Advancements in healthcare technology continue to drive incredible innovation throughout the sector, and certain emerging technologies outside of healthcare are poised to generate even more breakthroughs in digital health. Here are the five technological trends most likely to impact future healthcare.
1. Predictive Analytics and Big Data
Healthcare’s reliance on electronic health records (EHRs) and electronic medical records (EMRs) has grown steadily over the last 15 years, with massive amounts of patient data being generated as adoption increases. This enormous data set provides the opportunity for healthcare providers to use predictive analytics to extrapolate from this data in order to improve treatment plans, better manage staffing levels and more.
2. The Internet of Things
IoT is widely adopted across the healthcare sector already; 60 percent of organizations utilized IoT in 2017, and it’s projected that 87 percent will do so by 2019. The future impact of IoT comes through the expansion in its use. IoT has already increased efficiency and patient safety, and new technology such as smart devices designed to collect data from inside the body offer the potential for even more personalized care.
3. Artificial Intelligence
Like IoT, AI is already highly utilized in the healthcare sector, with over 85 percent of healthcare technology vendors, life sciences companies and healthcare organizations relying on it in some way. Some projections estimate that AI will be able to save the healthcare economy as much as $150 billion annually. These savings will come through the widely-varied uses for healthcare AI such as robot-assisted surgery, dosage error reduction, automated image diagnosis and much more.
4. In-House 3D Printing
While 3D printing has existed since 1984, there have been significant barriers to its widespread adoption, including high software costs, a shortage of trained professionals and strict regulations. However, healthcare’s 3D printing market is experiencing fast growth lately, with an expected CAGR of 21.2 percent between 2018 and 2024. The potential applications of in-house 3D printing for clinics are incredible: human transplant alternatives, medication layering, skin graft replacements and more.
5. Blockchain Technology
The strength of a blockchain system’s security offers a number of promising applications for the healthcare sector. From making widespread health studies of populations easier to administer to protecting the data maintained by a healthcare organization from outside attacks, blockchain is poised to affect the healthcare sector widely. It’s no surprise that the blockchain healthcare market has a projected CAGR of 72.8 percent through 2023.