Hospitals & Healthcare
The world of healthcare has changed by leaps and bounds over the last few decades. Not only has the 21st century thrust the medical field into an advancing technological age, but it has also changed how healthcare providers care for patients. At this point, it seems the sky’s the limit when we ponder future trends in healthcare technology.
The Dawning of a New Era
No one would have thought back in the early 1950s that doctors would have been able to offer patients care without physically seeing them or consult with other doctors without being in a face-to-face environment.
One of the earliest and most famous uses of hospital-based telemedicine was in the late 50s and early 60s when a closed-circuit television link was established between the Nebraska Psychiatric Institute and Norfolk State Hospital for psychiatric consultations. We moved from those meager beginnings to today being able to offer stroke exams done over a distance using high-quality imaging.
As we move through 2023, let’s take a look into what’s on the horizon for technology in healthcare and how it can benefit the hospital environment.
1. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is quickly becoming common in healthcare. The healthcare industry is one of the major players using AI today and it’s poised to transform its future.
Many technology forecasters believe the next big breakthrough in healthcare will be AI-assisted drug discoveries. Researchers will be able to pour over vast amounts of data regarding patient outcomes to identify substances more likely to be effective against certain diseases. They will also be able to screen compounds safe for humans which are inexpensive and easy to create.
Large amounts of data from clinical trials and patient records are also something AI will be capable of analyzing. Consequently, providers will be able to identify which patients might respond better to specific treatments. It can then help researchers prioritize which compounds to test in the lab, as well as create more effective clinical trials, speeding up the development process to see new medicine hit the shelves quicker.
2. The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)
We can’t speak about the future of technology in healthcare without touching on the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT). It’s one of the top technological trends in healthcare for 2023. So, what exactly is IoMT? Firstly, IoMT is often referred to as IoT – medical and wearable devices, sensors, and other healthcare-related technology integrated with cloud systems. The medical industry expects this network of connected devices to continue to grow in the healthcare landscape.
Some of the most popular devices that can connect to IoMT systems are wearable devices such as Smartwatches and pulsometers which collect data through sensors and report the wearer’s vital signs such as temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. Physicians can retrieve this data for review, treatment, and diagnosis.
3. Remote Patient Monitoring
Remote patient monitoring (RPM) is on the rise in healthcare. It utilizes the latest advances in information technology to chronicle and record health data from patients electronically. Analysis of this data is then sent to healthcare providers to assess to make decisions on care.
Furthermore, it increases providers’ efficiencies and can also be used to monitor a wide range of conditions as well as keep tabs on weight, blood pressure, lung capacity, pulse, oxygen saturation in blood, blood glucose, temperature, and pain management, to name just a few of its merits.
RPM is continuing to evolve. Healthcare providers can now receive data when a patient’s health deteriorates and decide if hospitalization is necessary. This burgeoning technology has been and continues to be a lifesaver for many people. Mobile-enabled RPM is a relatively new concept that comes with notifications prompting patients to provide details on how they’re feeling via an easy mobile app. It continues to strengthen communication between patients and healthcare providers. This technology is proving to be a godsend for people with chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, Cystic Fibrosis, Asthma, and the like.
4. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are primarily used for education and diagnostic purposes. Digital trends in healthcare point to their steady increase in use. The learning in healthcare never stops. Nurses, physicians, and others in the field always have to keep up with new developments. This is where AR and VR come in extremely handy.
There are several applications for AR and VR in medical training:
- Surgical simulations. By creating realistic 3D environments in a surgical suite surgeons can practice delicate and complex procedures.
- Emergency simulations. Simulation of possible emergencies where reactions must be quick and accurate allows medical students to experience what real-life situations might be like.
- Patient care. Possibility of learning more about patient care and how to discuss complex subjects with patients. Students can practice behaviors and see how they might affect patient outcomes.
- Human error. AR and VR are being used in teaching hospitals to help reduce human error due to stress and fatigue. Healthcare staff is placed into realistic 3D operating rooms or intensive care areas to practice procedures and to heighten their skills when in real-life situations.
- Use of medical equipment. AR and VR can provide education on how to use complex medical equipment creating comfort when using it in reality. This goes a long way to increase confidence when staff is with patients. It also allows staff to stay up-to-date on the latest technologies.
- Rehabilitation. AR and VR can help patients regain movement and strength after having surgery or suffering an injury. They can practice various exercises while being monitored by professionals.
This isn’t science fiction anymore. The reality of creating machines and devices several thousand times smaller than a single human hair is wide, is now a fact. Medical nanotechnologies are relatively new, but they’re already impacting how clinicians diagnose, treat, and prevent a broad range of diseases. This intelligent technology is making strides in diagnostic testing and is preventing misdiagnosis. Diagnostic tests are also expensive, inconvenient, and may produce errors. Nanotechnologies have been able to improve these diagnostics and monitor patients.
For example, the first smart pill in 2001 had within it a tiny camera to monitor the bowels or colon to detect Crohn’s disease, internal bleeding, or polyps. Data from the pill is wirelessly sent to a device controlled by the patient who can continually monitor his or her internal health.
The use of nanorobots is also on the upswing. They contain miniature motors to navigate various areas of the body. These robots can be ingested or injected, make their way to diseased sites, take photos, and send them to the patient or physician.
6. 3D Bioprinting and Implants
This year, implant and 3D bioprinting are creating better outcomes and quality of care in medical facilities. With the advent of smart implants (tiny, computerized devices inserted into the body to monitor health and restore certain bodily capabilities) people are being able to do certain things they couldn’t do. For instance, implanting a microelectrode in a person with blindness allows him or her to see letters and shapes.
3D bioprinting uses a special type of ink called bio-ink to create living organs and tissues. This amazing technology allows specialists to create cartilage, bones, and organs like the liver and heart. These top trends are expected to have a massive impact on healthcare as they continue to evolve and become more widely used.
7. Clinical Automation
By automating healthcare processes, organizations can increase patient satisfaction and experiences. For example, they can use software to send patients text messages about rescheduling appointments if patients can’t attend them or miss them. Automation can also alert clinicians about contraindications and interactions for medications by accessing a special database.
Here are some positives of clinical automation:
- Easier scheduling
- Cost reduction
- Easy access to and transfer of data
- Fewer errors
- Adapting to change and handling emergencies
- Increased patient satisfaction
- Increased privacy
- Quicker scheduling
As more facilities and healthcare offices move to clinical automation, it’s important to note that automating workflows doesn’t need to change the processes they create. Instead, automated solutions should incorporate the best practices of the manual process while still providing benefits.
8. Location-Based Technologies
Statistics show that location-based intelligence and analytics is expected to grow from $15.7 billion in 2021 to about $30 billion in 2026. With its cutting-edge location-based system, Mapsted is a leader in the industry. So what are the likely development areas for location-based technologies and analytics?
Increases in 3D mapping. 3D scanning and modeling make it possible to develop highly accurate and detailed 3D maps of real spaces. There are many potential applications for 3D mapping, including navigation, virtual tours, geospatial analysis, urban planning, immersive gaming, Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality experiences, and even guiding rescue and reconstruction efforts during natural disasters. 3D maps are also expected to drive geospatial analysis of urban cities by accurately visualizing and analyzing data such as population density, land use patterns, and environmental conditions. This is where the future is heading!
Crowd-sourced data. Map providers are already relying on crowdsourced data like user-generated content and real-time updates to improve the accuracy and relevance of their maps. Crowd-sourced data is information collected and contributed by a large number of individuals rather than a single organization or company. This data can include user-generated content, such as photos, reviews, and ratings of places and businesses, as well as real-time updates on traffic, construction, and other events impacting navigation and travel. Crowd-sourced data supplements and enriches maps. It can provide valuable insight and current and relevant information than what’s available through traditional sources. For example, a map provider like Mapsted uses crowd-sourced data to add new points of interest, such as restaurants and tourist attractions, or to update the hours of operation or contact information for existing listings.
Enhanced asset tracking Geospatial technologies and custom maps track and manage physical assets, such as vehicles and equipment, as well as monitor and optimize the use of these assets. This can be particularly useful for businesses with a large number of assets to manage or that need to track locations and movements of assets in real-time. In 2023, geospatial and location-based service providers like Mapsted, are focusing on enhancing asset visibility in the movement and use of goods, enhancing security by alerting logistics and delivery teams to any unauthorized movement of goods and improving the efficiency of transportation and logistics systems.
With these technological trends continuing to heat the healthcare field, Mapsted’s location-based solutions for hospitals and healthcare can be a part of the movement. Mapsted’s innovative solutions improve operational efficiency, and support patients, visitors, and staff by using an intelligent, immersive process. With new standards in patient care continually evolving, we invite you to reach out to Mapsted for your no-cost demonstration to see how we can help you to technologically modernize your healthcare space. If you enjoyed learning about some of the technology trends that will impact healthcare in 2023, you may enjoy this blog on improving the patient experience with technology, and this short video on maximizing hospital efficiencies with location technology.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. How will healthcare technology impact patient care?
Ans. Healthcare technology has the potential to revolutionize patient care by providing better access to health information, improved diagnosis and treatment options, and more accurate diagnoses. It can also help reduce healthcare costs by streamlining processes and improving efficiency. Doctors will be able to make more informed decisions faster, leading to improved outcomes for patients. In addition, the use of AI-powered tools can help reduce medical errors and help detect potential health issues earlier.
Q2. How can artificial intelligence and machine learning be utilized in healthcare?
Ans. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are transforming the healthcare industry, enabling medical professionals to diagnose diseases more accurately and quickly. AI and ML can also be used to create personalized treatment plans for patients, analyze medical images, automate administrative tasks, and more. By utilizing AI and ML technologies in healthcare, medical professionals can improve patient outcomes while reducing costs.
Q3. What new technologies are being developed to improve healthcare delivery?
Ans. Healthcare delivery is constantly evolving and new technologies are emerging to make healthcare more efficient and accessible. From artificial intelligence (AI) to virtual reality (VR), the possibilities are endless when it comes to improving healthcare delivery. AI can be used to automate administrative tasks, diagnose diseases, and provide personalized treatments. VR can be used in medical training and simulations, as well as for patient diagnosis and treatment planning. With these new technologies, healthcare providers will be able to deliver better care with greater efficiency.
Q4. What are the most promising future trends in healthcare technology?
Ans. With advances in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and big data analytics, healthcare organizations are now able to make more informed decisions about patient care. As a result, healthcare providers are able to provide better quality care while reducing costs. In addition, new technologies such as telemedicine and nanotechnology are being used to provide better access to care for remote patients. The future of healthcare also includes the use of robotics for surgical procedures and the development of personalized medicine tailored to individual patients’ needs. All these trends point toward a brighter future for healthcare technology and improved outcomes for patients around the world.
Q5. What challenges do healthcare providers face when using technology?
Ans. Healthcare providers face a variety of challenges when it comes to using technology. From the need to secure patient data and comply with regulations to the difficulty of integrating new systems with existing ones, healthcare providers are constantly looking for solutions that can help them make the most out of their technology investments. The challenge is to find a balance between ensuring patient safety and providing efficient care while also staying up-to-date with the latest technologies.