Whether patients are seeking treatment for a minor injury or need help managing chronic diseases, mobile applications are making it easier than ever to stay healthy. From fitness and health trackers to virtual reality, digital healthcare applications are empowering patients with more control over their health than ever before.
Gone are the days when medical information was tucked away in manila folders; now it is just a click and secure log in away.
1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
In the healthcare industry, AI is used for everything from diagnosing patients to streamlining hospital and health system workflows. This technology has a major impact on patient outcomes and experience, but it also needs to be designed carefully to avoid bias.
In addition, healthcare leaders are increasingly recognizing the need to address environmental sustainability in their systems, including decreasing waste and energy consumption. As a result, they are adopting technology like smart digital tools that can help close the hardware loop and dematerialize IT infrastructure.
One example of this healthcare trend is medical IoT, where wearables and telehealth monitoring track metrics for convenient remote monitoring. This data can be transmitted directly to a physician and helps reduce the need for in-person appointments. It also improves healthcare professionals’ ability to make more precise diagnoses and treatment decisions.
2. Big Data
Big data is a term used to describe massive amounts of information that are analyzed for insights. The healthcare industry is awash with data, and the ability to harness and analyze this data offers numerous benefits for both patients and providers alike.
The unstructured data found in healthcare systems requires advanced technologies to process, automate and prioritize information for analysis. Healthcare practices must also have a strong communication policy in place to ensure critical personnel have access to this information when needed.
Improve patient care through better proactive and real-time health tracking. This helps reduce costs while also shortening hospital stays. Increased accuracy allows for more insightful reporting and decision making. This improves efficiency and bolsters physician relationship management efforts. It also aids in optimizing hospital growth by identifying new opportunities for patient acquisition.
3. The Internet of Things (IoT)
During the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare facilities saw a shift in their traditional working practices. This shift resulted in many transformations that are here to stay.
For patients, this means digital health solutions that empower them to take an active role in their own care. These can include digital applications that remind them to take their medication, and telemedicine capabilities that let them speak with doctors from the comfort of home.
Additionally, large organizations are using IoT to increase productivity in nonclinical areas. This includes streamlining workflows and automating tasks, improving data analytics, and improving customer service. It’s also helping them improve employee satisfaction and retention by giving workers flexibility to work from home. This is known as the gig economy. It’s a trend that is set to expand across industries in 2023.
4. Mobile Applications
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare consumerism was slowly gaining traction, with patients seeking tools to help them take control of their physical and mental health. From step-counters to calorie trackers to video chatting with therapists, these new tools gave people the power to make daily choices that would better their life.
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated this trend, with a new generation of healthcare consumers wanting to do more than simply visit their doctors or go to the emergency room. This trend is why healthcare apps that offer a variety of solutions are on the rise, including personal health record apps that function as medical diaries and healthcare software that automates stocktaking and equipment maintenance. Medical mHealth tools also help healthcare professionals keep up with their patients by allowing them to easily collect patient-generated data.
Unlike other consumer technology, wearables are designed with healthcare applications in mind. They are able to monitor different health conditions, track recovery and send data digitally to physicians.
They can help patients stick to their fitness goals, achieve their wellness objectives and avoid serious diseases such as diabetes, heart disease or obesity. They can also monitor mood disorders and promote a healthier lifestyle.
Some wearables include smart rings, wristbands, watches and pins that monitor specific body functions. Others are smaller and unobtrusive, such as the “smart patches” developed by medtech companies. These small devices affix to a patient’s skin and transmit information wirelessly to other healthcare wearables like smartphones and smartwatches for display and interaction. They can even help detect a patient’s ovulation or reduce tremors in Parkinson’s Disease sufferers.