Over the course of 2020, the medical industry went through changes that ultimately affected how both healthcare professionals and patients now view medicine. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, practices, diagnosis, and treatments have shifted greatly with the help of creative technologies. Innovative solutions have been applied and leveraged throughout the entire medical field in order for clinics and hospitals to have a fair chance during the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic even prompted the development of software specifically designed as a COVID-19 Risk Management System using beacon technology and mobile applications to help keep businesses safe and minimize the risk of exposure.
Some digital solutions have been around for quite some time, but healthcare professionals made the most of these tools in 2020. From telemedicine and virtual reality to cutting-edge research and data collection, the pandemic has opened new doorways on how we should approach the future of healthcare.
How 2020 changed the healthcare industry – for good
In the heat of the pandemic, medical professionals dedicated their time, effort, and energy exclusively to helping patients and prioritizing triage care, as well as doing anything and everything possible in the hopes of slowing down the spread of this new virus. On top of that, two vaccines have been perfected and launched in less than a year, which is regarded as a breakthrough in medicine. These crucial steps wouldn’t have been possible without the help of state-of-the-art technologies and services.
There is no doubt that this decade is shaping up to be one of the most transformative periods in healthcare, and the pandemic played a huge role in the disruption of the industry in just a very brief time. Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), apps and wearables, just to name a few, will continue to play a huge role in leading technological advancements and shaping the future of medicine. Additionally, innovative tech will also help us be better prepared to handle future health crises.
6 Major healthcare tech trends to watch in 2021
To have a better grasp on digital healthcare transformation trends in 2021, and to see which solutions and services will continue to shape the industry, SMEDIX has put together a list of technological trends you should pay attention to this year.
Telehealth has been around for quite some time, but its usage skyrocketed during the pandemic. Telemedicine is essentially used to access healthcare services and connect patients with doctors. In 2021, the usage of telemedicine will continue to increase, along with remote consultations. There are already countless reports predicting the growth of telehealth in the coming years, so it’s definitely something you should integrate into your clinic or hospital, if you haven’t already done so.
2. Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality
Both VR and AR enhanced the quality of telehealth in 2020, and will continue to do so in 2021 and beyond. These technologies have great potential and are currently being used to treat and mend a wide array of diseases and conditions, including anxiety, PTSD, chronic pain, motor deficiencies, and more. Plus, AR and VR improve doctor-patient relationships, eliminate the need for certain medications, and provide real-time access to information. Both can also be great tools for compliance training of healthcare professionals.
The global digital health VR market is expected to grow to $2.4 billion by 2026, according to a report by ResearchAndMarkets.
3. Artificial Intelligence
AI has already been playing a huge role in healthcare, and the pandemic only reinforced its use. Medical professionals and engineers took its capabilities to the next level: during the pandemic, researchers used machine learning to develop predictive algorithms for COVID-19 cases, as well as estimates for patients who are more likely to develop severe symptoms. The future of AI is, in essence, precision medicine, radiology, genomics, drug discovery, as well as medical imaging. The AI healthcare market is expected to exceed $34 billion by 2025, according to a report by Tractica.
4. The Internet of Medical Things
IoMT—IoT with a twist—is a connected infrastructure of medical devices, wearables, apps, and various other systems and services. The rise of IoMT is backed by the increasing need to collect, analyze and transmit health data, according to a report by Deloitte. These processes play a critical role in tracking and preventing illnesses, patient monitoring, as well as overall streamlining clinical processes by having reliable data at hand. Think of IoMT as another layer of powerful tech to be added to your healthcare systems engineering solution.
5. Big Data & Cloud Solutions
The pandemic reinforced just how important data really is. Having access to large sets of complex healthcare data in 2021 and beyond is crucial. These sets of data can uncover deep insights and help solve issues and problems that conventional software is unable to. Data-gathering has increased exponentially during the COVID-19 pandemic, and what better place to store and analyze these findings than in a secure cloud with interoperability features? Remote analytics solutions based on cloud computing technology have seen a major boom during the pandemic.
6. Blockchain & Cybersecurity
A secure online environment is a top priority for any medical business looking to keep their data and payments safe. Hackers are not taking any days off, not even when the world seems to be shutting down. In fact, these are the best times for them to launch phishing attacks, ransomware attacks, and more. In 2021, it’s crucial to invest in cybersecurity software for your healthcare business, and tap into blockchain for secure payments and improved data security. Blockchain is a critical feature that allows healthcare professionals to access a common ledger for patient record distribution, making it flexible, secure, and taking interoperability to another level.
Looking for medical software solutions for your healthcare business in 2021?
If you’re in the middle of researching potential companies to elevate your medical business, feel free to contact us. We can set up a call and walk you through the essential steps, and answer any questions you might have about what we do. Here at SMEDIX, we work with cutting-edge development tools and provide medical software solutions that can improve relationships with patients, physicians, as well as staff members.