Healthcare is one of the few industries that actively embraces new technologies. From supportive and educational apps to advanced therapeutic and diagnostic solutions, emerging technology can improve patient outcomes and enhance healthcare provider capabilities.
Here are 10 healthcare tech trends to watch over the next few years.
iTech is one of the most promising AI trends in medicine. These services can provide highly accurate diagnostic support and free doctors from routine tasks. They can also assist with drug development and find effective treatment routes.
One particularly successful example of AI in medtech is the Zebra AI1 program. It uses sophisticated AI to examine medical images and return a diagnosis to healthcare providers so that treatment can begin sooner. This technology is estimated to save at least 80 percent of the time it takes for physicians to reach the final diagnosis.
2. Virtual health assistance
A recent Accenture survey showed that 62 percent of people would be happy to use virtual health advisories at home, and 57 percent would opt to receive health monitoring via remote devices for chronic issues.
This proves that startups still have plenty of opportunities to take advantage of consumer interest in virtual health assistance.
Several companies have already seen impressive success, especially in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many of these companies specialize in providing affordable, comprehensive virtual care via a combination of AI services and human healthcare professionals.
Data security is always a top concern for people, especially when it comes to sensitive information like health records. While surveys show that consumers generally trust brick-and-mortar doctors’ offices and hospitals to secure their data, confidence drops significantly for any tech-related medical care.
Blockchain technology is the answer to boosting consumer confidence in secure data management. It offers security, trust and control in an unprecedented way. Blockchain hasn’t become widespread in healthcare yet, but it’s a trend to watch in the coming years.
4. IoT accessibility
Hospitals are still facing unprecedented workloads and limited resources. There will always be a need for cutting-edge innovation and increased efficiency in healthcare, which is why more advanced IoT accessibility is another trend to watch.
The more that healthcare can become integrated with IoT technology, the better the overall quality of care for patients.
Related: This Critical Tool is a Must for Healthcare Practices
5. Medical mobile apps
These days, there’s an app for almost everything, including healthcare. As consumers continue to shift into a completely mobile mindset, healthcare companies must keep pace. Mobile apps are rapidly becoming a part of the digital medicine revolution.
The main growth drivers for mobile health (mHealth) are rapid advances in mobile app technology, patient awareness and a sharp rise in lifestyle diseases. All of these markers point to a future of growth and potential for innovation.
As an example, MHealth startup Natural Cycles has already seen success, raising more than $30 million in investments and attracting a user base of 500,000 women to their subscription model.
In addition to AI, we can expect to see robots taking on a greater role in healthcare settings. Advances in robotics are leading us toward adding autonomous robots to medical staff to help with everything from routine tasks such as gathering patient vitals to more sophisticated duties like performing intricate surgeries. There are plenty of examples of robotics in the medical field.
Robotics may also be the future of medical companionship. Companion bots can positively impact mental health, and they can also assist with physical health monitoring in the future.
Telemedicine is rapidly becoming the future of healthcare. The global pandemic dramatically accelerated its use, but now telemedicine is extremely popular for its convenience. The global telehealth market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of nearly 26 percent from 2021 to 2030.
The logical next step beyond telehealth is telewellness. Consumers will want access to convenient, proactive health support backed by medical experts. This includes anything from live-streamed fitness sessions to continuing education about disease prevention and access to specialized medical professionals for check-ins and health discussions.
Biohacking used to be a sci-fi “fringe” idea that sounded farfetched, but it is quickly becoming our reality. In practical terms, biohacking includes anything that “levels up” your body by improving wellness and vital processes.
Common biohacking solutions include companies like Genopalate that create diet plans based on individual genetic information and brands that sell targeted supplements. Other biohacking trends include stem cell therapy and implant devices.
Related: How Virtual Care Can Close Healthcare Disparities
9. Virtual Reality (VR)
The future of medical training will almost certainly rely on VR and AR technology. For example, medical students have recently begun using the Osso VR platform to train for surgical procedures. The surgical training platform has already raised an additional $27 million in Series B funding. The VR suite has shown up to 300 percent improvement in overall surgical performance, so it is easy to see how companies could leverage the tech in other areas of healthcare.
10. AI diagnostics
One final trend to watch is the growth of AI diagnostic tools. Companies are already training AI to recognize brain disorders, cancerous growths, visual impairments and more based on medical images like MRIs and ultrasounds. AI can also provide essential support in alleviating physician burnout by assisting with the administrative burden of reaching a diagnosis.
By 2030, the market for highly intelligent medical solutions is expected to reach more than $6 billion, and by 2025, AI is projected to penetrate all areas of healthcare. These trends are all excellent platforms for startups to leverage for future success.
Related: The Future of Healthcare Is in the Cloud
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