Various Technologies Blending With Healthcare Industry
Technology and Healthcare- sounds like poles apart, but are actually a powerful duo! The healthcare industry is becoming more dynamic after the involvement of technology. The technology is not only improving the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare services but also backing the industry by acting as “Cost-Cutter” which is bliss. With the passing time, the technology has created an “alleyway” for ingenious healthcare startup ideas to pitch in and become the “Next high-profile development”. The writing piece is intended to offer a unique insight about the various adaptation in healthcare due to technology and how that can become an excellent opportunity for smart healthcare startups to bud.
Healthcare Expenditure, Electronic Medical Records, Telemedicine, Mobile Health, Big Data Analytics, Remote Sensing Monitors
At a Glance
- Significance of Technology in Healthcare
- Impact of Technology in Healthcare
- Advantages of Technology in Healthcare
- Technology in Medicine
- Information Technology and Healthcare
- Current Technologies in Use
- Current Trends in Healthcare Technologies
- Future Focus of Healthcare Technology
The modern technology is transforming the healthcare in a very dynamic fashion. The usage of 3D printed organs to Nanosubmarine based drug delivery; all are the “Wonders of Technology”. The technology and healthcare in truth are allies that can make the world a better place to live in. And maybe in near future diseases will become “No Big Deal.”
Significance of Technology in Healthcare
The essence of modern technology in the healthcare can be surely felt. Nowadays, from patient registration to post treatment monitoring, technology has touched each and every aspect of the healthcare. The importance of technology in the healthcare varies depending on the different angles.
- More Precise and Comfortable Treatment
The primary aim of modern medicine is to find more advanced and precise treatment for curing diseases in a less invasive and more comfortable way. The technological advancement in healthcare aids in providing more sophisticated medical devices, more accurate diagnosis tools and target specific drugs. The Da Vinci Robotic Surgery System is one such example of modern marvel of technology in healthcare. Many orphan drugs for the treatment of incurable diseases like AIDS and Ebola are under investigation showing the positive effect.
- Easy Healthcare “Gate pass”
The accessibility of healthcare facilities has increased with the growing concepts of technology.
One such example is telemedicine that not only helped the doctors to reach the patients in remote areas but also equipped the healthcare providers with platforms for consultation and discussion amongst the physicians regarding critical medical cases.
Technology has also helped to physicians by providing Artificial Intelligence based referencing platforms like Modernizing Medicine.
In case of disasters like earthquakes and cyclones, telemedicine can be a great help where accessing medical facilities may not be possible.
- Easy availability of reliable medical information
The medical or healthcare information providing platforms like WebMD are increasing the accessibility of the information that allows the patients to gain knowledge about various medical conditions and also may help them to take further decisions.
The websites are also helping the patients to look for natural remedies and alternative natural therapies.
- Efficient Treatment
The blending of technology in the healthcare has not only increased the accessibility of the healthcare facilities, but it has made the healthcare system more precise and error free. The upgradation of the healthcare system has increased the use of Information Technology for the patient data management.
The information like medical history, lab records, and medication prescribed related to the patients are stored in the systems specialized for medical use. These record aids the healthcare service provider to provide error free services to the patients. The Information Technology is also helping to identify the medical trends that can be used for medical research purpose.
Impact of Technology in Healthcare
In modern times, technology is playing a crucial role in the healthcare scenario and with the time passing the impression of technology in present-day healthcare can be easily seen. The three “E’s” of the healthcare are getting profoundly influenced and impacted by the new technologies.
1. Easy Access
The starting of twenty-first century has increased the demand for an ungraded healthcare system to make the healthcare facilities more accessible and safer. In the past, the complications faced by the healthcare were the unavailability of proper healthcare facilities in remote areas and error prone services.
The merger of technology with healthcare can solve all these problems as services like eHealth, eStorage and delivery of patient health records are increasing the accessibility of the healthcare information leading to error free healthcare services. It is also helping to bridge the patients from remote areas and healthcare service providers.
Some of the examples of new innovative healthcare apps for increasing healthcare accessibility are:
|Pager||App for providing urgent medical assistance based on the same concept of Uber.|
|CrowdMed||Online platform for finding answers to the unsolved medical cases with the help of medical experts from all over the world referred as “Medical Detectives”.|
|Sherpaa||App providing quick diagnosis and prescriptions by medical professionals for not so serious ailments, reducing the need for going to clinics.|
|iCouch.me||The eHealth platform is providing online medical consultation for mental health.|
|MotherKnows||Web-based portal for accessing medical records using smartphones.|
The U.S. healthcare expenditure has reached $2.9 trillion, and it is forecasted to reach a record-breaking amount of $3.78 trillion by 2018. The advancement of technologies in healthcare may help to reduce the cost of healthcare services. As the involvement of technology has increased, the level of precision and accuracy of treatment that reduces the chances of further complications and also may decrease the need for further treatment.
If future vision to believed, then self diagnosing blood and serum analyzers are going to be part of our day-to-day household item reducing the need for further clinical diagnosis in some cases.
Apart from all these, one of the biggest challenges faced by the healthcare is obesity. According to CDC National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), more than 78.6 million Americans are obese costing for the medical expenditure of $147 billion in 2008 and the expenditure is forecasted to be more than $344 billion by the year 2018.
To overcome this problem many innovative Healthcare Information Technology (HIT) based products are introduced to increase the fitness level of people.
The high end quality of services is the ultimate aim of the healthcare service providers and the increasing influence of technology in healthcare is serving the purpose of providing excellent quality healthcare services.
All the new sophisticated medical devices are enhancing the precision level of disease diagnosis and treatment. And with extensive research in genomic sequencing, the development of new personalized medicines is taking place that will take the treatment of diseases into a different level. Nowadays, the patient-centered care is an inevitable part of healthcare services and with the enactment of Affordable Care Act, the responsibilities of healthcare service providers has increased.
Advantages of Technology in Healthcare
The bond shared by healthcare and technology is similar to that of “Conjoined Twins” as they are inseparable and
Technology in Medicine
The technological innovation is widely blending up in all the fields of healthcare. But the most direct impact of technology can be observed in the area of medicine. The Medical Technology helps the healthcare providers in providing improved health care facilities regarding diagnosis, treatment, and management of diseases. The tie-up between technology and medicine has played the role of “Life Saver” for patients all over the world.
The progress in medical technology has led to the development of many new sophisticated diagnostic tools like dual energy Ct scanners, MRI scanners that are helping in the early diagnosis of diseases. Medical Technology is also helping in making the disease treatment more precise and less invasive.
Information Technology and Healthcare
Integration of Information Technology in Medicine has opened a vast opportunity for the improvement of medical services and also made a path for many innovative ideas to become part of medicine practice.
- Personalized Medicine
- Algorithm-based drug prediction
- 3D Printed organs
Current Technologies in Use
1. Electronic Medical Record (EMR)
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the year 1996 imposed requirements for the electronization of health records. The implementation of Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act supported the electronization of health records, which resulted in increased demand for EMR.
The digitization of the medical records is highly beneficial for the modern day healthcare. Some of the benefits of the EMR are:
- Reduces the chances of medication error making the treatment a lot safer.
- Increases efficiency of treatment by aiding quick medical record accession.
- Helps in security and privacy management of patient information.
- Fasten the healthcare services by aiding in precise decision making by medical professionals.
- Reduces the health care costs by supporting prevention of redundant tests.
- Aids in smooth flow for medical billing and coding.
As per market forecast, the Electronic Medical Record market will reach to a buzzing amount of $23.5 billion by the year 2018 with a CAGR percentage of 16.1. Many new EMR and EHR startups are entering the healthcare market and flourishing..
|Company||Market Value||Company Description|
|Practice Fusion||$700 million||Provides web-based EMR and medical practice management services|
|Modernizing Medicine||$101.56 million||Provides cloud based electronic medical assistance|
|careCloud||$98.77 million||Provides cloud based Health Information Technology solutions|
|drchrono||$6.73million||Provides EMR solutions focusing more on ioS apps|
|MotherKnows||$3.45million||Online health record service accessible by the parents|
Source: Healthcare Dive, Crunch Base
The upgradation of the telecommunication field has given birth to the concept of telemedicine. In the year 1996, Ried gave the first definition of telemedicine as “The use of advanced telecommunications technologies to exchange health information and provide healthcare services across geographic, time, social, and cultural barriers.”
The telemedicine technologies are helping to connect the patients and physicians irrespective of the distance and time. Though, telemedicine has several aspects, but the advantages of telemedicine are the primary focus. Some of the benefits of telemedicine are:
- The people staying in the outlying areas can have a quick access to the healthcare services.
- It also helps in post treatment care and recovery tracking of patients.
- It can be a great help for medical assistance in case of natural disasters.
- The online counseling for diseases may help to administer preventive medicines.
- Enables the physicians and researchers all over the world to connect and discuss critical medical cases.
3. Mobile health/mHealth
Gizmos surround the modern world and with the increasing availability of sophisticated and user-friendly smartphones and tablets, technology is becoming an essential part of life. The expansion of Smartphone usage led to the idea of practicing medicine with the help of them.
The mHealth provides a smooth path for the medicine practice. It helps the physicians to take patient care effortlessly, and as many smart healthcare apps are coming into the market the smartphones are aiding to track the vital signs of the users like respiratory rate, blood pressure, and heart rate, etc,.
Apps like Skin Vision, Lumoback, and MyFitnessPal are helping various aspects of healthcare. The global market for mHealth is forecasted to reach an amount of $59.15 billion by 2020 with a CAGR rate of 33.4% and the market size for the U.S. is projected to approximately $18 billion counting for more than 30% of the total market.
Source: medical alarm concepts
4. Big Data Analytics
The idea of big data analytics is becoming “in-Vogue” amongst the hospitals, clinics and other healthcare providing organizations due to the implementation of “Affordable Care Act” in the year 2010.
All EHRs and EMRs stored in the systems of the healthcare organizations are like “Gold Mine” of information that can be used for the research and development of more efficient treatments and better drugs. It may also help to design improved clinical trials for the fast and effective drug testing that can fast track the drug approval process.
The big data analytics also helps in analyzing and predicting patterns for several diseases, and it can be used for insilico drug discovery. The big data analytics can be a great help for the realization of the concept of personalized medicine by aiding pharmacogenomics.
Big Data Analytics Steps:
Source: www.siam.org. IBM
Current Trends in Healthcare Technologies
1. Cloud Technology in Healthcare
The usage of cloud technology for storage of Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) is getting popularized as part of big data management and HIPAA compliance.
Some of the cloud solutions providing startups in the U.S. are
- Blue Bottom
The U.S. healthcare cloud computing market for 2015 was $5billion with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 20.5 %.
2. Smart Data Analytics Software
The healthcare sector in the U.S. is going through a rough phase as the National Healthcare Expenditure (NHE) is increasing, and an enormous amount of healthcare data are piling up, demanding for new actions to be taken to overcome the obstacles. The new smart big data analytics softwares will definitely help in data management and may also reduce the expenditure by cutting the drug research and approval time. The market size for the healthcare analytics in the U.S. is $11.8 billion with a CAGR of 12.2 %.
3. Usable Personal Healthcare Devices
The U.S. healthcare market is flooded with sophisticated gadgets and devices aimed at personal healthcare gadgets and devices. The craze for wearables can be easily sensed and as the expansion of healthcare Information Technology is taking place the gadgets like Magic wand, Scanadu Scout, Google Glass and Ekso Bionics are “Coming in” rattling in the healthcare sector.
The market size for the wearable devices in the U.S. is $20 billion with a CAGR of 21.30%.
4. Smart Remote Patient Surveillance Tools
The new pay-for-performance rule for the physicians and penalties for readmission under the “Affordable Care Act” upsurged the need for post treatment monitoring of patients.
Many smart remote sensing devices made a debut into the market that may help the healthcare organization to monitor the condition of patients post treatment.
|Company Name||Product Name||Product Type|
|Bam Labs||TLC sensor Mat||Smart FDA-Approved sensor mat to monitor patient’s sleep patterns, heart and respiration rate|
|Independa||Integrated Monitor System||To monitor the patient’s activity. Helpful to provide assistance for patients with neurodegenerative disorders|
|iRhythm||Ziopatch cardiac rhythm monitor||Surviel the cardiac rhythm and analyze the risk of arrhythmia|
|Airstrip||Sense4Baby||Monitor fetal condition synched with cloud-based web portal|
|Vitality||Vitality Glow Cap||Pill bottles integrated to web portal aids for monitoring medication adherence|
Future Focus of Healthcare Technology
1. High Data Security
The implementation of Final Omnibus Rule elevated the penalty for health data security breach that has enforced the healthcare organizations to increase the data security. However, with the increasing time the internet hacking is becoming a serious issue especially for healthcare organization as many cases of security breach and medical identity thefts are increases posing a serious threat of HIPAA noncompliance for these organizations.
The future focus of healthcare technology will revolve around finding new data security solutions using Information Technology. Recent advances in the data security services are HIPAA compliant cloud computing services and high level security encryption may reduce the risk up to a level but may be near future ultimate data security solutions can be achieved.
2. Virtual Assistance
The expansion and integration of Artificial Intelligence have revolutionized the healthcare sector as many innovations ranging from fingertip surgery to IBM’s Watson came to reality.
The use of telemedicine and remote sensing monitors are part of virtual assistance. However, the concepts like virtual house calls and doctor visits are the future vision that may turn into reality within a fraction of time.
3. Disease Specific Apps
The buzz of healthcare apps can be easily substantiated by the fact that the U.S. healthcare app market is projected to reach a record breaking value of $26 billion by the year 2017.
In near future specific healthcare apps for each and every ailment and medical specialty will be available from oncology to dentistry that will fasten up the disease diagnosis phase in a more efficient manner.
In modern times, technology and healthcare are entwined together leading towards a better future. The technological involvement in healthcare is improving the system by making the disease diagnosis and treatment more precise and accurate. The technology is helping the healthcare by aiding in expenditure reduction by providing data management and analysis, data security and fast track drug development. Technology is providing a leeway for innovative business ideas to be implemented and become reality.
- www.Crunch Base.com
- www.Healthcare Dive.com
- www.medical alarm concepts.com