This post was most recently updated on July 25th, 2023
Technological innovations are the lifeblood of modern healthcare. Practitioners increasingly rely on technology to improve their efficiency and develop superior patient outcomes.
The healthcare industry is fast-moving, meaning every year brings a new raft of technologies that drive the industry forward. In 2020, the global medical technology market reached a value of $384 billion, a 37% increase since 2011.
So, what are some recent technological innovations that have improved healthcare?
Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM)
Physicians often have far too many patients to monitor simultaneously. RPM is a technology that has empowered physicians to figure out what’s going on with their patients without being physically present.
Benefits of RPM include:
- Faster response times
- Significant cost reductions
- More favorable patient outcomes
The increasing popularity of this technology has been paired with telemedicine. COVID-19 has accelerated the adoption of RPM, with an estimated 26% of Americans using RPM technology by 2025.
Cardiology PACS Technology
PACS technology transforms cardiovascular technology as we know it. According to experts, cardiology PACS systems go the extra mile by uploading cardiac images into a single location.
The presence of multiple cardiovascular images on a single network server increases efficiency and improves collaboration. Making images like these available to those who need them is an advanced tool that reduces errors in diagnosis and applying incorrect treatments.
PACS systems are also valuable for other disciplines that can benefit from increased collaboration.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI takes many forms and is already transforming a range of industries, with healthcare being no exception.
The primary trend within AI is utilizing machine learning to process, analyze, and interpret mass amounts of patient data simultaneously. Using data science to improve care outcomes is a well-known strategy for successfully treating acute and chronic conditions.
Equipping physicians with additional information offers greater knowledge of patients and their conditions, which can only be a good thing.
Note that AI needs to be more advanced to replace physicians. No patient should expect sentient robots to begin implementing care plans in the short to medium term. Medical ethics dictates that the physician makes the final decision based on the information available to them.
Patients requiring ongoing care for chronic illnesses may receive education, medication adjustment, and symptom monitoring. However, this care is costly and time consuming for both sides.
Recent tech news reveals a rise in the adoption of digital therapeutics applied to specific medical conditions.
Digital therapeutics take the form of highly advanced software programs that patients can access via a smartphone or app, often with the convenience of QR codes. Patients can use these platforms, easily scanning the QR codes provided, to embark upon medication testing, including randomized clinical trials.
Certain medical conditions are better suited than others for digital therapeutics, including diabetes, anxiety, cancer, insomnia, and asthma.
Internet of Medical Things
The Internet of Things has existed for well over a decade. It’s the invisible network connecting inanimate objects capable of connecting to the Internet. Within the healthcare business, there is the Internet of Medical Things.
RPM via 5G devices, wearable sensors, and smart medical devices are all taking advantage of the Internet of Medical Things. Patients and physicians alike acquire up-to-date patient data with a high degree of accuracy.
The future of the Internet of Medical Things is medical practitioners being able to monitor patients in new ways, including systemically and holistically.
Interconnected medical devices have been around for a while, but uptake has been slow over the years. There’s renewed interest in the concept, which has spurred the healthcare industry to work toward increasing usability and making it simpler to integrate these enabled devices into various healthcare settings.
Healthcare innovations are transforming the way healthcare professionals deliver care to their patients. With patient numbers rising due to an aging population and staff numbers failing to rise alongside, turning to technology can plug many of the gaps in staffing.
Beyond the capacity issues, these technologies offer patients more control over their care, especially through telehealth platforms. Ultimately, these technologies are a proven way of improving patient outcomes.