Adoption of technology has been a persistent move of the healthcare industry over the years. Soaring interconnection of several technologies will continue to create a few key trends that will impact the modern healthcare industry this year.
Expanse of Telehealth Set to Enlarge
In a bid to cater to the ever-evolving healthcare requirements of exploding worldwide population, ‘telehealth’ is being considered a feasible and reliable alternative to the conventional healthcare delivery system. An ideal means to provide quality healthcare to remotely located patients, telehealth also supports promotion and implementation of clinical education programs. It has been proven to be a reliable healthcare delivery channel with relatively reduced costs.
In 2015, the number of Americans who received some or the other type of remote healthcare was over 15 million, according to the American Telemedicine Association. The number reportedly spiked up by almost 30% the last year, which is more likely to increase in 2017 as well. While a sizeable physician population has already adopted telehealth in forms of phone calls, smartphone apps, and video calls, others are still unaware of what telehealth is. However, several healthcare experts believe that this year would redefine telehealth via a gamut of audio-visual means of communication, coupled by those offered by the Internet, such as email.
Wearable Technology to Become More Ubiquitous
With hundreds of new wearables foraying into market each year, wearable technology seems to become more common this year. The self-monitoring trend is thriving at a rapid pace, fueling the adoption of wearable devices that monitor fitness and health. Although most of the wearables often fail to keep users indulged in using them for a longer time, this year seems to present some lucrative opportunities for wearable medical devices.
From hearing aids to glucose monitoring devices and from pain management systems to sleep technology devices, wearables have been improving patients’ lives in some or the other way. Soaring demand for real-time data tracking and continuous disease monitoring are among the most prominent reasons why medical device wearables are likely to gather pace this year. Several more advanced devices are expected to emerge, including cardiac monitoring devices, cardiac patches, smart pills, smart contact lenses, concussion management apps, therapeutic sleeves, sports bras for breast cancer screening, and many more. Some of the list are in the middle of FDA’s approval process.
Mobile Health to Gain Greater Significance
The number of smartphone users is elevating each year, fueling the use of mobile apps. Mobile health has been an important trend in the industry since the past few years. According to Get Referral MD, consumers and healthcare providers are equally turning to mHealth technology and this year, it would be a major influential trend redefining the conventional healthcare delivery method.
Over 50% of smartphone users tend to seek medical or healthcare-related information on their phones, whereas more than 80% physicians have already adopted the mHealth technology in some or the other form. More precisely, around 25% physicians use mHealth apps in order to deliver quick and efficient healthcare. 2017 is believed to witness rapid growth in the trend of mobile healthcare. Some of the most prominent segments will be remote patient monitoring, medication reminders, and wellness management.
Automation Will Bring in Multiple Benefits
Since the past decade, automation has been surrounding us wherever we go. Although the healthcare realm has been relatively slower in adopting automation, it has gradually started to revolutionize the healthcare sector since the past couple of years.
Currently, IBM Watson is currently crunching millions of sources for data to aid the new drug exploration. With this, it is enabling scientists to unlock new opportunities to cure chronic ailments, such as cancers. IBM Watson is eventually bolstering the immune-oncology sector. The benefits of combined human and machine intelligence is likely to spur the adoption of automation in healthcare this year.