The healthcare industry deals with matters of life and death. That’s why healthcare technology trends are usually at the forefront of our progress as a whole. What’s more fascinating, though, is that in recent years the industry has somewhat shifted its focus. From being oriented completely on efficiency and results, it now concentrates more on the patient experience and strengthening the physician-patient relationship.
Our list of healthcare trends for 2019 reflects the direction the field is heading, and takes into account the fastest developing technologies of our time. Take a look and find out which trends in medical software development and hardware implementation you should be aware of.
Telemedicine and Healthcare App Development Trends
You have probably experienced the discomfort of having to go to the hospital with a cold and wait long hours for your appointment. Telemedicine is a swift and simple solution to both of these problems and more. It is not the newest trend on the market, but it is definitely just starting to grow. Overwhelming support from both patients and doctors will ensure that remote non-emergency check-ups will become a reality.
Connection via a mobile app is the easiest way to make this possible. The number of smartphone users is continuously rising, and more than half of them use their devices to get some kind of healthcare information. Mobile medical software development trends include medication management and chronic disease follow-up apps, medicine delivery services, direct connection with a physician and risk evaluation.
Internet of Things
This healthtech trend is closely related to the previous one. Once again, using interconnected devices to monitor the patient’s condition is not a new idea. It was widely popularized with the release of the Apple Watch in 2015, which was equipped with a number of accurate heart rate sensors. Since then, more innovative tech and apps have been developed, and they are definitely among the most popular healthcare technology trends right now.
New healthcare IoT devices are aimed at both the most vulnerable patients and low-risk users. Emerging inventive tech can help follow blood glucose levels, perform remote eye exams, take complete EKGs, and analyze every other vital sign! Combined with remote checkup solutions, this technology can prevent critical situations, resulting in numerous saved lives.
Record Digitization and Blockchain
EHR, or the Electronic Health Record system, has recently been a subject of controversy. Although it is an important step in overall e-health system improvement, it has been called flawed due to security reasons. Healthcare information is very sensitive, so any threat to its privacy should be treated seriously.
If the system is so problematic, why do we include it in the list of trends in medical software development? There is a solution for all of the EHR issues – blockchain. Making the system decentralized will ensure the security of the information. Plus, it will solve the problem of record transfer. Multiple hospitals have multiple standards when it comes to their records, and there is often no connection between them. With access to blockchain as a data source, these systems could continue to function separately while opening access to their data to other hospitals.
AI: Human Error Elimination
In 2018, medical errors were third on the list of causes of death in the US. These horrific statistics are the reason people are trying to minimize the damage caused by human error. One way to achieve this is to delegate most data collection and some of its analysis
AI can be designed to handle decision-making based on big data sets. Medicine as a science is just that – determining the diagnosis based on the patients condition, by using precedents from similar cases throughout history. With an enormous amount of research conducted each year, the task is becoming more and more difficult for a human to manage.
Clearly, there is no way AI will completely replace a human being as a physician in the near future. Each patient has unique circumstances that only a trained and experienced professional can recognize. However, AI can definitely be helpful. There are multiple startups and government programs that work tirelessly to make such an AI solutions a reality and drastically reduce the number of medical errors.
AR and VR Medical Uses
Current software development trends in health care are not limited to mobile app development and AI solutions. Augmented and virtual reality applications have huge potential when it comes to medicine. They can be used to improve the experience of both health care professionals and patients.
The first and most popular example of AR health benefits come from studies conducted by Pokemon GO. The articles have shown that the app not only promoted physical activity in a healthy way but also improved the emotional health of the study subjects and their social connections with fellow gamers. These unexpected results have led to a huge interest in the use of technology and its implementation to solutions that prevent chronic diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.
Virtual reality is less flexible, but it is a more immersive technology. It can potentially be used, for example, to calm children during procedures in order to make sure they stay still. It is also a great way to improve the quality of life for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, as peaceful VR environments can evoke a positive response and soothing effect on them.
Finally, both AR and VR technologies are already being used to train future medical professionals. It is a great way to gain experience in performing complex procedures without creating risk for the patient. It can also be used by trained surgeons to operate using advanced machinery with enhanced accuracy and better control over the situation.
Bringing innovative approaches into the health care industry is a difficult task. Although new ways to save human lives are always welcome, each of them has to be thoroughly tested and subjected to strict scrutiny.
Risk calculation is essential in the implementation of any new technology, so it is difficult to make certain forecasts. Our health care predictions for 2019 are based on current trends and the analysis of the technologies that are highly popular. So, whether or not they come to fruition, you should pay close attention to these fields.
If you have your own ideas about the evolution of the healthcare industry or you’re interested in implementing one of the solutions above, we’re here to help you. Visit our website and fill out a form, or reach out to us directly through Skype or WhatsApp, and we will gladly answer all of your questions regarding creative healthcare software solutions.