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HomeHealth6 Trends in the healthcare industry

6 Trends in the healthcare industry

The main objective of the healthcare industry is to improve the well-being of the people it serves by fostering health, healing, and treatments that enhance their quality of life.

However, with technological advancements, the healthcare sector is evolving at a breakneck pace, just like most other industries. The emergence of new healthcare trends has created new opportunities for the industry. 

Beginning with the digital description of the patient’s symptoms to the facility of making it simple for medical professionals to learn and offer quicker and more accurate diagnoses, healthcare organizations and patients have found these technological trends to be advantageous. 

Contrary to fashion, healthcare trends don’t come and go. The changes may take a few years to manifest themselves, but once they do, they continue. Here are some trends that have revolutionized the healthcare industry:

  1. Vaccine Development 

The development of vaccines has immensely improved health at a relatively low cost and brought several serious diseases close to extinction. However, till a few years ago, they were made using techniques developed more than a century ago, which underutilize the field’s potential.

Recent developments in vaccination technology brought about by genetic engineering now offer the chance to focus on new diseases, and they have become a hallmark in the history of public health and its evolution over time. Human growth hormones, Follistim (to treat infertility), human albumin, monoclonal antibodies, antihemophilic factors, vaccinations, and many other medications have all been mass-produced through genetic engineering.

However, unlike conventional vaccines, genetically engineered subunit vaccines are more expensive to produce as they must undergo thorough testing and evaluation by the FDA. 

Still, recombinant subunit vaccines have been considered one of the most effective primary prevention measures for boosting individual and public health by reducing infectious diseases.

  1. Telemedicine

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing, many governments, healthcare systems, medical professionals, and even patients have embraced telemedicine.

Different platforms provide telehealth services and help with public health mitigation measures. The benefits include remote patient care, freeing up beds, and cost-saving on medical supplies for patients, particularly the elderly.

Using telemedicine apps, users can get medical advice, prescriptions, or referrals directly from doctors. Online doctor consultations are available for hospitals, practitioners, patients, and businesses.

It enables users to schedule appointments and video calls with healthcare professionals. 

Because medical professionals can now communicate with their patients via telecommunication, telemedicine has lessened the strain on facilities and decreased the need for personal protective equipment.

  1. The emergence of the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)

IoMT tools are fast altering healthcare delivery due to their capacity to gather, analyze, and communicate health data. They are essential for creating healthcare-related products that require little to no human interaction.

Multiple applications, including automatic disinfection, smart diagnosis, and remote patient management, to name a few, are made possible by connected medical devices, equipment, and infrastructure. 

For instance, some businesses offer a variety of items for cleaning surfaces, door handles, objects, handrails, and the air in the room. The system uses ultraviolet C (UV-C) light radiation to automatically disinfect when it detects the presence of people in a room. The remedy records the cleaning procedure and provides real-time reporting via a dashboard.

Another solution guarantees the timely delivery of a thermosensitive dose while allowing for remote monitoring. The device continuously checks the doses, internal and external temperatures, battery life, performance diagnostics, and other variables.

These solutions are currently in use since they are easy to install in hospitals, clinics, businesses, airports, hotels, and even cruise ships.

  1. Innovation of Bioartificial organs

Artificial organs are the pinnacle of bioengineering, a significant area of study that sits at the nexus of engineering, life sciences, and medicine.

  The innovation of an artificial heart has made its way to reality. It is now used to replace hearts while waiting for a transplant. The idea of a pre-made heart that could replace a damaged one is alluring, and a few businesses have succeeded in realizing it.

With the development of 3-D printing and tissue engineering, one can imagine an artificial heart made of flesh and blood. This looks beyond electromechanical pumps that can act as hearts. The race is to create an artificial organ with tissue-based functionality. An organ that could perform bodily and physiological functions like secreting hormones, controlling the blood vessels, and growing as a person matures.

Then there are artificial wombs, which resemble Ziploc bags and have tubes for amniotic fluid, oxygen, nutrition, and blood, giving premature babies the hope to live. 

However, the journey of this part of the healthcare industry has just begun, and there’s still a long way to go.

  1. Employment of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI is replacing traditional, labor- and time-intensive healthcare processes with quick, remote-accessible, and real-time solutions for disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. 

Medical diagnostics, advanced surgery assistance, and clinical workflow management are examples of how artificial intelligence is used in the healthcare industry.

To maximize the potential of AI, health tech startups create software platforms, application programming interfaces (APIs), natural language processing (NLP), and other digital goods.

Among these, natural language processing (NLP) can understand and classify clinical documents, and unstructured clinical notes can be processed to provide a plethora of information. They improve processes, understand quality, and give patients better results.

Machine learning is another application relevant to the administration of claims and payments. It matches data from several databases and saves time, money, and resources when code problems and false claims are found and corrected.

  1. Usage of Immersive Technologies

Immersive technologies like AR and VR are increasingly being used in healthcare today. They are used for therapies, rehabilitation, and diagnosing and treating physical diseases and illnesses like dementia, depression, PTSD, and phobias.

Their use in physical therapy and treating brain injuries, stroke, and other conditions are all examples of rehabilitation applications.

They are also used for remote surgery and diagnostics that are quicker and more efficient. Systems like touch surgery use virtual reality to show the anatomy and physiology of the patient, allowing surgeons to visualize the inner recesses of the human body in an operating room. 

Another application of immersive experience is in the field of patient education. An immersive experience can be helpful for children and elderly patients undergoing surgery to understand the rationale for the treatment and how it is carried out.

 It can considerably lower anxiety levels and improve patient participation. In postoperative care, when patients understand the rationale behind instructions and observe how the guidelines affect the healing process through AR/VR, they are more willing to adhere to them.

Conclusion

It is an exciting time for the healthcare industry. Due to technological evolutions, it has become possible to touch new horizons in providing health services and administering health solutions. AI, data, and precision medicine are movements in healthcare that aim to raise standards of treatment and population health. Virtual and augmented reality have given doctors a chance to heal people with a degree of precision that was not possible before. Yet, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Stay abreast of emerging solutions to realize all the available possibilities in the healthcare industry. 

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