Twenty first century has witnessed technological advancements in the healthcare industry. Most of the challenges faced by the medical field during previous centuries is currently being addressed with the advent of technology. Technology can help healthcare organizations meet growing demand and efficiently operate to deliver better patient care. With increasingly sophisticated communication technologies accessible to the layperson, direct patient management through remote tracking, consulting, instructing and caregiving has become much simpler and reliable in this decade.
By Health technologies we mean all the devices, medicines, vaccines, procedures and systems that streamline healthcare operations to provide better healthcare facilities accurately, and economically to every patient having said that, the healthcare system is a complex one, and small and seemingly insignificant changes in technology can bring forth a huge impact on how patients are treated.
2020 also saw the much dreaded COVID-19 Pandemic.Being pioneers in Healthcare Software Solutions, we are sharing our insights on the latest health trends that made their mark in 2020 with the influence of COVID-19 Pandemic and other technological advancements.
Telemedicine Services Especially in USA is getting new impetus during COVID 19, and the concept of meeting and consulting your physician through the computer or mobile device is getting popular all over the world. As COVID 19 cases have been rising, it is becoming next to impossible for patients with symptoms of the virus to get in touch with their physicians or get admitted to a hospital.
According to a McKinsey & Company study, several people who canceled their medical appointments with their physicians admitted that they prefer to do their visits online. The American Medical Association has reported that there has been a huge surge in the use of telemedicine with the spread of COVID 19. Prior to the pandemic, only 28% of the physicians used telehealth, but now the numbers are surging ahead. In March 2020, SSCG Media Group conducted a study that revealed that 53% of the healthcare practisers prefer to use telemedicine due to the restrictions imposed by COVID 19, while prior to the pandemic, they were not using it.
2. Natural Language Processing
NLP or Natural Language Processing can tap the potential of unstructured data and use it to improve excellent outcomes and better healthcare delivery. NLP is thought to be a specialized branch of AI, and is mostly used to make interpretations of human-generated data, spoken or written. This technology makes itself useful in a number of healthcare aspects. A recent report from MarketsandMarkets indicates that the NLP market is growing at a CAGR of 16.1 percent and is expected to become a $16 billion market by 2021.
One good example of this would be clinical notes. Everybody knows how high the stack of clinical notes can get. NLP powered systems can structure the data and check for the right information among the huge plethora of data that keeps flowing in.
NLP is perfect for predictive analytics and this can improve the health of people on a mass level. It can address health concerns before they get out of control. For example, if there is a rise in suicide cases in a particular area in the country, doing predictive analysis of social media would analyze the pattern of people’s behavior and thinking, what prompts people to take the drastic step (broken heart emojis, sad posts, dejected posts, angry tweets, etc.).
There are, however, some pros and cons to using NLP in healthcare, but health systems can still benefit from the limited capabilities. There are certain areas that NLP need not confuse and deliver wrong interpretations, but once those are perfected, tremendous changes are going to take place
The emergence of personalized and evidence-based medicine and the demand for cost-efficiency in the healthcare department has led to another popular trend known as predictive analysis. This is an amazing technology that would help reduce hospital admissions, avoid the need for patients to undergo unnecessary tests and emergency room visits. Usually, diagnostic tests clear out the purses of patients when they visit emergency rooms. Through predictive analytics, it is possible to predict the outcome of such visits, and avoid unnecessary tests for the patients.
Current data or data collected from the patients will be analyzed to predict the future. The future of each individual will be predicted and an individual treatment plan will be charted for him/her. The massive amount of patient data that keeps flowing is mind-blowing, and with the help of predictive analysis, a lot of time and money can be saved as well. You can bet that the year 2020 will be taking up predictive analysis seriously.
4. Data science
The data science sector is growing with new capabilities and digital transformations are happening all over the world. Companies have begun to leverage data to make better decisions. Now companies no longer need to make decisions based on hunches and guesses, they don’t even have to go out to do surveys, they can collect all the data online and use accurate real-time data to make their decisions. This is going to be of revolutionary importance when it comes to clinical data regarding patients.
With data in the right hands, medical professionals can prevent potential diseases from manifesting themselves in patients. The doctor can suggest treatments based on the patient’s symptoms at a more accurate level than ever before. The trends in data science make predictive diagnosis possible, and with meaningful insights from data, the patient doesn’t even have to actually visit a hospital. In 2020, this trend is taking more shape and form, with data science making its presence known in the field of genomics, medical imaging, better medicines for patients, and of course, meaningful predictions.
5. G technology and how it helps in healthcare
5G is easily becoming the turning point for health IT infrastructure. Usually, hospitals are congested, high-traffic environments and it would be no wonder if you find yourself struggling to open a simple email in one. Imagine what a drastic situation it would be when the healthcare systems need a faster bandwidth to monitor the health of patients on a timely basis. With most hospitals offering only a 4G network for their WiFi, it would be a tough call to monitor them accurately.
Deploying to WiFi 6 networks could be an option to consider but most hospitals prefer 5G networks because it needs less equipment and far less infrastructure. 5G networks offer lower latency than 4G and much higher speeds than all other previous cellular networks, and are thus going to be a gamechanger in remote care and telemedicine.
Several companies like AT&T, Huawei and Ericsson have already capitalized on this emerging trend and have developed networks that operate swiftly to manage and analyze patient records, enable applications that aid in medical training and administration purposes and so on. While 4G networks use frequencies below 6 gigahertz, 5G networks can use very high frequencies in the range of 30 to 300 gigahertz. What 5G networks are set to accomplish in 2020 is going to set milestones in the realm of efficient patient care.
Smart innovations, technological advancements, and unexpected situations like COVID-19 Pandemic was the basis for the digital transformation in the healthcare industry. These offer incredible opportunities to provide better healthcare to billions of people and help our healthcare systems cope with the ever-increasing demands.