Tendencies of Healthcare Technologies for the Next Years
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Healthcare Technologies – In the last decade, technologies have led to a true revolution in the health sector. But in 2021, it became even more evident how much this innovation is needed. As the pandemic has changed the routine of millions of people, digital tools have become crucial in several areas.
And in health, it was no different. Even to promote basic care, connectivity and the use of medical devices played a key role. That’s when many realized how important – and irreversible – is the presence of technology in our lives. However, the gathering of efforts and investments dedicated to the pandemic demand ended up interfering a little with the plans. The momentum generated by technology and the changes expected in 2021 has had their course deflected.
However, it’s easy to see that all the shelved projects will make even more sense in the coming years. Because, more than ever, technologies will represent a powerful weapon in the continuity of the fight against Covid-19. And, of course, for everything else that the healthcare industry caters to. So let’s see which are the main technologies that will be in evidence in the coming years. And, above all, healthcare industry leaders and investors must keep an eye on these trends.
1. The home instead of the hospital: telemedicine and remote treatments will be more and more frequent
Today hospitals are central to health systems, whether public or private. Often, they concentrate on primary, secondary, and tertiary care, being one of the first points of contact in the patient’s journey. The trend is for medical care to be transferred from the hospital to community health centers and the patient’s home. Covid-19 accelerated this change, which is based on new health technologies used to prevent the spread of the disease.
Advances in telemedicine will allow patients to have hospital-level care in their own homes as part of at-home hospital care programs. This concept has become popular in recent years with the spread of monitoring devices. The individual is instructed to monitor their health status, through smartphone applications or wearables. The stored data would assist in more personalized service and treatment, in addition to predicting the worsening of conditions that can evolve into chronic diseases.
Also, new health technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR), remote surgery systems, and telementoring will enable procedures to be performed in community surgical centers. In this way, hospitals will become spaces dedicated to the treatment of acute diseases.
2. Quality and outcome in care will influence private health systems
The issue of payment is not so much linked to health technologies, but a change in philosophy on the part of the private sector. The system should be based on the idea of promoting full health and not on care itself, that is, on the value of care rather than the number of procedures.
Today, hospitals, clinics, laboratories, and health plans benefit financially by offering more and more services, in a fragmented way. But in 2030 this model must be replaced by one that aims at the best outcome for the patient. The institution would be remunerated according to the success of procedures linked to the quality of life of the patient and his family. The outcome of the treatment would be measured through new health technologies such as wearables and biosensors.
3. Health technologies will shift focus from cure to prevention
Investing in prevention rather than an emphasis on cure and rehabilitation is a solution to building sustainable health systems. It starts with primary care and patient counseling. They should be encouraged to use health monitoring technologies that are already part of their daily lives, such as smartphones, to monitor weight variation, the intensity of physical activities, and diet control.
If necessary, people will be able to rely on wellness coaches who will help them analyze the numbers and change lifestyle habits. All this through teleconsultation, one of the pillars of Health 4.0, a concept that describes the phenomenon of the use of technologies in health. Prevention continues with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning, which already helps healthcare professionals establish a diagnosis and build a more individualized treatment. In practice, this technology in healthcare helps physicians to assess the level of care required by the individual and which drugs are the most appropriate for their health status.
4. Fewer medical specialties and more patient care as Healthcare Technologies
In the last fifty years, there has been a proliferation of specialties and subspecialties in medicine. The trend for 2030 is for health professionals to become more generalist again, especially in countries where there is a decrease in the clinical workforce. In a scenario of a lack of professionals, medical teams must work in an integrated way to ensure quality care. Digital health will help meet this demand, especially with AI. This technology in healthcare will integrate specialties such as radiology and pathology to form a new, diagnostic medicine.
5. Partnership with big techs to develop new health technologies
Can you imagine going to the grocery store for a dental checkup or a doctor’s appointment – and only paying $25? This is already a reality in the United States, at Walmart, and the concept of medical convenience is expected to spread across the world by 2030. Clinics, hospitals, and laboratories will find competitors outside the health area, especially in regions far from large urban centers. In addition to Walmart, big techs like Uber, Amazon, and Salesforce should invest in the sector and bet on medical transport, supply chain, and patient acquisition.
Health technology will also be driven by Apple, Google, and Microsoft, which already develop products and services for public and private systems. An example is Microsoft’s investments in the Artificial Intelligence project for Covid-19 in the world.
6. Internet of Medical Things
Among the top 2022 trends for the healthcare industry are IoMT-based solutions. Mainly due to the popularization of Telemedicine, the Internet of Medical Things – a derivation of the IoT focused on health technologies –, which is already advancing rapidly, will gain more and more space.
Even as the needs of the sector converge towards the increasing use of wearable devices. Not to mention the adoption of automation, traceability, and monitoring systems. In other words, this is a highly promising market, which could reach the mark of US $27 million by 2023. However, health sector leaders must be aware of the need to provide consistent and effective communication, which is essential for the proper functioning of this health sector. technology.
In addition, even if connectivity problems are the main challenge in the adoption of IoMT, there is no way to ignore the need for investments, which should be the priority of institutions in the next year. Internet usage, such as Centurylink internet, can further favor IoMT.
7. Artificial Intelligence for Healthcare Technologies
With a strong presence through the well-known chatbots, Artificial Intelligence (AI) used in the health sector has been overcoming barriers. If today it is possible to find AI in automation resources considered “simple”, there is a strong tendency for this technology to become more and more present in hospitals. In addition, the exponential growth of the AI market puts giants like Google in contention. In practice, this means that soon, many tools will be available for health treatments.
For example, in the fields of pharmaceutical and biotechnology study, machine learning is being instrumental in reducing drug development time. Proof of this is the speed with which vaccines for Covid-19 were created. There is no doubt that AI technologies have been crucial in this endeavor.
8. Blockchain/Data Privacy
Undoubtedly, Blockchain deserves more attention starting this year. Specialists in information security already take it for granted that this technology, considered the most powerful encryption available today, will remain for a long time an ally in protecting information. For the healthcare sector, Blockchain will be a great asset against data leakage, shielding patients and institutions. Consequently, it will be easier to comply with GDPR requirements with its adoption.
9. Voice Search
With the massive increase in smartphone usage, voice search is on the rise. While other tools such as Amazon Echo (Alexa) and Cortana become popular, the year 2021 is expected to be marked by large investments by the health sector in this area.
Mainly for marketing resources, and because access to healthcare is local, voice search should be seen as a great opportunity for innovation. In this sense, this technology will serve to expand the search for services and increase the sector’s revenue.
Healthcare Technologies: a strategy and a duty
In the same way that, in recent years, every company had to become, to some extent, a technology company, it is certain that in 2021 many also had to incorporate healthy practices into their routine. In this sense, it is expected that in 2022 this learning about health will be improved. Above all, to maintain good practices of prevention and care about the coronavirus. Once the vaccine, in the short and medium-term, will not be the complete salvation.
For this reason, technological trends should reach an even more visible role. For investors, managers, and professionals, it is a matter of market strategy. However, above all, combined with the fulfillment of the duty to save lives. In addition, the rise of the internet, with the availability of connections such as frontier internet plans, has favored the development of these technologies and will contribute even more in the coming years.