Here’s one simple truth: the healthcare industry has never been so fascinating to watch than in 2019. With so many advancements in healthtech, it’s no wonder that everyone’s eyes are focused on healthcare. And with good reason. At the end of the day, what doctors, hospitals and clinical institutions do is uber important to our lifestyle, life expectancy and quality of life.
Let’s quickly look at some of the coolests technologies impacting healthcare today. According to Digital Authority Partners, big data, artificial intelligence, chatbots, predictive analytics, mobile gamified apps,telemedicine and automated text platforms are all redefining how health services are provided, at scale.
But in this article, we will focus on what we believe are the top three trends every executive in healthcare should pay attention to: artificial intelligence, blockchain and telemedicine services.
Artificial intelligence and healthcare
Artificial intelligence is becoming more and more popular in healthcare today. And people are getting excited because AI can positively impact anything from disease prevention to early disease detection and everything in between.
For example, according to Codrin Arsene, Artificial Intelligence is used in hospitals to automate the monitoring of vital signs in healthcare. Nurses usually spend a crazy amount of times going from room to room at most hospitals in an effort to ensure that patients in ICUs are taken care of on an ongoing basis. That takes a lot of time and effort and, to be frank, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the primary objective of monitoring people effectively is met. With the rise of AI solutions, many of these tasks are automated. And more often than not, this results in saving lives and improving quality of care.
For example, Microsoft has deployed a Cortana-based solution which monitors all vitals signs collected at the Cleveland Clinic. When any of the vital signs are outside of regular parameters, the solution alerts doctors to check on a specific patient. This in turn ensures that patients are attended to significantly faster than in a regular scenario where nurses would regularly check in manually on patients
Blockchain and healthcare
Blockchain is making a real impact in the healthcare space. Blockchain solutions are leveraged in various ways across the healthcare space. Per Tavasya Agarwal, there are at least five different scenarios in which healthcare institutions are currently leveraging blockchain:
- Blockchain-based solutions allow for the secure and private transfer of medical data and patient data between physicians and researchers all over the world.
- Clinicians access blockchain-based databases with secure data which can be used in the process of making new drugs and trying out new treatments.
- Some hospitals are experimenting with micro-payments rewarding patients who adhere to specific treatment plans and deliver payments over blockchain networks.
- Some hospitals are monitoring drugs and other supplies from manufacturers to their clinics. These solutions are built on top of blockchain.
- Blockchain can help with fraud prevention. For example blockchain based solutions can monitor if patients try to submit the same prescription multiple times.
Telehealth is the remote monitoring of patients via mobile apps and video conferencing solutions. It’s becoming one of the most exciting technologies with many different physicians getting behind the solution itself. For example, Simon Stertzer, the father of modern heart surgeries, is incredibly excited about what telemedicine can do in order to improve the quality of life for patients after they have heart surgery. But the bigger point still is that telemedicine is exciting simply because millions of people who would otherwise not go to a doctor can now get a quick medical consult simply with a click of a button. That’s really why telemedicine is one of the most exciting technologies of the 21st century.