What healthcare leaders should know about healthcare technology trends

From real-time diagnoses assisted by machine learning software to wearable devices that track and transmit patient health-related data from a distance, a host of new and exciting technology trends are poised to take medicine to the next level in this decade.

In this article, we are going to take a look at the new healthcare technology trends that are changing the field of medicine and how you can adapt to them and use them to your benefit as a healthcare leader. Here is a list of the contents involved:

  1. How do wearable devices improve healthcare?
  2. What are the uses of Artificial Intelligence in medicine?
  3. How is telehealth changing the healthcare delivery model?
  4. What is the role of Virtual Reality in medicine?
  5. How does 5G improve healthcare services?
  6. Can blockchain have a place in the healthcare sector?
  7. What are the benefits of automation in health administration?
  8. How does automation improve patient outcomes?
  9. How can Connect Health help you?

1. How do wearable devices improve healthcare?

Wearable devices are helping healthcare workers to collect data from a widening and more diverse pool of users. One of the benefits of this trend is the possibility of remote patient monitoring, in which specialized gadgets track metrics such as glucose levels and blood pressure, and also via fitness trackers and devices such as the Samsung or Apple Watch that can identify signs of atrial fibrillation, among other diseases.

As a research tool, this technology is gaining ground. In September of 2021, Apple announced three studies on women’s health, noise exposure, and heart health in conjunction with healthcare institutions. More than 400,000 female Apple Watch users have agreed to participate.

Still, the movement presents big interpretation and interoperability challenges for providers. Healthcare professionals do not have the training to work with this flood of data. This means that data scientists will need to work alongside doctors and other health professionals to get the best out of this trend.

2. What are the uses of Artificial intelligence in medicine?

Increasingly, Artificial Intelligence is becoming a pivotal part of the healthcare security system. As healthcare threats increase in number and severity, especially with billing, AI can be employed to watch for fraud threats, recognize unusual behaviors on a network, and predict malware infections based on previously identified characteristics, among other cybersecurity measures.

Artificial intelligence is also helping patients take better control of their own care, with chatbots tools that are being used for diagnosing minor ailments.

In 2022, healthcare facilities will be looking more closely than ever at the effectiveness of infection control and prevention programs using artificial intelligence to better monitor patients with quick infection risk identification and early clinical intervention.

To gauge the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on preventing infection, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) compared 2021 Health associated infections (HAIs) data to that of 2019 which showed lower rates of bacteremia such as MRSA. The CDC concluded these decreases were not due to a lower volume of sicker patients but were a result of more efficient prevention programs improved by many things, one of those AI.

The biggest problem with AI applications is that many of these apps remain segmented. Consequently, artificial intelligence is mostly individual companies with one variable and one AI algorithm solving one problem. For this reason, we expect to see alliances develop between healthcare organizations and tech companies in the future.

3. How is telehealth changing the healthcare delivery model?

As social distancing and stay-at-home orders have been interfering with the medicine delivery model, more health systems, medical specialties, and doctors are providing telehealth services. Moreover, insurance firms are offering reimbursements for telehealth services and the scope of telehealth has been widening. Therefore, the benefits and usage of these services are increasing exponentially.

FaceTime and Google Chat have also opened people’s willingness to do remote things. Now you are comfortable talking with your grandmother over Skype. Therefore, you also understand this is a normal type of communication that you can use for many purposes, like talking to a physician. This is crucial for people in rural or underserved areas who require the care of a specialist like a cardiothoracic doctor or a neurologist.

For instance, a senior citizen recovering in post-acute care could receive an online consultation without the physical and financial toll of travel. These exchanges will increasingly go beyond a patient’s typical healthcare providers to encompass a wide range of care needs.

Consequently, telemedicine will likely prove resilient well past the Covid-19 pandemic and will establish itself as a permanent and prominent fixture in the healthcare system. Looking to 2022, healthcare facilities expect to strengthen and formalize telehealth training, to prepare professionals and promote telehealth best practices to their clinical teams.

4. What is the role of Virtual Reality in medicine?

This technology initially planned to be only for gamers is finding a role in the medical industry. In 2022, online learning and virtual simulation will become more commonplace in healthcare education as classrooms weigh the benefits seen during the COVID-19 pandemic. This technology can eliminate traditional roadblocks such as staffing challenges as well as lack of physical training sites by offering flexible solutions for faculty and students.

Virtual reality has many benefits such as improved clinical reasoning and knowledge retention, as well as allowing healthcare personnel to use their sense of touch when practicing hands-on skills and physical assessments. Virtual Reality also helps surgeons visualize potential obstacles before difficult surgeries. Dermatology and plastic surgery departments are using this tool to perfect surgical procedures and minimize scars, so patients are happier with their results.

These technologies can also give healthcare professionals more clinical judgment preparation, helping doctors and nurses enter the workforce better qualified for a diverse patient population and clinical decision-making. There is a lot of promise for clinicians using virtual reality to improve procedural intervention and education, so we do not what is the limit for this technology yet.

5. How does 5G improve healthcare services?

The arrival of 5G techlology has the potential to improve healthcare delivery by boosting capacity and speed while reducing latency. This powerful network will be very important for transmitting large medical images, and for supporting complex uses of artificial intelligence and virtual reality as well as telehealth initiatives and remote patient monitoring.

5G also will facilitate faster communication and downloads on mobile devices and tablets used in healthcare settings.

If we talk about the challenges that 5G faces, it is only available in a handful of places. In addition, despite its higher capacity, it also has a shorter range. This results in the need for hundreds of thousands of new antennas, prompting concerns about potential health effects. There is also some consumer confusion around which devices can support it and what constitutes 5G coverage.

6. Can blockchain have a place in the healthcare sector?

Blockchain uses encryption and other security measures to store data safely and link it in a way that enhances usability. Together with other thriving technologies in healthcare, blockchain is a powerful tool that has changed how healthcare professionals use medical and patient information to gain insights and improve care and delivery.

The biggest use case of blockchain in the healthcare system could be storing electronic records. Nowadays medical systems in every country and place of the world are struggling with the problem of data siloes. This basically means that patients and their healthcare providers have an incomplete view of medical records.

In 2016, Johns Hopkins University published an article showing that the third leading cause of death in the United States was medical errors resulting from poorly coordinated care and negligence, such as errors of omission in patient records and planned actions not completed as intended. One potential solution to fix this problem is creating a blockchain-based system for medical files that can be linked to the existing electronic medical record software.

It is important to emphasize that actual patient information does not go on the blockchain. Each new record appended to the blockchain, whether a prescription or a lab result, is encrypted through a hash function. This information can only be decoded and read if the patient gives their consent. The good news is that some countries like Estonia have already implemented this solution completely fixing this problem.

7. What are the benefits of automation in health administration?

Healthcare leaders already know that automation not only works, but potentiates the healthcare system. According to the medical industry research organization CAQH, the industry has successfully reduced administrative expenses by $122 billion as a result of automation and could potentially save an additional $16 billion by completely automating some common tasks.

Completely implementing automation in medicine will likely bring changes in healthcare administration jobs. Thus, it is fair to say it will a priority for new health administrators. they will be tasked with improving care quality, lowering costs, and using data science to support decision-making. In the following lines, we are going to talk about some of the administrative benefits of automation in medicine.

7.1. Patient billing and scheduling

Robotic Process Automation or RPA can handle administrative duties around the clock. This allows staff to focus on emergencies and pressing tasks that require leadership and decision-making skills. Billing and claim tasks that can be automated, improving billing and revenue, and enhancing patient management. In addition, automation can manage patient intake and scheduling, leaving staff free to give patients get the care they deserve.

7.2. Staff support

The COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on healthcare facilities around the globe. Providers soon saw the need to protect their medical staff. They automated triage screening tools and established hotlines in order to take the work off of nurses and staff. Some hospitals even used trained AI tools to detect pneumonia in COVID-19 patients. These automation use cases in medical facilities have successfully supported staff and prevented burnout.

7.3. Dashboard analytics

One of the major responsibilities of health administrators is measuring and enhancing operational efficiencies. Healthcare dashboards are one of the most useful tools for medical providers to visualize information to understand key performance indicators. A healthcare dashboard allows providers to see clinical data, insurers to understand claims data, and hospitals to track resource allocation.

8. How does automation improve patient outcomes?

Healthcare centers are using automation to improve patient outcomes improving diagnostic capabilities. Automation is being used to enhance medical decisions and support evidence-based practice, which combines the use of clinical practice with research to identify best practices in diagnosis and treatment.

Another potential use case for automation in healthcare could be reducing medical errors. About 400,000 patients experience some type of preventable harm each year caused by medical errors. These errors cost between $5 billion and $20 billion annually. For this reason, health technology startups have created AI apps to help prevent deaths by error

They also use it to help improve and track patient compliance. For example, technology providers have trained AI to spot cancers, not to replace doctors, but to help them deliver care.

9. How can Connect health help you?

If you are looking for a vacancy in medicine, we can help you find a healthcare position. You can sign up on our website and apply for many healthcare vacancies. Make sure to check the requirements and read the job description before applying for any position.

On the other hand, if you are struggling to find an employee, in Connect Health you can find the best candidate. We have an extended database of possible candidates where you can find the perfect employee for your business.

Would you like to contact Connect Health to obtain information about healthcare vacancies in the UAE? You can get in contact with us at info@connecthealth.ae to talk to one of our representatives that will gladly answer all of your questions.

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