4 Tech Trends Impacting the Healthcare Industry in 2018

Innovation is already disrupting healthcare sector, and that too at great speed. In most business sectors, technological innovations are aimed at streamlining processes and increasing efficiency however when it comes to healthcare, technology transcends convenience and aids directly in saving lives.

Check out how these healthcare tech trends, shortlisted by Embee’s trend trackers, are expected to re-shape the industry in 2018!

1.Blockchain makes its presence felt in healthcare:

An IBM study revealed that 16% of surveyed healthcare executives have plans to implement a commercial blockchain solution this year, while 56% are expected to do the same by 2020. Due to their architecture, Blockchain-enabled Health IT systems can be easily integrated with health data exchange systems that are irrevocable and cryptographically secured, thereby enabling seamless access to real-time patient health data, and eliminating the cost and burden of data reconciliation.

Blockchain based systems can also simplify the supply chain management, minimize medical frauds and money laundering schemes, automate bill processing activities to eliminate billing errors and eliminate the need for intermediaries thereby reducing administrative costs.

2.Analytics is going to be even more important for EHR vendors:

We expect the Electronic Health Record Vendors to invest heavily in Data Analytics in 2018. This will help them optimize their operational and technical resources better and identify new opportunities for healthcare services in communities.

They will have access to accurate, up-to-date, and complete information about patients at the point of care, enabling quick access to patient records for more coordinated, efficient care and securely sharing electronic information with patients and other clinicians. Quality information fetched from data analytics will even help to identify patterns as well as serve as a decision-making support system, thereby, improving patient care down to an individual level.

3.AI will start making real impact in healthcare:

2018 will see Artificial Intelligence (AI) taking a more active role in healthcare organizations, especially diagnostics. Up until recently, healthcare AI was limited to the form of Natural Language Processing (NLP), where it helped to pick one data from a sea of information or assisted in automating repetitive administrative tasks. Now AI is being used for breaking down patients’ health reports and making predictive analysis based on their health patterns.

Besides mining medical records, designing treatment plans and providing consultations, AI is being leveraged to create virtual assistants for patient engagement, avatars for clinical training and companion robots for the elderly. While researchers at Stanford University have created an AI algorithm for diagnosing skin cancer, at Shanghai Changzheng Hospital in China, radiologists are using AI technology to better analyze CT scans and x-rays and identify abnormal growth in lung cancer patients. According to Healthcare IT news, AI applications can help to save billions of dollars by enhancing efficiencies like robot-assisted surgery, administrative workflow assistance, fraud detection, dosage error reduction, preliminary diagnosis, automated image diagnosis, cybersecurity and more.

This video by Microsoft superbly explains how smart tech is reshaping healthcare, making it more efficient:

4.Digital health transformation will get more significant:

In the last decade, much work has been done to in both digital and genomic technologies to make healthcare more efficient, personalized and precise. The convergence of these two technologies has led to the creation of the discipline of Digital Health which will enhance the efficiency of healthcare delivery. Embee trend trackers predict that digital health will grow exponentially in 2018 and in the upcoming years. In its Digital Health Funding 2017 Midyear Review, Rock Health reported an investment of $3.5 billion in 188 digital health companies in the first half of 2017 alone.

The way in which healthcare has been provided till now is steadily changing. Not only are medical practitioners more equipped to predict, diagnose and treat health issues but patients, too, have a better idea of and control over their own health now. From intelligent robots to wearable devices, from electronic health records (EHR) to predictive analytics, each innovation is focused on bridging the gap between caregivers and receivers, and will eventually render healthcare more accurate, agile and more efficient.

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