So, what would be the emerging trends that you can expect in 2018? In the healthcare industry, especially over the last few years, there has been a slew of innovations that have helped redefine global health. It’s hard to determine ‘the emerging’ trends, however, there are aspects of transformation that are forcing industries to sit up and take notice.
Here, we have compiled a few healthcare tech trends that are still making news, and are likely to dominate in 2018, too.
Let us see what they are.
Mobile healthcare will continue to rule
Healthcare and mobile technology had a certain gap in between, but just in a matter of a few years that gap has almost closed. Thanks to mobile technology. Be it clinical updates, new offerings, patient engagement or compliance, mobiles have become sort of de facto technology for healthcare services.
It is clear that mobile and smartphones have become so central to healthcare that they have become an integral part of the global health. Based on analysis on three key innovation areas, Digi Health Informer states that mobile and smartphones have positioned themselves as a central technology.
Blockchain for healthcare
If you think blockchain is only for Bitcoin or other Cryptocurrencies, think again. After receiving significant attention in relation with Bitcoins, Blockchain is becoming a sought-after technology in healthcare. Blockchain is a technology which allows you to store different types of data in a highly secure and rigid way.
Healthcare is rapidly expanding and is going the mobile way. In order to leverage the full potential of the mobile technology, it needs a solid and reliable technology platform to maintain and improve patient data and clinical records – for which, blockchain comes in as a saving grace. Now, hospitals and other health-related businesses can use blockchain as a mobile health records platform, to manage electronic health records, and also to enable patients to take control of their health and data through blockchain.
In 2018, we can expect blockchain to play a major role in innovating, transforming and spearheading the healthcare industry for better outcomes.
While wearables are prone to more divided opinions, the technology is still a hot trend, and in fact is gaining traction among industries. And healthcare industry seems to not just stand and watch. Healthcare innovators are already formulating ways to offer a variety of wearable solutions to patients and other end users.
Image source TNW
The International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that there will be a steady increase in wearable gadgets, about 213 billion units of wearable technologies would be sold by 2020.
Image source Wipsen
There are a whole bunch of wearable devices to be expected, such as gadgets to monitor breathing pattern and sleep quality, to monitor heart rate, to get skin temperature, respiratory rate – all this can be accessed and viewed on one’s mobile or smartphones.
If the analytics of IDC turns out to prescient, the year 2018 could open up interesting trends to be leveraged by the healthcare industry.
Due to the increasing use of online interaction, personal visits to doctors and hospitals have decreased. Unlike earlier where patients and doctors had to meet face to face even for small updates, today, with the advent of telecommunication more and more patient-doctor interaction is taking place through the means of telecommunication. This trend is called telehealth.
Reports predict that in 2018, telehealth is expected to grow even more, particularly with patients who stay far away from the hospitals or who have difficulty in commuting. There are various devices used to transmit patient information, and among these the most widely used would be your smartphone.
As an upshot of this rising trend, health innovators are expected to create novel concepts and apps aimed to provide definite solutions for its rapidly growing customer base.
AI in Healthcare
Artificial Intelligence has matured over the years, from being in report papers to actionable applications in various industries. And certainly it has been creating a big impact on the healthcare sector. As technology matures this trend seems to only grow.
Here’s how AI is acting as a key enabler to various healthcare offerings.
1. It can learn patient treatments, analyze reports, and suggest personalized treatments for particular needs of future patients
2. Can offer new insights into massive amount of health data
3. Helps to process and find patterns in large amount of data
4. Can cross-reference patients’ genetic data with extracted insights from millions of studies
5. Researchers can train AI to recognize, indicate and discover new predictions in the fastest time
Though there are some ethical and logical challenges that needs to addressed, trend experts believe that AI will only grow, and 2018 will witness more AI-powered solutions, which could be powerful, life-saving, and can help deliver sensible and improved outcomes.
Focus on security
Cybersecurity will be one of the top trends in 2018. Not sure if it could be called as a trend, but we’ll go with it anyways, as security is one of the top priorities among businesses and industries. Given to the current ransomware issue, and other lurking online threats, healthcare is bracing up to be on a constant vigil to protect themselves.
Healthcare has thousands of gigabytes of patient data which they cannot afford to lose. As more and more sensitive and confidential information are getting stored online, the more vulnerable it is without a robust security system.
According to the whitepaper from Protenus, a study conducted by IBM and Ponemon stated that around 90% of hospitals in US have reported breach in the last two years, and it costed an average of $4 million per data breach. The breaches in the US healthcare alone touched over $6.2 billion every year. And it is not hard to image the kind of losses in the worldwide scale. Considering this scenario, the health industries are focusing more on security as much as they are focusing innovation.
In 2018, we can expect increased methods of security products in securing valuable health data.
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