy of patients. While cloud computing technology has made it easier to store and retrieve data, it is not the same concerning securing Protected Health Information from third-party access.
Although 100 percent compliance with the HIPAA cannot be fully assured by healthcare providers, government authorities are confident that they will follow the regulations as best as they could. It is only when information exchange is necessary for the patient’s well being can leeways be allowed.
AR/VR in Healthcare
Augmented (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are both promising advanced technologies in the healthcare industry. From improving the quality of telehealth services to medical students’ procedure simulation, these advances only show that almost nothing is impossible with science.
Augmented reality makes it easier to offer quality healthcare services remotely. Doctors can have real-time access to 3D space information, making diagnoses, and even robotic surgery more precise and convenient. These technologies are also helpful in the rehabilitation of stroke victims who have motor deficiencies.
Internet of Things
The combination of the Internet of Things (IoT) development with telehealth and medicine technologies has created what is known as the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT). This promising technological development ushered in the creation of wearables that allows healthcare professionals to measure temperature, blood sugar level, and blood pressure.
The IoT industry is projected to increase to $6.2 trillion by 2025. This estimated growth is primarily since the healthcare industry has increasingly become reliant on IoT technology with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nevertheless, there are still several challenges that this healthcare technological advancement faces. These challenges include the streamlining of large data collections and protection against data breaches. Accordingly, 89 percent of healthcare operations have been the subject of one data breach.
Artificial Intelligence During COVID-19 and Beyond
Advances in healthcare technology are promising. AI, AR/VR, IoMT, and Telehealth technology will surely further improve in the years to come. This only goes to show that human imagination is the only limit towards technological advancements.
In a short amount of time, the Coronavirus pandemic has caused unparalleled changes, especially to the healthcare industry. Despite the advancements in healthcare technology, more innovation is necessary to help deal with this pandemic.