Top 10 Digital Transformation Trends in the HealthCare and MedTech Industries
Our whole lives are currently happening under the auspices of overwhelming digitalization in just about all spheres of life. There are so many levels to it, too. And while a lot of them intertwine and push each other forward, we’d like to focus on how technology has affected the progress of medicine and healthcare overall.
Some of the latest technological developments in fields like big data, 5G, the supply chain for Industry 4.0 & logistics, IoT and AI are turning many industries, including healthcare, into multi-faceted ecosystems bringing together analytics, data collection, communications, product development, manufacturing and distribution networks into transparent, more efficient, and fully digitised systems.
The quickly developing 5G technology will be helping make healthcare faster, greener and more accessible. Supported by the developments in Artificial Intelligence, it will help make all types of medicine more precise, widespread and probably affordable. And finally, having all of this interconnected through a variety of devices and backed by the improved logistics will take medicine and healthcare onto a new level of efficiency.
Let’s take a look at the biggest and most promising digital trends that will advance MedTech and healthcare into a new era:
1. Wearable tech
We’re already pretty used to having little rubber bands on our wrists collect and monitor some of our health data and then store it on our phones and in internet cloud spaces. Wearable gadgets can measure our temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, levels of blood sugar and other vitals. They can tell us how many steps we’ve made in a day or when it’s time to drink some water.
In the ’20s of this century the extent of this will only expand. Wearables will allow doctors to have immediate access to the patients’ health data without them having to even be in the same building. The devices will allow for a more comprehensive health monitoring, faster and more precise diagnosing and will largely rid the process of human error factor.
2. 3D printing
Dentistry, orthodontics and prosthetics are getting a giant push forward with the development of 3D printing. Surgeons can replicate specific bones, organs, and blood vessels for their patients easier and faster now. This helps with precision in tailoring specific parts or tissues for every individual patient speeds the process up and reduces waste, which in turn makes procedures more cost-effective. 3D printing medical tools also contribute to saving time, effort and resources.
3. AR and VR in medicine
The VR/AR healthcare market is estimated to reach $5.1 billion by 2025. The report also forecasts that the benefits of Extended Reality will increase in numbers while the cost of production will drop.
With the help of AR and VR healthcare professionals can undergo virtual training using training simulators that mimic complex real-life scenarios. Meanwhile, one of the biggest advantages of AR simulators is the ability to combine real objects with computer-generated images. These technologies also came in very handy in the time of a pandemic and allowed doctors to cut the exposure of medical staff to patients with the virus while being fully equipped to help.
Extended Reality doesn’t only ease things for medical professionals, but also plays an important role in patient care and treatment. VR and AR have been known to help patients with mental illnesses, oncological conditions and even visual imparities.
4. A cloud-based health info and data sharing
Record keeping has always faced some obstacles in healthcare and other industries. The more comprehensive the record, the more storage space it needs, so before digitizing record keeping, medical professionals couldn’t possibly perform and keep all the monitoring a patient might require.
Things have changed however: patients and healthcare providers are turning to cloud computing for their medical data storage, and the research shows that both are likely to get better access to records through cloud-based solutions. Together with 5G, this will make the consultation process more convenient, incorporating video and data collecting devices all powered by IoT technologies.
There are some security concerns that arise when talking about cloud-based technology use with personal medical data, but professionals in fields of tech, law, cybersecurity and healthcare are putting their efforts together to minimize the risks and maximize the benefits of the symbiosis between the cloud and medicine.
5. Digital Twins
This is expected to be the revolutionary technology that will transform the landscape of personalized medicine and the healthcare industry in the ’20s. In essence, Digital Twins is what it sounds to be – it aims at creating a virtual copy of a patient’s life-long data record, down to the smallest details like genes and DNA, to be able to test drugs and medical solutions for the patient before actually applying them to the living patient.
Digital twins will allow medical professionals to predict and monitor potential outcomes of procedures and treatments for their patients without endangering the individuals, help make therapy decisions, and manage chronic diseases.
Ultimately, digital twins are set to raise the quality of patient experience through fast, efficient, patient-centric care. In 2020 this technology is still in its bud, but carries the extraordinary potential for the healthcare industry and is being developed by the collective effort of some of the world’s greatest minds.
You have probably heard of Da Vinci surgical robot that helps surgeons with operating humans on a low level of surgical invasion. The system translates the surgeon’s hand movements in real-time and the tiny wristed instruments move like a human hand, but with a greater range of motion and precision.
Well, robotics is set to go far beyond this in the nearest future of medicine. The global medical robotics market is expected to reach $20 billion by 2023. This means robotics’ use will only expand and diversify in the nearest future as robots start to perform more complex and simply more tasks.
Some of the medical issues have already been addressed with the help of robotics: doctors can now examine patients in poorly accessible areas through “telepresence”, robots can manufacture, package and distribute medical supplies by themselves, they help medical staff with tasks from disinfecting hospitals to helping patients with therapy and prosthetics.
Some of the highest hopes are put into the development of microbots that will address the tasks targeting the treatment of small parts of the body, such as radiation for tumours, prostheses and many other services.
7. Voice assistant apps
Chatbots and voice assistance apps are already changing the business world, and are naturally forecast to play a big part of the digital transformation in healthcare, too. Everyday routine queries take a big chunk of time out of the day of a medical professional. so using AI-backed messaging and voice systems can help organizations manage time and resources and channel them into more demanding and urgent tasks.
Chatbots can also come in handy for practices dealing with older patients. A character can be created who’ll serve as an assistant to provide friendly reminders. By connecting with other technologies, such as analytics and AI, the assistant can even warn about potential drug interactions.
With technology having progressively more impact on our lives, many things that required our outing before, are now available to us on our devices and from the comfort of our own homes or anywhere else as long as we have an internet connection. Telemedicine is one technological advancement that’s leading the impact on healthcare accessibility and effectiveness.
In countries like the USA and the UK medicine is employing contemporary communication devices and data storage methods to bring better healthcare to the remote and poorly accessible regions. Telemedicine is also improving diagnosing and treatment by making it easier for patients to get access to a specialist’s input on medical cases. Electronic access to records has also made it simpler to send and receive documents. In rural areas, this can sometimes mean eliminating the commute, winning time and saving a life.
Developments in telemedicine are improving workplace medical care, too. Thanks to these technologies, some injuries can receive medical attention immediately, without workers having to leave their workplace. This means less downtime, higher productivity, greater employee satisfaction, and faster claim closures.
As recently as only one decade ago, scientists and doctors were tentatively exploring the first reference human genome sequences; today they are able to sequence a person’s entire genome — more than 6000 million bases — in days, at one-millionth of the cost of the first experiments.
This progress has laid the foundation to a new era of biomedicine, in which it is possible to probe the human genome on an individual level, determining variations in one’s DNA that may hold answers to questions of disease biology and could even guide treatment.
In pharmacology, oncology, infectious diseases, and more, genomic medicine is making an impact. Computers make the analysis of genes and gene mutations that cause medical conditions much quicker. This helps the medical community better understand how diseases occur, but also how to treat the condition or even eradicate it, and with genome tests becoming continuously more affordable, people can now have their genomic sequence integrated into their healthcare routines so that their doctors can provide considered advice and properly identify treatment options.
Security is one of the main features of blockchain technology and the reason for it to be so compatible with the data-sensitive industries such as healthcare and medicine. Blockchain technologies allow large numbers of users to securely have access to a common ledger and not have to worry about reasons to trust or not to trust other parties involved.
Using these public-private key methods, healthcare data can be created, modified and distributed without security concerns. For example, a hospital or a private practice can grant an invited specialist quick access to some of their patient records through a secure system that all parties are using and get them up to date on a case quickly. Meanwhile, information can also be kept as anonymous as the circumstances require, giving doctors and patients a choice on whether to partake in research or subject their personal data to any other actions, all while complying with HIPAA and GDPR standards.
Blockchain technology has very real and immediate potential to transform healthcare, making the whole ecosystem patient-centred and increasing the security, privacy, and ease of exchange of health data.
Needless to say, all the above-mentioned technologies directly depend on the collaborative effort of minds across industries – medical professionals, data scientists, biologists, lawyers, engineers and many more. One more force that pushes all this progress along, however, is the power of software development. All the brilliant ideas produced by the scientific minds would not have been possible without the software and mechanisms developed by the tireless and ever-improving IT specialists.
To develop new technologies for your HealthCare Startups, however, you don’t need a software engineer in your office. Just as technology helps ease processes in other industries, it allows for almost complete flexibility in hiring IT professionals virtually anywhere in the world regardless of your business’ physical location.
As Ukraine is one of the most prominent and high-praised offshore software development hubs, we encourage startups everywhere to use services of the offshore software development company Qubit Labs.
We take pride in working with clients from nearly every corner of the world and across a multitude of industries, helping them build offshore developer teams and cost-efficient outsourcing models for their businesses and celebrating their successes together with them. Qubit labs closely follow industry trends and help businesses navigate the IT outsourcing world.
We value transparency and flexibility, so a partnership with Qubit Labs would mean you can focus on the very process of your software development project, while we run back-office and take care of recruiting, solving administrative questions, managing the HR processes, accounting, and legal issues for you.