Over the years, healthcare has made incredible progress. It is currently seeing an explosion of technologies aimed at extending life expectancy and improving quality of life. The healthcare business is on the verge of tremendous transformation as healthcare companies face unprecedented difficulties to improve quality and upgrade to the digital age.
Even though the present fascinates us to the point where we are awestruck, the future is projected to be even more awesome and sophisticated!
Have you ever considered the current size of the healthcare industry?
In most wealthy countries, healthcare consumes more than 10% of GDP. The global healthcare IT industry is expected to increase at a rate of 14% until 2029, with a value of 315.3 billion by the end of 2021.
To begin with, the aging population and chronic illness are driving the regulatory reforms. Next, to increase access and quality, public-sector healthcare is looking to the private sector for innovation and efficiency. Technology enhances accessibility and quality while lowering expenses and increasing innovation.
Foundations have already been laid
The underpinnings of healthcare industrialisation — electronic medical records, remote monitoring, and communications — are already in place in health platforms. The healthcare business is undergoing a transformation because of recent technological advancements, and here are some amazing technology areas transforming healthcare:
Technology 1 — Extended reality (ER)
In the past, doctors depended on X-rays, ultrasounds, MRIs, and other advanced imaging techniques. Currently, doctors observe the organs of a patient in 3D and make accurate incisions. Because of extended reality, a complex procedure to separate conjoined twins was accomplished incredibly efficiently.
Extended Reality is becoming increasingly popular in surgical departments, education, training, and chronic pain management. The healthcare ER market is expected to reach $10.8 billion by 2026.
Virtual reality is also doing an excellent job in this area using holograms. Students and novice doctors can be guided and educated remotely by experienced doctors. ER’s unique experiences will not only help you create appealing value proposition but will also meet increasing client demands.
Technology 2 — Cloud Computing
Cloud-based infrastructure has aided clinical researchers and health professionals all around the world in their quest for a vaccine, and it aids experts by providing them with the information they need to produce an effective antigen. IBM, for example, is taking steps to make cloud-based AI research assets more accessible to clinical professionals and academics involved in research and therapy.
Oracle has aided the development of coronavirus antibodies, playing a key part in the development of cloud infrastructure for clinical trials and assisting them in the use of Oracle Clinical Trials Systems to gather data for medication testing. Patients, physicians, start-ups, and the broader healthcare business all benefit from cloud computing, and the past year may go down in history as the year that proved it.
Technology 3 — Mobile Technology
Mobile technology is playing a critical and productive role in the healthcare industry. It goes beyond data collection and management from afar. In 2020, the global mobile healthcare industry was worth $4.2 billion, and by 2027, it is predicted to be worth $20.7 billion.
Following are some incredible innovations:
· Singapore’s government makes extensive use of contact tracing technologies, such as TraceTogether and Private Kit, which allow for the silent tracking of persons.
· There’s the Generis healthcare app, which recommends supplements based on DNA, and Teladoc, which connects patients with board-certified doctors via phone or video visits 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
· Another example is OptoView, that obtains high-resolution photographs of the patient’s retina from their smartphone, assesses the problem, and links the patient with the appropriate specialist.
Mobile technology has transformed the lives of many for the better and will continue to do so at a much grander pace.
Technology 4 — Artificial Intelligence (AI)
The healthcare industry is rapidly evolving, and AI is being used to boost productivity and reduce the stress on healthcare workers. AI in Healthcare Market Size will be worth $61.6 billion By 2027.
AI algorithms are beating human clinicians at making better clinical decisions, such as detecting malignant tumours and advising researchers on how to build cohorts for expensive clinical studies. Some even assist with complex surgical procedures. Deep learning algorithms are being used to emulate the steps taken by a cardiologist.
Another clever application: Viz.ai, a San Francisco-based business, has developed an AI system that analyses medical imagery to provide stroke patients with faster and more accurate diagnosis. Other than analyzing a patient’s EHR or identifying people at high risks, AI algorithms are also helping with mental state disorders. Example — IBM Watson currently can signal patients with opioid addiction issues.
I believe we are on the verge of entering a more sophisticated future, but it will be fraught with ethical difficulties. However, as technology advances, privacy principles will evolve as well, resulting in a safer medical experience.
Technology 5 — Nano Medicine
The use of nano medicine in healthcare is opening new frontiers across the life sciences industry. The global healthcare nanotechnology market will be valued at $461 billion by 2026.
Nanotechnology is transforming several parts of medical care, including diagnostics, disease monitoring, surgical equipment, regenerative medicine, vaccine development, and medication administration, thanks to its capacity to alter matter at the atomic level. Advanced research technologies that can be employed for drug discovery are also opening doors to better treatment choices for numerous ailments.
For example — Smart Sensor Capsules eliminate the need for medications to be injected into the stomach. It is given orally and unfolds before settling on the organ, tracking vital signs for diagnosis and treatment monitoring. Then there are NanoFlares, which are designed to bind to genetic targets in cancer cells and produce light when they are identified. Then there are nanobots that look like unfolded cubes that can quickly biopsies suspicious cancer tumours.
Technology 6 — Robotics
In the medical/healthcare industry, robots are revolutionising surgery, expediting supply delivery, and cleaning, and freeing up time for doctors to spend with patients. The market for surgical robotics generated $5.46 billion in 2020, in terms of value and is estimated to reach $16.77 billion by 2031, growing at a rate of 10.2%.
Medical robots help with minimally invasive operations, personalised and frequent monitoring for chronic disease patients, intelligent medicines, and social interaction for the elderly. For example, minimally invasive torso procedures — The Vinci robot locks into position after being inserted through a small incision, providing a stable platform from which to perform surgery via remote control. Common orthopaedic operations, such as knee and hip replacements, can be preprogramed into devices like the Mako robot.
There are various types of robots used in healthcare for social, mobile, modular, and service. Along with improvements in machine learning, data analytics, computer vision, and other technologies, health robots will continue to evolve. Robots of all kinds will continue to improve their ability to accomplish jobs independently, efficiently, and accurately.
Technology 7–3D Bioprinting
3D Bioprinting excels in healthcare applications because it allows for personalised solutions. From 2019 to 2027, the global 3D Printing Healthcare Market is predicted to produce $3.7 billion, with a CAGR of 18.2 percent.
This technology has progressed so far that a fully bionic hand that is fully customizable might be marketed for a fraction of the present retail price tag of tens of thousands of dollars for such advanced prostheses. Another wonderful use case is that we could create a totally new revolutionary approach for ankle foot orthoses, which would be tremendously beneficial to individuals with cerebral palsy.
Desktop stereolithography and other precise and affordable 3D printing processes are democratising access to the technology, empowering healthcare professionals to develop new clinical solutions and quickly manufacture custom devices, allowing physicians to deliver new treatments around the world.
Technology 8 — DNA Sequencing
From $8.41 billion in 2020, the global DNA sequencing market is predicted to grow to nearly $17.92 billion by 2025. It has undergone a complete revamp, resulting in a million-fold increase in data generating efficiency!
There is now a chance for genome sequencing to be used routinely in research and healthcare. Rare, undetected hereditary disorders and cancer are two examples of immediate uses. As healthcare evolves to embrace precision medicine, this will aid in the general application of risk profiles, early detection, and potentially prevent cases of common disease in national populations. SARS-Cov-2 (COVID-19) is being sequenced with this method.
DNA sequencing methodologies have paved the way for genetic predictions of human diseases. This is accomplished by a precision medicine approach, enabling a quick and reliable sequence of many genes at once. This aims to use genomic information to deliver the right treatment to the right patient at the right time which is becoming a more common occurrence.
Technology 9 — mRNA Technology
Traditional vaccines introduce a part of a virus that is dead, inactive, or modified into our bodies so that our immune systems may learn to detect and fight this foreign intruder. Messenger RiboNucleic Acid (mRNA) vaccines, on the other hand, train human cells to function as independent vaccine production plants, allowing for faster production and the ability to keep up with novel varieties. The information held in DNA — our genetic blueprint — is converted into proteins by RNA. This task is performed by a type of RNA known as “messenger” RNA, or mRNA.
The use of mRNA in medicine is a novel concept in healthcare. By 2026, the global market for mRNA vaccines is expected to reach $2.1 billion growing at a rate of 8.7%
Modifying the mRNA vaccination is simple; all you must do is edit the sequence. Malaria, Influenza, Tuberculosis, HIV, Hepatitis B, Rabies, and Cystic fibrosis are just a few diseases that could be the next target for mRNA vaccines and treatments. Scientists are still looking into mRNA therapies for a variety of cancers.
The healthcare community now has access to a variety of powerful tools for improving patient care because of technological advancements. Physicians may examine entire medical histories of patients and make the best medical judgments since EHRs are conveniently accessible. Doctors can spot potential medication errors promptly. They can do this by employing apps like barcode scanners, and as a result, patient safety increases.
With a perfect blend of technology (hardware and software) making inroads into innovation in healthcare, solutions towards healthcare will expand enormously in the future. With predictive, prescriptive, and proactive analytics available, life expectancy and health awareness will help a better lifestyle for human beings. Technology will and is expected to be a huge catalyst that will accelerate healthcare soon.
While brick-and-mortar hospitals will always have a place in healthcare, mobile technologies will go a long way toward moving healthcare systems beyond facility-based care. As technology advances in medicine and medical interaction, it is becoming clear that we are entering a new era of healthcare, or as some are beginning to call it, Health 2.0.
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