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Trends That Are Facilitating the Advancement of the Modern Healthcare Industry

It doesn’t take a specialist to understand the importance and criticality of different healthcare services in the modern era. When talking about the prevalence and applicability of this industry today, it is crucial to keep in mind that the number of people who require these services is increasing at an escalating rate. This means that innovators in this sector must consistently revamp, augment, and – eventually – streamline business processes and management systems to meet this enhanced demand.

The growth of technology and automation is playing a significant role in altering functionality across an array of industries, especially in the healthcare sector. Phenomena such as the Internet of Things, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and blockchain are just a few of the many developments that have pioneered a revolution in the healthcare industry. The impact and effect of these phenomena, amongst others, can be elucidated on below:

Artificial Intelligence

The need and relevance for precision medicine and cost mitigation are the key drivers for artificial intelligence in the healthcare industry. AI can reconstruct nearly any area of healthcare – from hospital management and functionality to diagnosing health conditions. A plethora of big-name players in the IT and software sector such as Google, Microsoft, and IBM have already kickstarted their foray into artificial intelligence in healthcare projects and are bound to invest more and more. This highlights the fact that AI is bound to play an influential role in the healthcare ecosystem – right from consumer health applications to complex disease management and clinical decision making.

IoT and Wearable Technology

Consumers are increasingly becoming more aware and conscious about their physical and mental well-being. A large proportion of them has started using new-age products and services to keep track of their health. Devices such as wearable technology – spearheaded by the Internet of Things – help users in making healthy lifestyle choices on a daily basis and also helps in the prevention of various illnesses such as COPD, asthma, and pain management, amongst others. The diversity of products in this market is extremely wide, and some of the most popular inventions in this regard are:

● Fitness smartwatches

● Wearable continuous glucose monitors

● Wearable pain management devices

● Wearable EEG monitors

The presence of IoT has not only advocated the applicability of such devices but is also a key factor in the proposed concepts of smart pills and smart hospitals.

Telemedicine

Telemedicine has presented itself as a convenient way to bridge the gap between patients and physicians. This prominence can be attributed to an ever-growing need to reduce healthcare costs, coupled with a large number of elderly patients. Whether it is a clinical consultation with a physician, or health support such as medication-related reminders and advice, or tracking wellness indicators such as blood pressure & blood sugar level, or receiving periodic support to address an ongoing health issue – patients prefer to attaining it virtually since telemedicine offers freedom of personalisation and accessibility.

Blockchain technology

A critical element to identify and address in the healthcare industry is security-related risks and danger pertaining to IT and software data. This is mainly due to the fact that there has been a recent onslaught of cyber-attacks and data breaches in this industry. Blockchain technology is slowly garnering more attention and can be a coined as the new approach or answer for secure patient data storage and communication. As stated in a report released by the IDC, 20% of healthcare entities in the world will progress beyond pilot projects and will implement blockchain technology for supply-chain management and patient identification by 2020. Blockchain provides effective solutions to challenges such as data interoperability, integrity, security, and portability, amongst many others.

The impact and presence of technology and automation – as clearly depicted above – is not only changing the way we live but evolving the way businesses structure their processes and models. Technology giants like IBM, Google, and Microsoft are already planning their entry into this industry, throwing light on how this sector is bound to transform in the coming years. With ICRI providing courses such as an MBA Healthcare & Hospital Management and an M.Sc Clinical Research, the road is paved for professionals to understand and adopt this technology in the healthcare industry.

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