Discovering trends and insights into the global IT healthcare domain can be a challenge. The industry keeps on rebuilding and renewing itself day by day, mixing different technologies and bringing a lot of ambiguity to what is the next big thing.
However, keeping an eye on trends helps to not only react to changes in time but also to foresee these changes and act preemptively. This is why SOLVVE offers its own take on Top-10 trends in IT healthcare in 2019.
Gartner states that there were more than 8.4 billion connected endpoints in the Internet of Things as of 2018, an increase of over 30% from 2017. About $6 trillion will be spent on IoT solutions by 2022 according to Business Insider Intelligence’s report on the IoT.
More and more people worldwide buy smartphones and other gadgets connecting them to the Internet making the spread of the IoT only a matter of time. Most likely short-range and low-power connected devices will be heavily promoted while sensors will become an integral part of our world. Tendencies show that it might happen already in the second half of the next year.
Low-cost materials and achievements in micro- and nanofabrication methods during the manufacturing process have contributed to the essential growth of the profits when it comes to sensors for healthcare applications.
While consumers of medical services are increasingly turning to healthcare solutions guided by big data, the IoT is also striving to change the way patients access and pay for medical services. A permanent boom in wearable devices has significantly been stimulated by its applications in healthcare, e.g. measuring one’s heart rate or levels of stress.
Many clinics are overwhelmed with patients. Thus, the ability to turn to connected gadgets that can remind people when it’s time to take medicine or do sports, or warn if the blood pressure levels are abnormal, significantly helps to unload medical specialists and care providers.
2. Remote Health Services
Everything shows that telehealth will be growing and improving in 2019.
There is a number of factors prompting this growth:
- Technological and telecommunication development.
- Depreciation of delivery.
- The growing consumer demand for the services.
- A more friendly regulatory environment.
Wearables, for example, will support the ability of physicians to monitor patients’ state of health remotely.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, 90% of healthcare management reported they have introduced or are currently introducing telehealth systems. The study predicts that around seven million consumers were utilizing telehealth services in 2018, going up by a factor of 19 from 2013.
Virtual hospitals as telehealth centers for providing digital consultations and remote patient supervision are starting to appear in the market as clinics seeking new paths to give care right to patients on the Internet and utilize the web in order to handle their business better way.
3. AI Goes Mainstream
Organizations, including medical ones, will keep using AI to cooperate with their clients the way they might not have even imagined. That means the whole automation will be quicker, cheaper, and cleverer.
AI on a par with the application of natural language processing, machine and artificial learning will most likely grow 2018 to modernize production processes, increased returns on investment, and access to operational intelligence.
The assertions above might seem unfounded, so let’s consider the following example of AI application.
Customer services for healthcare companies are expensive nowadays because of the number of specialists who communicate with patients via e-mail, live chat or phone. Nevertheless, there’s a technological option able to help IT healthcare companies with saving time and financial resources – automated chatbot equipped with AI.
The healthcare sphere is one that is interested in an increased application of chatbots as they are becoming more and more reliable due to achievements in AI. Juniper Research predicted that chatbots could save companies $8 billion a year throughout the world by 2022 in comparison to this year’s $20 million.
As controversial as it is, blockchain technology is extremely useful to improve operations, significantly reduce cheating and operational costs, prevent doubling of actions and create new opportunities when integrated into a sharing-based economy.
In February 2018 Gartner reported that blockchain turned out to be the second most searched for word on its site, jumping 400% in only a year. IT Healthcare is not going to be far back from other industries.
According to the Deloitte study, 28% of respondents within all industries noted they had already invested $5 million or more in the blockchain. For its part, 10% have invested $10 million or even more.
5. Provider-Centric Solutions
One of the most perceptible weaknesses of IT healthcare is that medical workers are permanently overloaded with the documentation. All in all, doctors are partly limited in how many patients they can help since they are busy with filing the papers. In some cases, treating more patients means getting a higher income.
Even though the physician put a lot of effort into fostering a deep and trusting relationship with their clients, this is not an easy task. That is why technologies could significantly alleviate the problem. Lowering the documentation workload helps to optimize documentation processing in order to release the physicians’ time for communication with patients.
One illustration of innovation in this context is the use of Google Glass. Physicians wear Google Glass which records every doctor-and-patient interaction that goes to a remote transcription center. The cost of the transcription in this center is considerably cheaper.
That is why we believe that the idea of provider-centric solutions is going to evolve further.
6. Widespread use of the Cloud
Cloud solutions provide stable scaling opportunities at substantially lower prices compared to the current solutions where healthcare organizations have to purchase and keep all the needed hardware, software, and staff to accommodate different load levels. In the case of cloud services, healthcare companies only pay for the capacities they employ at any given moment. One more advantage of the cloud solutions is lower overall deployment time for new products and downtimes.
7. EHR interoperability
The healthcare industry broadly utilizes Electronic Health Records (EHRs), so the interoperability continues to be in the spotlight. What is it exactly?
Interoperability is the capability of different systems to work together and exchange information. And it is one of the most serious challenges with EHR streamlines. At times it requires a personal experience to convey the meaning of interoperability, not only to the healthcare specialists who constantly work with the EHR but to the patients as well.
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services would like interoperability to be accessible to everyone by 2024, overcoming obstacles with disparate EHRs. According to the regulations issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), it is necessary “to continue advanced of certified EHR technology utilization, focusing on interoperability and data sharing”. It will help to seamlessly share patients’ information among assigned physicians.
8. Voice Interfaces
Many people already talk to their devices if they need information about, for example, traffic, weather forecasts and etc. It is only natural that these interfaces will become more applicable in many industries, including healthcare.
Since voice and other interfaces keep advancing from scripted answers to the more complex interaction with users’ queries, they become more spontaneous and human-like. Thus, the nature of their daily applications will widen.
It’s obvious that providers understand the priority to refine patient involvement and operational efficiency. For instance, Accenture assumes that two-thirds of the U.S. health systems will provide self-service digital scheduling with $3.2 billion in value by the end of 2019. This is only a beginning.
9. Mobile solutions at the core of IT healthcare
Next year we will face more providers of healthcare services motivating their patients to use mobile solutions in order to help them handle chronic illnesses and other health-related matters.
Mobile apps give patients the way to directly manage their health and interact with healthcare providers. Some apps use wireless sensors to accumulate crucial health data. Other ones are telehealth or telemedicine solutions connecting clients with physicians remotely in a video chat. In addition, there is electronic records software which supplies healthcare providers with very important data for setting a diagnosis, and so on.
The so-called Mhealth is a relatively new trend in healthcare. It has a chance to become a very effective way to provide better services in medicine. Although it may face challenges if CMS and insurance organizations make terms of reimbursement for such services unavailable or unfavorable to patients.
10. Analytics and Big Data
Big data is likely to change the way people experience healthcare. Nowadays organizations have so much information of all kinds that they can better estimate the risk factors related to a certain procedure or a patient. For instance, we are able to guess the possibility of someone being readmitted back to a clinic or one’s assumed recovery time.
Another instance of big data application is the assessment of a person having potentially a high-risk for a specific procedure based on one’s history of heart-related issues and by studying thousands of similar patients’ cases.
Instead of a Summary
Keeping up with the new trends is indeed not easy. However, SOLVVE stays on the lookout for the hottest news and trends in the areas that we know the best. Whether you need to scale up your business with Cloud solutions or you are on a lookout for the best developers for your mobile application, do not hesitate to contact us for more insights about how we could bring your ideas to life.