The digitizing of the healthcare industry has started much earlier than the corona outbreak. Based on the forecast made before the pandemic, the global telemedicine market was expected to reach the value of over 175 billion U.S. dollars by 2026. Now, the COVID-19 is driving significant changes in the healthcare industry and fueling its digitalization. Herewith, implementing digital technologies is a must to reduce stress on the medical staff.

7 Visions of the Digital Future of Healthcare

Currently, digital health has great potential in various ways to help address problems such as distance, access, communication, and so on with lots of new telemedicine apps and solutions appearing on the market. Here we’re going to elaborate on 7 visions of the digital future of healthcare and how the innovative technologies are going to reshape the industry.

Telehealth

Today thanks to telemedicine apps, it’s possible to deliver health services to the people in remote areas as well as share the information between the specialists over long distances. It’s not obligatory anymore to be in the same city or even country to see the doctor and get some advice from a specialist. Telehealth can provide an accurate replacement to patients using PC/laptops, mobile gadgets, various apps and software for video calls, etc. However, the biggest challenge of the implementation is that a lot of tech experts from different disciplines are required to collaborate simultaneously to support the technology, including health, computer and social sciences, Big data and cloud computing, engineering, IoT, and so forth.

Interventional and rehabilitative robotics

Performing operations with the help of robots have become a commonplace nowadays. Such surgeries stand out as they have high accuracy and result in better treatment. What’s more, the hospitalization time is significantly smaller. Currently, robots just assist the surgeons and are well adapted for micro- and minimally invasive surgeries in highly developed countries.

However, technology evolves rapidly that makes the solution to be a trend to look for. Besides, it’s projected that thanks to 5G technology, it can be possible for patients and doctors to be in different locations and still perform the operation successfully. That will help to save lives.

The success of all the manipulations and efforts of the doctors also depends on how good the recovery period is. And here the frequency along with the intensity of therapeutic intervention plays a key role. In this case, robots can be helpful. Robotic systems can provide patients with needed support not only in the hospital but in a long-term perspective – when the patient is already at home.

Genomics

First of all, let’s define what genomics is. It’s an area within genetics and biology that studies the sequencing and concerns analysis of an organism’s genome. Such an approach can give an understanding of how to prevent some mutations or what causes definite diseases like Down syndrome, neurofibromatosis, Klinefelter’s syndrome, and others.

Thanks to modern technologies implemented, the research in the field can become more efficient, accurate, and effective. Big data, machine learning, EHR (Electronic Health Record), and some other solutions can drive science to find the best treatment or just prevent some transmittable diseases.

VR in Surgical Training

Virtual Reality is widely used in healthcare for training. Thus, the technology provides the ability to the students to get valuable experience in practice. Besides that, VR is used for planning and training complicated surgeries and just improving the skills. This approach minimizes the risk for patients and reduces the stress among doctors and/or students. The VR controllers simulate the operation including real medical instruments and a patient. Not only does it help understand the patient-specific anatomy, but it also provides the doctors with the ability to train accuracy and improve movement preciseness.

Internet Of Medical Things (IoMT)

The IoMT includes a litany of smart devices like smart beds, ECG and EKG monitors, wearables, connected inhalers, etc. These devices and apps are used to track, monitor, read, and measure the key health indicators like temperature, blood pressure, glucose level, etc. What’s more, IoMT can track or even prevent diseases. However, only 5G technology can provide a strong and fast connection so that IoMT works correctly.

Chatbots

It’s expected that the global healthcare AI-based chatbots market will reach 1.25 billion U.S. dollars by 2025. AI-powered chatbots will help not only patients but medical organizations. They are available 24/7 and can provide accurate information and respond to the daily routine queries to support patients. At the same time, the technology can help doctors in easy diagnosing, for example, and free up record keepers from answering standard queries and FAQ. Thanks to the speed of responding, the chatbot solution can be used to provide first aid help as well. 

3D Printing

This technology can change healthcare and medicine making it more personalized, accessible, and affordable. Thanks to 3D-printing the organizations can:

  • Generate medical equipment and/or details for it. For example, in Italy, 100 life-saving respirator valves were printed in 24 hours for hospitals to combat coronavirus in March 2020.
  • Replicate human parts for prosthetic repair and/or creation of implants.
  • Prepare 3D models of cancerous tumors that help to research them better, discover new drugs, study how they develop, grow, and spread.
  • Replace finger splints and print casts on broken limbs.
  • Prepare artificial heart valves to conduct the pre-operation planning, medical commission.
  • Prepare 3D-printed drugs to make the therapeutics more affordable and accessible for the patients.

Bottom line

In this article, we have highlighted the technologies reshaping the industry or showing great potential in healthcare. Chatbots, IoMT, 3D printers, VR, telehealth, and other technology solutions make healthcare more accessible, flexible, and affordable. Certainly, it’s only a few digital trends that are to be implemented into hospitals over the globe in the near future. 5G, big data, AI are also promising solutions to be used in the healthcare industry. Not only will these technologies deliver a better experience to patients, but health workers will be also equipped with tech solutions to work more efficiently and train a new generation of doctors.