The COVID-19 pandemic has been a massive disruption to the healthcare industry, and it’s only getting worse. Healthcare technology companies have seen more growth in recent years as people are becoming more inclined towards innovation because of this crisis. Artificial Intelligence is one area where we can start seeing some relief though – let’s hope that more research goes into developing these important tools.
The healthcare technology industry is changing rapidly, and understanding the key trends will help providers stay ahead of the current situation. Although proven systems often prevail in reliability tests (they’re reliable!), practices want new ways to improve performance, efficiency, and care quality so they can provide their services better than before.
The use of telehealth services is on the rise due to COVID-19. Medicare patients now receive primary care visits almost exclusively through video conferencing and virtual reality. With 43% using this form in 2020 rather than going out into hospitals or clinics where they could potentially spread their infection more easily among noninfectious humans who are also living lively lives while undergoing treatment for something else entirely different from what you have. As if that weren’t bad enough already–wearable devices allow healthcare professionals at home during business hours’ access to real-time information about each individual patient so there’s no need to ever go anywhere unless someone needs medical attention right away.
More importantly, telehealth’s growth appears likely to continue even after the pandemic is over. 71% of patients in America considered using virtual appointments during this time period and 50 percent had already done so by early 2019 when there was an increase due largely to fear about contracting COVID19. A new study has found that more than six-in-ten Americans are turning towards alternative forms or healthcare solutions like remote patient consults through video technology such as Skype which can be much cheaper than traveling out into personal places. These numbers show why we should expect a continued rise within our industry with investments continuing long past any given event.
Telehealth is a breakthrough industry that has the potential to change how we care for our patients. It’s exciting because many people are already comfortable using telemedicine solutions so there will be strong demand in future years.
#2 Artificial Intelligence Against COVID-19
The development of artificial intelligence is critical in combating COVID -19, including areas like pandemic detection and vaccine creation. The AI system will also be used for thermal screening purposes as well as facial recognition with masks when needed.
The Toronto-based company BlueDot was a major pioneer in early warning systems for identifying pandemic risks such as COVID-19. They were the first to publish research predicting this year’s deadly flu epidemic worldwide, which has caused many countries around the world to implement more stringent precautions and restrictions than before new outbreaks are seen on radar screens.
The blue dot system, which scanned over 100 thousand sources worldwide in 65 different languages daily to determine dangerous outbreaks with nearly real-time accuracy. To predict the risk of a disease becoming pandemic it analyzed five threat vectors including:
- Insect and animal populations
- Global and regional climate conditions
- Flight data and itineraries worldwide
- The capacity of health systems
- Vaccine Development
In a world where new vaccines are being developed to combat viruses and other foreign particles, one of the most pressing challenges is how best to create an immune response. A recent study done by researchers at The Brookings Institution found that machine learning has made great strides in helping with this task through artificial intelligence (AI).
Machine learning has helped immunologists identify 1 million protein fragments on a cell’s surface that can be detected by T-cells.
The use of AI can quickly parse through many people at once to identify those with high temperatures. This is helpful for identifying symptomatic individuals and helping them get the care that they need.
The FDA says that non-contact infrared thermometers and other kinds of thermal screening systems can use methods like AI to determine the temperature. The computerized system is able to identify people with high temperatures faster than before, helping them get treatment right away or even prevent further illness.
#3 The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)
The Internet of Medical Things has changed the way we look at chronic illnesses. Wearable devices that measure blood pressure, temperature, and more can help patients monitor their condition remotely while they are away from doctors or hospitals for extended periods of time.
-ECG monitors allow physicians to diagnose disease by reading electrical signals in one’s heart;
-EKG test screens show if there is an issue with your heartbeat’s ability to deliver enough oxygen throughout each cardiac cycle — now you’ll know what caused death before it occurs.
The Internet of Things has already become a part of the healthcare infrastructure, with 30% market share by 2020. This will likely increase in 2025 when it reaches $6.2 trillion.
As practitioners enter a new era, they will have many interesting options for providing care. The first smart pill approved by the FDA in 2017 was an important step forward that provides more opportunities to improve patient outcomes and has already begun changing how we think about medication management.
Keeping up to date with Medical Billing Services providers is a difficult task. It can be made much easier with the help of artificial intelligence. Autonomous Billing or AI-powered auto Billing as it’s also known has been proven over time to reduce cost by up to 90% and increase collection by 15%.
#4 Privacy Issues
The privacy and security of health data is extremely important issue. The need to protect patient privacy is a crucial component in maintaining HIPAA compliance. Cloud computing can make storing and retrieving data more efficient but regulations are strict enough that even with its advancements, it’s difficult for health care providers who are not ready or willing yet to go through all the steps necessary just because there might be some new technology out now which makes their job easier than before. This includes both individuals working onsite at hospitals/clinics as well those providing services remotely from home offices across the US.
Many telehealth technologies are not yet fully compliant with HIPAA, which can raise challenges for patient privacy. Although the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services has decided to exercise discretion on how these rules will be enforced in COVID-19 public health emergency situations, it is still important that these devices maintain a high level of compliance so as to avoid any possible burdensome difficulties.
The problem with HIPAA is that there’s not enough enforcement. Healthcare providers need to make sure they are still following the regulations as best they can, but it becomes an issue when you miss one small detail like what type of technology will work for contacting patients outside your office setting (such as FaceTime or Skype).
#5 AR/VR/MR in Healthcare
This technology has the potential to turn science fiction into reality. The COVID-19 pandemic could be a great example of that, as virtual and augmented realities can enhance telehealth during patient visits or help educate medical students on procedure simulators in an effective way for them.
AR and VR technology offers hope to stroke victims. Patients with motor deficiencies must be put in an environment that can help them regain control, but simulations provide more flexibility than physical therapy may allow for–they serve as data collection tools that therapists could use when tailoring care plans specific to their individual needs.
Maplewood Senior Living in Connecticut has found a way to work with individuals who are suffering from various concerns, including dementia and cognitive impairments. They use virtual reality headsets that allow them access activities that would otherwise be unavailable in their current environments; this may lead to patients unlocking memories or improving emotional wellbeing.
Health professionals are finding new ways to use Augmented Reality in healthcare settings. Surgeons can now have real-time access and compare data, while students learn about procedures through overlays during surgery class or doctors may quickly make diagnoses using AR technology when making decisions on how best to treat their patients.
The healthcare app is one popular example of how you can better treat your patients. For example, one such application is robotic surgeries which have led us towards an even more immersive experience than before because of its use in fixing vision issues caused by diseases like glaucoma among others things this advancement also gives assurance that there will be no loss whatsoever regarding personal privacy since everything takes place behind closed doors where only those involved would see what goes down.