Technology has the potential to help revolutionize the future of health care, improving the experience for everyone. With advanced technology, care providers will be able to improve the patient experience in multiple areas.
Below, we go into six key things to know about the current and future state of healthcare technology.
1. Patients Will Increasingly Use Telehealth
The COVID-19 pandemic forced telehealth to become a mainstream concept. Prior to the pandemic, telehealth felt like an obscure way to receive medical care. Its use is now stabilized and, as of the summer of last year, was nearly 40 times higher in usage than before the pandemic.
Telehealth is a cost-effective way to treat patients with non-urgent needs and also to provide follow-up care and chronic care management.
According to a survey conducted by McKinsey, 76% of respondents said they’d be interested in the use of telehealth moving forward.
It’s likely that in the coming years, health care providers and insurance companies are going to come together to make telehealth more broadly available and accessible.
2. Integration in Data Sharing
Data sharing is an important part of modern health care. Patients see multiple providers, and data needs to be readily available to all of these providers and to the patients themselves.
Technology is going to facilitate more transparency in data sharing, which will improve patient care and reduce the risk of things like medication mix-ups due to a lack of shared information between providers.
Data needs to be shared not only across providers but also in organizations in an efficient and timely way.
3. The Growing Use of Wearable Technology
Wearable technology isn’t necessarily new, but the way that it’s going to be used in healthcare going forward is.
You can think about the Apple Watch, which entered the market in 2015 and led to a proliferation of smartwatches and fitness trackers.
Now, the healthcare industry is beginning to look to wearable technology as a way to monitor patients remotely.
Doctors and care providers can gather real-time data such as heart rates, blood pressure, and glucose levels.
Then, doctors will be able to use this data to make more informed decisions and recommendations.
Doctors will be able to step in at the first sign of a problem through the data generated by wearable devices, but there’s going to have to be careful consideration about privacy and security as this technology advances and makes its way into mainstream healthcare.
4. AI Infusion
Artificial intelligence isn’t a new concept in healthcare, but the way it’s going to be used going forward is novel. Over the next decade, most experts think AI is going to be a regular part of the health care industry.
AI has the potential to change how patients interact with their providers. There’s the hope that the use of AI and its infusion into care will reduce the complexity of capturing and analyzing healthcare data. For example, intelligent voice and bot technologies are already being used during virtual consultations. This helps to reduce the time spent entering data by both clinicians and patients.
5. Smart Therapy
Right now, despite the many rapid advancements made in healthcare technology, the data is still siloed or is not put to use. The data often stays in a local environment, so you can’t gain insight from it.
In the next decade, drug delivery devices will be reliant on smart therapies, data, and technology. For example, we might see smart delivery insulin pens, inhalers, and smart pill packaging.
Then, the data can be tracked to help gain behavioral insights with the ultimate hope of improving patient care.
Doctors and clinicians may be able to use smart technology and devices to observe how patients are managing chronic conditions, and they can really unlock the data that’s available.
Finally, clinicians are going to be able to use new technologies or advancements of currently available ones to provide much more personalized care.
The use of blockchain, AI, and machine learning will come together in a way that facilitates the delivery of personalized and specialized patient care.
The back-end technology in healthcare will be able to take the available clinical and administrative data of patients, genomic profiles, and social determinants of health and then combine information much faster than a human care provider ever could.
This can lead to the delivery of more targeted, tailored care, particularly for managing chronic conditions like diabetes.
Clinicians will be able to combine elements of evidence-based and personalized care so that patients have more of a likelihood of seeing success with their first-line treatments, rather than relying so much on trial and error.