Technology and the greater use of the internet and wireless managed networks will continue to have an enormous impact on many fields in future decades, especially the healthcare industry. With the exponential development of tech related support, there are a number of exciting forecasts about to set the scene for the industry in 2018.
Prediction one: artificial intelligence in healthcare
With the advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), it would be imprudent for this industry not to take advantage of it.
One of the primary reasons AI was invented was to assist humankind and solve problems automatically by human mimicking patterns and the medical and health industry could stand to benefit the most.
With Google investing in and nurturing more and more startups that have an interest in AI for healthcare, we’re going to see a rise of programs, software, robotics, wearable tech and devices to aid beyond the means of limited human resources and greatly increase the quality and accuracy of treatment. The use of AI could provide healthcare professionals and physicians with literally all the data and patient information that they require to make an informed and more accurate decision when it comes to diagnosis, medication dispensing and treatment and care plans. Imagine having a patient’s entire medical history, records, medication records and responses, Xrays, family and genetic data and more all at the touch of a button or on a portable device.
Additionally, this process is set to save significant amounts of money, across the world. ‘AI applications can potentially create $150 billion in annual savings for the US healthcare economy by 2026,’
This means that staffing roles and duties will become lighter, less pressure driven, more manageable and therefore more attention to detail and far fewer mistakes will play out.
Prediction two: more wearable tech
The patient journey and experience is about to be set alight by introducing some of the most progressive existing technology combined with yet to be released tools and software.
AI platforms, devices and wearable tech are going to have a significant impact on health by monitoring, recording and experiencing people’s day to day health and state of wellbeing. It’s predicted that ‘AI platforms could perhaps detect depression, or potentially even underlying chronic conditions such as heart disease,’ leading to earlier and more effective treatment and diagnosis.
Prediction three: the rise of blockchain
As most of the biggest tech players in the world, including Google, IBM, Microsoft and more are dedicating resources to the development and advancement of blockchain, it goes without saying that the healthcare industry is going to be a major benefactor of this decentralised class of data.
Existing health record systems no longer suit needs and pose problems to data sharing and cohesive files and ‘…were never designed to manage multi-institutional, life time medical records.’
Although in the early stages of adoption, the confidence is that data security, information exchange and privacy will be more secure than ever before and provide patients with far more direct access and control over their health data and medical records, which will help save both patients and healthcare facilities money.
Prediction four: the use of chatbots and automated comms
Chatbots and chat apps will play a significant role in communicating with patients and potential healthcare seekers, whilst dramatically reducing human labour. Community health organisations and facilities across Australia, particularly in mental health and support services, are already taking advantage of the valuable help these automated systems will provide.
Prediction five: the transformation of monitoring and records
This year we’ll start to see WLAN play a positive role in helping monitor patients’ equipment such as their IV drip, heart rate monitor plus other monitors and treatment equipment, in real time. Meaning that it will be much easier and faster to respond to emergencies and health crises, ensuring better patient outcomes and faster treatment options, particularly when utilising a reliable WLAN system.
Technology will have the refined capability to detect data that is missing, inaccurate or requires updating better reflecting patient acuity and real time feedback, all leading to much greater patient care and treatment.
It’s already happening in other parts of the world. ‘Deep Patient, a program developed by a research group at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, has very accurately predicted cancer of the liver and even schizophrenia.’
Predictions of 2018
Whatever the technology and rapid advancements that are implemented and utilised in 2018, we can be assured it’s all geared towards the common goals of saving both patient and healthcare system money, improving performance and supplying the ultimate patient care and treatment.