Did you know that 40% of patients in the U.S. have booked a doctor’s appointment online? This is just one example of the progress made by healthcare technology in recent years. The more this technology improves, the easier it gets for society to prosper.
2018 has seen no slowdown in the rapid progress of healthcare tech. Here are seven of the top trends of 2018 that will continue to move the industry forward:
1. Remote Patient Consultations
We’ve already seen certain patients using remote consultations, sometimes called telehealth. This involves using video technology to connect with doctors who aren’t physically in the same room. Remote consultations are especially important for people in rural areas without easy access to local healthcare.
It’s expected that this year, 7 million people will take advantage of telehealth. There is no doubt that this number will only go up as technology continues to improve.
2. Online Forms
Ask most people what the most annoying part about going to the doctor’s office is, and one answer will come up frequently: waiting. Often, this wait comes from the pages and pages of forms that have to be filled out prior to an appointment. But online forms represent a new way to speed things up.
With online forms, patients can fill out documents from the comfort of their home or office. No need to sit in a waiting room with a clipboard wasting time before your appointment. Online forms also make it easier for medical staff, who will have access to all the necessary patient information and billing data in advance.
3. Artificial Intelligence Operating Healthcare Technology
In 2016, we first saw a robot perform surgery on a pig, with better results than a human. AI-assisted surgery is now much more common, and its frequency should continue to increase. By using robots and similar technology, doctors and surgeons get the accuracy and stability that simply is not possible for humans.
As AI and robotics continues to advance, look for this field to expand into more ordinary medical tasks. One area we’ve already seen this happening is in imaging. Worldwide, the market for AI is expected to surpass $2B in less than 5 years.
4. Big Data
Massive quantities of data are already used in many fields, from energy to education. In healthcare, it’s expected that data will be used to analyze trends and predict the frequency of certain diseases and sicknesses. This can lead to more precise treatments and personalized medication that becomes even more effective at healing people.
5. Advanced Sensors
Companies like Apple and FitBit have already made great strides in health wearables. As specialty companies in the medical field work to create their own devices, sensors will start to pick up more data of different types.
We all know about smart watches. But common health sensors could soon be found on buttons, pins, or even belts. These devices will feed information back to software solutions in healthcare, to be studied by doctors and nurses.
The Healthcare Tech Revolution is Already Underway
Think about how different healthcare is now than it was just ten years ago. Much of the change is due to healthcare technology. We’ve seen more and more diseases get wiped out and patients get healed thanks to technology.
Only time will tell what other type of help healthcare technology will provide. For more information on tech and how it affects our world, read some of the other tech articles on Curiosity Human.