Taking care of your health is a trend worth following. Previously people simply limited themselves to the recommendations of doctors in the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle, but now, with the impact of technology in all aspects of our lives, we are experiencing the effects of technology in the doctor-patient relationship as well.
Thanks to modern developments at the intersection of medicine, biotechnology and IT, we are obtaining unlimited opportunities to control and maintain the health of our bodies. Do you know which particular trends and applications will have the most influence in 2020?
There is so much more to consider than just the famous fitness trackers and workout apps. In our article, we will consider 15 new technology applications that will impact your health and are definitely keeping an eye on!
So, let’s start. First, we’ll talk about tech in the field of remote patient consulting, better known as Telemedicine. This future tech has accelerated as a response to the developing Covid-19 associated self-isolation trends.
- Telemedicine is an alternative for visiting hospitals and doctors clinics. Everyone knows that in the US the problem of long wait times to see a doctor is one of the major obstacles to proper care. The situation is no better in European clinics. The large burden of patient scheduling and overcrowding in hospitals and clinics affects the quality of service, and to make matters worse, for most patients repeated (follow-up) visits are required to adjust treatment and medication. Lost waiting time is fraught with a potential deterioration in the patient’s condition. To avoid such problems, the whole industry is developing in the electronic provision of medical services. Telemedicine involves monitoring the patient’s condition remotely by using modern video communication channels and devices that can send health reports directly to the attending physician, often in real-time.
- ClotMD is an app that was created especially for patients who need anticoagulation therapy. It is a bridge between the patient and the drug provider. With its help, you can manage your therapy under the supervision of a professional who will correct your dosage schedule and provide testing of your blood condition on a regular basis. Additionally, there are also similar apps for CBD therapy in the states where it is legal.
- Another medical consultation app that has gained popularity is Medici. In this application, there are a variety of healthcare professionals who work remotely with patients. If you need a consultation you need not wait until your local physician will have time to slot you in. Just order an online session with one of the many doctors from Medici. Quickly and easily you’ll get a consultation, prescriptions if needed, and medical records for your healthcare documents etc.
- Another competitor in the telemedicine space is Doximity. With Doximity you can contact more than 70% of all doctors in the US, from different states, specialties and clinics. Clearly there is a lot of new opportunities for doctors to interact with patients and deliver a more efficient model of care. The next part of this overview is dedicated to data delivery which can help your healthcare provider to get relevant and correct info about your health. Here, cloud technology is being used in the modern healthcare industry to provide ease of use and security of personal data both for patients and their diagnostic information as well.
- The first example of that trend is an app called ACT.md. It collects patient’s data, reminds them about healthcare tasks they need to do and connects them with their healthcare team if needed. The app also stores any useful data and records and sends it to the appropriate professionals to give the full picture of the patient’s condition.
- AirStrip has similarities to ACT.md as it also collects data and transmits it to the clinicians. But it also has some specific features, including the option of collecting data in motion, to see the progress or regress of some key health outcome indicators. It also can offer you a clinician based on your requirements and location in order to get professional healthcare services
- The next trend we will address is regarding devices. Do you know the term IoT? Now the principle of the “Internet of things” is being actively applied to medicine. This is expressed in the use of various devices that not only perform the necessary measurements (for example, heart rate, pulse, blood pressure) but also send them directly to the specialist in the clinic. Allied Market Research reported a forecast that this year the volume of production and sales of IoMT devices will reach 20-30 million units. Clearly this is one industry to watch!
- There are also ancillary health trends like those in improving patient satisfaction or access to practitioners via medical financial-tech. For example, in improving patient satisfaction outcomes a company called HealthJoy helps manage patient’s experience in the medical system. In the medico-legal sphere, there is a fin-tech company called Medport LA. Its essence is to help personal injury patients on line to access a high caliber of care as if they were a non-lien (car accident plaintiff) patient. Many doctors simply don’t have experience in seeing patients on a lien basis so they frequently turn them away. In this case, the use of Medport LA allows specialists to be sure that their services are compensated at the time of care instead of having to wait until the resolution of the case. Medport LA or Medport Louisiana is providing immediate payment of lien/LOPs and creating wider treatment options for many patients in need.
- One of the most fascinating technologies to enter today’s healthcare market is no doubt AR/VR. Originating in the entertainment industry, it comes to healthcare providing revolutions in studying, rehabilitation or even surgery with a precise and realistic toolkit. Some neurologists and psychiatrists are using AR and VR technologies to improve the quality of life of patients with dementia, PTSD, depression, motor deficiencies.
- AI (Artificial Intelligence) and deep learning technologies in diagnostics are also making rapid advances. While learning to make decisions similar to a human diagnostician, AI can, in some cases, already help to identify disease more accurately and quickly while at the same time freeing up the physician’s time to interact more with their patients. Also through AI and deep learning, these new technologies are able to make recommendations on what therapy and medications should be used. The FDA recently approved a device called IDx-DR, a device using AI that can make diagnoses of eye diseases by analyzing photos of the human retina.
- Using chat-bots with extended functionality can help free a lot of time for doctors and their staff. From making appointments to scheduling procedures, chatbots can shorten the time from appointment to diagnosis or answer simple questions the patient could have.
- Data Science can help building complex and multi-factor models, analyses and forecasts, for example, The Mount Sinai Health System has recently received a grant from Microsoft AI for Health. This new program will support a new data science center focusing on expertise in care delivery, health sciences, and artificial intelligence, as well as digital engineering.
- Blockchain, as controversial as it may be, could be implemented in healthcare in many unique ways. As a basic example, the FDA was holding a survey concerning the use of blockchain technology to improve security, simplicity, and accuracy of getting information straight from wearables of patients to their clinicians.
- As for trends in communications between the doctor and patient, there are specialized messengers or special apps to make simple and confident communication via texting, talk and video. One of such ways of interaction is applied with the 360Evaluations program which helps patients to get permission to buy medical MMJ.
- Even more, there are consulting apps that can make consultations while uploading images describing the patient’s health problems. Google search is a common way for patients to find health information, but with new consultant apps constantly developing accuracy through AI and easily connecting more difficult diagnoses directly to live physicians they are starting to become the best alternative to a simple internet search.
Trends in healthcare are changing the healthcare landscape permanently. But the main promise is to provide Hi-Tech improvements in the application of all segments of healthcare. We can expect that in the near future there will be plenty of ways that technology will change our health forever.