The healthcare industry is changing and constantly advancing with the help of a few global technologies. From the creation of patient-specific replicas of bones, organs, and blood vessels. to help improve patient experience and engagement, there is no doubt that technology is only helping improve the healthcare industry for patients and customers.
While there is still a lot of room to grow and so many new technologies to explore, some trends are already widespread across the globe. To help you understand, we have explored this topic in-depth in this blog. Here are a few global trends that will substantially affect the mobile health app industry in 2020.
1. IoT (Internet of things)
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The Internet of Things is and will be one of the top reformative healthcare technologies as we advance. Wearable smart devices can help patients keep track of their blood pressure, heart rate, get reminders for medicines, exercise, appointments, and much more.
Physicians can also keep track of their patient’s health and get updates in any immediate medical attention. Depending on the patients’ health records and status, the doctors can also make changes to the medical prescription and maintain a more transparent relationship.
Apart from monitoring patients’ health, hospitals can also use IoT to keep track of equipment and facilities. By putting sensors on wheelchairs, oxygen pumps, defibrillators, and other devices, it becomes easy to keep a record of the items and find them quickly in case of emergencies.
2. AI (Artificial intelligence)
Artificial intelligence has the potential to change patient experience with advanced healthcare IT. Using AI, doctors and nurses can use data and medical records to provide better support and services. Machine learning in healthcare can help doctors access risks, make a precise diagnosis, and offer effective treatments. There has been a lot of data collected over the years, and big data is one thing that can help use the information to diagnose problems or reveal information that was previously not possible.
Radiologists can also use artificial intelligence to identify subtle changes in scans and reports, making it possible for them to detect serious health issues at the early stages. With early detection and diagnosis, doctors can have better plans for the treatment and recovery stages of the patients.
Moreover, with advanced healthcare IT and resources, people today are living longer than in previous generations. However, most people have dementia, heart failure, and osteoporosis for years before their imminent death. This results in a poor quality of life and dependency on other people for their survival. With artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing, and computer vision, we hope to provide better end-of-life care to patients. Doctors and research scientists feel that with AI in healthcare, we can help people live independently for a longer period and help them evade loneliness.
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With blockchain, the patient is at the center of the ecosystem. The entire system revolves around the patient. Blockchain technology in healthcare also helps in making the information and data points more secure and efficient. Researchers can also use it to keep track of various clinical trials in real-time with ease.
Blockchain can also help combat counterfeit medical products. Many people die each year due to counterfeit drugs, and blockchain can help solve this issue. With software that tracks the inventory of drugs from the factory to the consumer, it will be easier to keep an eye on the ongoings in the industry. If medicines are being changed or modified in any way, then Supply Chain Visibility can note it and alert the authorities. An application can also be released for the consumers to view the entire lifecycle and journey of their medicines.
There are many more benefits of blockchain in the healthcare industry, and they can help us revolutionize the industry.
Telemedicine enables the remote delivery of healthcare services and guidance to patients. Many organizations have been seeking various ways of providing healthcare at a lesser cost to patients. It is also a time-saving method of providing treatment with basic healthcare IT for minor and non-urgent medical conditions.
Telemonitoring allows doctors to monitor patients with major chronic illnesses or disorders. Mobile medical devices and smart wearables can collect various data about blood pressure, calorie count, heart rate, blood sugar levels, and other such vital data. Remote caregivers or doctors can then use this data to provide care or make alterations in their care.
There is another type of telemedicine called store-and-forward. This allows physicians to save data on their devices and then forward it to some other medical health professional for a review.
Lastly, interactive telemedicine lets patients and doctors communicate with each other in real-time. These sessions can be conducted via phone calls or video calls easily. Moreover, video conferencing is being used increasingly by doctors worldwide to share information, give lectures to third-world countries, guide other doctors, and much more. This ensures that new knowledge is being circulated with efficiency and ease, thereby resulting in ease of communication and knowledge transfer worldwide.
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5. 3D Printing
All of us purchase off-the-rack clothing. Have you noticed these clothes don’t fit us exactly as we hope for them to fit? The reason for this is simple: most clothing is mass-produced and obviously will not fit the same way on every body type. That is the reason why tailor-made clothes look and fit better on most people rather than off the rack.
There is another industry where a similar “one size doesn’t fit all” logic is applicable. Several products for patients in the healthcare industry, i.e., prosthetics, are mass-produced. While the fit of a prosthetic may fit correctly initially, it becomes uncomfortable in the long run. This is where 3D printing comes into play and is an important healthcare technology trend for 2020.
With 3D printing, it is easier to design and create special prosthetics for patients with unusual ailments. These offer a better support system and freedom for a range of body motions for the patient.
However, 3D printing in healthcare is not limited to just the prosthetic limbs and support section. Normally, 3D printing uses plastic or metal to create objects. But in recent years, doctors and researchers have been using stem cells as the production material to create organs or “organoids.” These organoids are helpful and can help in organ failures such as kidneys or liver. A new 3D bioprinter has also been developed by Spanish scientists that can produce human skin. This can be very useful for burn victims to help them create new skin.
In addition, doctors can also create a replica of tumors or other abnormal cells of a particular patient to help them with the treatment. With this replica, they can practice. This helps them find a minimally evasive technique to conduct the surgery or treatment. Doctors can also create various tools with 3D printers for particular surgeries if needed.
The Final Say:
These were the major global trends that we think will affect the mobile health app industry next year and even after that. Please remember that this is not a comprehensive list, and there are many more technologies that will come into play soon. These global trends and technologies will help us advance our healthcare industry with ease and provide a much better patient experience. With such advanced healthcare IT, the quality of life and sustainability will also improve, leading to better and more developed nations.
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Pradeep Makhija is a Digital Marketing Executive at Space-O Technologies, a mobile app development company. He likes to share his knowledge and experience with people around by writing articles related to mobile apps and the healthcare industry. In his spare time, Pradeep likes to explore and read more about the trends and needs of a mobile app in different sectors.