4 Healthcare Technology Trends Transforming the Industry
Updated: June 23, 2022
Every year, it seems as though there are new healthcare technology trends. For decades, the effort to decrease costs while continuously improving patient care has been a top initiative for healthcare companies. In recent years, we have seen monumental changes in new technology trends in healthcare. Many of these trends are entirely evolving how healthcare is managed and performed.
The Importance of Healthcare Technology Trends
From crisis response to health management, medicine is undergoing a significant transition. Unlike reactive healthcare, when patients are treated after they become ill, proactive, and preventative healthcare helps to take measures to prevent an issue. These measures are becoming more prevalent and feasible.
The healthcare industry will be completely revitalized given the implementation and further development of the following four healthcare technology trends:
The Covid-19 pandemic created a significant telehealth movement, making virtualization one of the more common healthcare technology trends. Virtual machines can centralize software applications that seamlessly integrate and help manage data while reducing overhead costs. The customizable designs and easy-to-manage systems also make implementation and utilization of the systems more straightforward to use than ever. Computers, applications, operating systems, and networks can be virtualized to allow data to be effectively shared with limited communication.
Additionally, facilities that use the same community server can establish specific security clearance levels. This allows healthcare professionals to operate securely and efficiently. As of 2017, the data center virtualization market was $206.2 billion in the year 2021, with predictions to reach $404.9 billion by 2022.
As the world is still growing to be more virtual, healthcare employers are doing more to incorporate these new technologies. Those who are implementing these technologies must have specific skills, including:
- The ability to navigate an existing IT infrastructure
- Knowledge of the interface between virtual servers and virtual storage
- Experience with virtual security to keep servers safe.
As healthcare employers aim to implement these technologies, they must have the know-how to ensure that all systems operate smoothly.
Genomic medicine consists of using genomic information about an individual and using it to better clinical care. In turn, this can assist with better clinical care for diagnostic decision-making. In the last 15 years, the cost of reading DNA sequences has significantly decreased from hundreds of millions of dollars to a few thousand.
Genomics is just one example that shows the importance of technology in healthcare as it is helping to advance patient care. These technology trends in healthcare are changing how doctors can better manage patients with cancer, rare diseases, and reproductive services, with other clinical areas soon to follow suit. Over 250 FDA-approved drugs are now eligible for prescribing based on the patient’s genetics – triple the amount qualified in 2014. During the period of 2022-2030, the digital health markets in genomics are set to reach $72.59 billion.
With that said, the healthcare sector does not come without significant challenges. However, the challenges will also generate their influx of data, allowing more room to improve these technologies. These challenges make building a competent Healthcare IT team a huge priority to ensure that a company’s existing infrastructure can manage this critical data.
Wearable Medical Devices
One of the most common healthcare technology trends involves wearing medical devices as another way to manage patient populations—wearable medical devices. Known as “wearables,” they are patient monitoring devices capable of remotely assisting healthcare practitioners with quicker diagnoses and treatment for patients in real-time. Wearables show the importance of technology in healthcare as they help to collect data such as body vitals and metrics and allow medical professionals to discover the early warning signs of disease. Additionally, a wearable can help reduce costly hospital stays and the risk of hospital overcrowding.
Using a wearable device is becoming one of the more popular technology trends in healthcare. Even a Fitbit or a smartwatch can be considered a “wearable.” In 2022, more than 1 billion people are projected to wear and use wearable tech devices. Between now and 2023, the market is estimated to grow at a compound annual rate of 17.8% by 2030, creating numerous career opportunities for IT professionals.
Two significant issues facing healthcare today include interoperability and data quality. Utilizing multiple stand-alone information systems slows down processes and creates redundant work. On top of that, a lack of reliable, secure measures and strategies can result in inaccurate information or incomplete data.
Blockchain technology seeks to solve both problems by linking healthcare providers together and allowing them to share data privately. Multiple parties can record transactions with a trusted central authority, ensuring they are verified and secure. Another goal of storing health records with a blockchain is to empower patients to be in control of their medical records. Hopefully, this will encourage patients to be more proactive about their care.
Growth is visible from every angle. Amazon recently announced the launch of blockchain templates designed for the healthcare sector. Of the healthcare executives surveyed, 40% shared that they view blockchain as one of their top 5 priorities of 2022. According to an indeed.com report, blockchain related jobs have increased 118% from September 2020-July 2021- making it one of the fastest-growing skills in the market.
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