8 Crucial Areas Driving the Future of Digital Healthcare

The future of healthcare has numerous opportunities for advancements and innovations. Medical technology plays a crucial role in addressing some of the major health challenges that we face. 

While we often think of healthcare jobs as labour-intensive and dependent on human efforts, such as the long hours and hard work put in by doctors and nurses, it is the introduction of new healthcare technologies that are making it possible for medical professionals to make advancements in their field, save more lives, and tackle new diseases.

This article will provide an overview of the current state of global healthcare and examine how the healthcare industry has changed in the past ten years. Additionally, we will highlight seven promising new healthcare technologies that are poised to make a significant impact in the near future.

Future of Digital Healthcare

8 Areas that’ll Define the Future of Healthcare 

1. AI & Robots

Artificial intelligence (AI) has numerous potential applications in healthcare that are truly exciting. One of the most crucial areas where AI can make a significant impact is in diagnosis. There have been several instances where AI has been able to detect diseases such as skin cancer and diabetic blindness more accurately than human experts. 

Aside from diagnosis, AI can also be used for various tasks in healthcare, such as performing routine tasks, managing data, designing treatments, monitoring medication, monitoring health, and more. AI can even be integrated into robots, which can then be utilized as medical assistants. These robots can assist in lab samples, surgeries, and even disinfecting hospital rooms.

Although there are still challenges to be faced in the field of AI in healthcare, there is ample room for further development, and the potential results could be life-changing.

2. Smart Wearables

As technology continues to advance, health tracking is becoming more accessible to everyone. From individuals living with chronic conditions like hypertension and diabetes to health-conscious individuals who want to maintain their health, technology has made it easier to monitor one's well-being.

Smart wearables, such as fitness trackers, enable users to monitor their health in real time, and the collected health data can be utilized to offer personalized recommendations based on the user's lifestyle. This increased access to health tracking through technology offers a better understanding of our overall health and the ability to make informed decisions about our well-being.

3. Predictive Analytics

Predictive analytics is poised to play a significant role in shaping the future of healthcare. This technology involves the use of data, machine learning algorithms, and statistical models to make predictions about future health outcomes. By analyzing vast amounts of patient data, healthcare providers can identify patterns, trends, and potential risks, and take proactive measures to prevent diseases before they occur.

Predictive analytics can be used in various areas of healthcare, such as predicting the likelihood of hospital readmissions, identifying patients who are at high risk for chronic diseases, and predicting the effectiveness of treatments. This technology has the potential to improve patient outcomes, reduce healthcare costs, and improve the overall efficiency of the healthcare system.

4. Remote Monitoring

Remote monitoring enables constant tracking of patients and their progress without relying on cumbersome equipment or the physical presence of a physician. This allows medical professionals to attend to multiple patients simultaneously and also enables patients to be discharged sooner as they can still be monitored effectively from a distance. This results in a more convenient and cost-effective experience for all parties involved.

5. Medical Records

The advent of electronic medical records has greatly streamlined the process for physicians to access and share a patient's medical history. This reduces the chance of records being lost and enhances patient care, as doctors have comprehensive information about the patient's health background, past treatments, and prescribed medications. Patients also benefit from electronic records as they can keep track of their own medical data. A personal health record (PHR) app, such as a health locker provides a convenient way for individuals to store and access their medical documents through a mobile application.

6. Tele Medicine

Telemedicine refers to a type of healthcare service where the patient and healthcare provider interact remotely. This can take the form of video consultations with a doctor, therapy sessions over the phone, and receiving medical test results through text messages. The benefits of telemedicine are clear - it has made accessing healthcare easier for people living in remote locations or who have trouble getting to in-person appointments.

7. Nanotechnology

We are on the brink of a new era in medicine, known as nanomedicine. In this field, nanoparticles and nanodevices will serve as precise drug delivery systems, cancer treatments, and even tiny surgeons. Researchers have already made great progress in this area - for example, microbots that resemble scallops have been designed to swim through the body's fluids, and smart pills like the PillCam are being used for non-invasive colon exams. MIT researchers have even created electronic pills that can be controlled wirelessly and release drugs or provide diagnostic information in response to smartphone commands.

Smart patches, made with nanotechnology, are also becoming more advanced. At the CES 2020 conference, a French company called Grapheal showed off a smart patch that can continuously monitor wounds and stimulate healing using its graphene core. As the technology continues to develop, we can expect to see more practical applications of nanotechnology in medicine. For instance, future PillCams may even take biopsy samples for further analysis, and remote-controlled capsules could bring the idea of nano-surgeons to life.

8. 3D Printing

3D printing technology has the potential to revolutionize various aspects of healthcare. It allows for the creation of a wide range of medical products, such as biotissues, artificial limbs, pills, and blood vessels, just to name a few. This technology is continuously advancing and bringing new possibilities to healthcare.

An example of this technology being put to use is the 3D printing of living skin, complete with blood vessels, by researchers at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York. This has the potential to greatly benefit burn victims by providing them with skin grafts. Additionally, non-government organizations such as Refugee Open Ware and Not Impossible are using 3D printing to provide prosthetics for refugees in war-torn regions.

Final Thoughts

In the past, healthcare has mainly been about fixing health problems after they have already developed. But with the growth of technology like artificial intelligence, increased access to information and health tech advancements, the future of healthcare looks bright. The trend is moving towards preventive healthcare, offering personalized and up-to-date health solutions to meet the growing needs of people all over the world.

Author Bio: 

Jigar Patel is the Founder of Health-e, a HealthTech app that simplifies health records management along with providing personalized and preventative healthcare solutions. Although he has 20+ years of operations and management experience in the EPC domain, Jigar’s true passion lies in making healthcare simpler, faster and more accessible for doctors and patients alike. He strongly believes that people need to be empowered to participate in their own healthcare and is constantly thinking of ways to build this into his app. He loves to keep things simple be it in life, product design, his work or the content he develops. Being married for 10 years and having 2 kids have taught him that perspective matters, so you can always count on him to share new perspectives on various topics.

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