Market Research & Insights

Significant technology trends to transform medicine and healthcare in 2020

Health Industry Hub | November 11, 2019 |
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The healthcare is being transformed using the latest technology to meet the challenges and complexities of the market. Technology can help healthcare organisations meet growing demands on resources and improve precision medicine to deliver better patient care.

Here are the key technology trends that will transform medicine and healthcare in 2020.

AI and Machine Learning

As the world population continues to grow, and age, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) offer new and better ways to identify disease, diagnose conditions, crowdsource and develop treatment plans, monitor health epidemics, create efficiencies in medical research and clinical trials, and make operations more efficient to handle the increased resource demands in healthcare.

McKinsey estimates that there could be $100 billion in annual savings for medicine and pharma by leaning on big data and the AI ands ML tools to process it. AI algorithms powered by recent advances in computational power learn from the data and can predict the probability of a condition to help doctors provide a diagnosis and treatment plans. Ultimately, AI and ML can assist with many clinical problems as long as governing and regulatory bodies can determine how to regulate the use of algorithms in healthcare.

Robotics

Currently, collaborative robots—such as the da Vinci surgical robot— are already assisting humans with tasks in the operating room. However, the potential for robots in healthcare expands beyond surgical uses. With tremendous growth expected in the industry—the global medical robotics market is expected to reach $20 billion by 2023—there’s no doubt that robots used in healthcare will continue to conduct more varied tasks. These already include helping doctors examine and treat patients in rural areas via “telepresence,” transporting medical supplies, disinfecting hospital rooms, helping patients with rehabilitation or with prosthetics, and automating labs and packaging medical devices.

Wearable Tech

Most patients would agree to use new technologies for their care if controlled by human caregivers. Today’s smartwatches can not only track your steps but can monitor your heart rhythms. Other forms of wearable devices are ECG monitors that can detect atrial fibrillation and send reports to your doctor, blood pressure monitors, self-adhesive biosensor patches that track your temperature, heart rate, and more.

Genomics

AI and ML help advance genomic medicine—when a person’s genomic info is used to determine personalised treatment plans and clinical care. In pharmacology, oncology, infectious diseases, and more, genomic medicine is making an impact. Computers make the analysis of genes and gene mutations that cause medical conditions much quicker. This helps the medical community better understand how diseases occur, but also how to treat the condition or even eradicate it. There are many research projects in place covering such medical conditions as organ transplant rejection, cystic fibrosis, and cancers to determine how best to treat these conditions through personalised medicine.

3D Printing

3D printing enabled prototyping, customisation, research, and manufacturing for healthcare. Surgeons can replicate patient-specific organs with 3D printing to help prepare for procedures, and many medical devices and surgical tools can be 3D printed. 3D printing makes it easier to cost-effectively develop prosthetic limbs for patients and print tissues and organs for transplant.

Extended Reality (Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality)

The VR/AR healthcare market should reach $5.1 billion by 2025. Not only is this technology extremely beneficial for training and surgery simulation, but it’s also playing an important part in patient care and treatment. Virtual reality has helped patients with visual impairment, depression, cancer, and autism. Augmented reality helps provide another layer of support for healthcare practitioners and aided physicians during brain surgery and reconnecting blood vessels. In mixed reality, the virtual and real worlds are intertwined, so it provides important education capabilities for medical professionals as well as to help patients understand their conditions or treatment plans.

5G

As the capabilities for healthcare centres to provide care in remote or under-served areas through telemedicine increase, the quality and speed of the network are imperative for positive outcomes. 5G can better support healthcare organisations by enabling the transmission of large imaging files so specialists can review and advise on care; allow for the use of AI and Internet of Things technology; enhance a doctor’s ability to deliver treatments through AR, VR and mixed reality; and allow for remote and reliable monitoring of patients.

These technologies offer incredible opportunities to deliver better healthcare to patients and help the healthcare systems cope with the reduced resources and high demands.

Reference: Adapted from www.forbes.com

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