The future of healthcare is bright when you consider how much of the industry is embracing technology. The landscape of healthcare will change considerably as technology steps in to fill many voids and improve existing parts of the industry. With this in mind, there is much to look forward to in the future of healthcare delivery. Here are a few things to expect in the coming year and years.
1 – Big Data
Big Data is the catch-all term used to describe data analytics which broadly includes data mining, customer surveys and more. It is viewed as the true game-changer in healthcare delivery. Big Data is going to have a positive impact on jobs, roles, staffing, intake, procedures and pretty much everything else that falls within the field of medicine and the delivery of healthcare.
Where this is a good thing to look forward to is how Big Data will contribute to predictive analytics. Medicine will soon become far more efficient and effective than it ever has been in history. Evidence-based medicine is a fine example of the improvements that will benefit patients the most and give added credibility to the medical field.
2 – IoT
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a term that describes all potential technologies that will become commonplace alongside the ones we currently use. With all the power of IoT, recording, and reporting, data becomes easier, faster and more accessible to those who require access to it. The whole concept is also a game-changer to the healthcare industry.
Potential uses are countless and boil down to the collection of more accurate patient data. What this means is that frontline caregivers including doctors, nurse practitioners, dentists, medical assistants and more will have the tools and information available to make informed decisions. In other words, better diagnosing produces effective and timely healthcare results.
3 – Automation
In some circles, automation is viewed in a negative light as it often hints at a streamlining process that results in some form of job loss. In the healthcare industry automation is a completely different application. It provides a form of connectivity between patients and caregivers that did not exist before. Automated tools pull everyone together for positive medical outcomes.
An example of how automation works positively in this application is the delay that may exist today between having a prescription written by a doctor and getting that prescription filled at a pharmacy. Automation tools connect the two sources making the prescription process seamless as it travels from one source to another instantly and to you quicker than ever before.
4 – Increased Privacy
You have to wonder with the larger volume of data being collected that privacy would have to be considered, and it is. Technology makes the collection and sharing of data much easier but with government-regulated privacy guidelines, it becomes controlled to the point that only those who need access to the data will be the only ones able to see and share it.
With more pressure on healthcare services and providers to become HIPAA-compliant, the security levels added to personal and sensitive data protects it further. As technology continues to evolve, so will the security measures to keep data protected and private. It is a huge task when you think about how much data can be stored, but privacy is still a priority.
Alongside privacy, it’s also important that all healthcare workers are covered by certain schemes, awards, and insurance. For instance, healthcare industries in Australia are covered by the Schads award compliance which protects entitlement to their pay, breaks, allowance, and much more. If you’re in another area it would be worth researching to see what applies to you.
5 – Telemedicine
According to Healthcare Weekly, telemedicine is already in place but it is growing in popularity thanks to ongoing advancements in technology. Essentially, telemedicine provides you with the means to connect with a doctor or healthcare provider remotely through an app on your smartphone. This is of particular benefit to those who live in remote areas that do not have facilities with specialists providing care.
According to Simon Stertzer, another benefit of telemedicine is that it increases the likelihood of someone seeking medical care because they can access it easily through their handheld device. It is a great tool for patients with mobility issues or cannot travel to the nearest clinic for whatever reason. More and more medical professionals are using the system as it makes appointment time far more efficient.
6 – High-Tech Medical Care
In many cases in the healthcare industry, the future is already here. Computers that collect and store data based on clinical trials can conduct tests far more accurately and produce results quicker in the development of new drugs. Results that normally take months now only take days with computer modeling and testing on result-based information. And these days, software can be used as medical devices to manage conditions and help people stay away from opioids, according to Orthogonal.
Another innovation that is currently being used in healthcare is 3D printing which will revolutionize the world of medicine as it is applied to more and more applications such as the development of complex devices and medication printing. That is just scratching the surface of the possibilities to come from high-tech medicine as it continues to evolve.
7 – Retail Clinics
This is a rather new innovation in the healthcare industry that essential lends old school approaches with the contemporary. A retail clinic is a walk-in clinic that is placed inside a retail location such as a supermarket, pharmacy or other retail business. The old school part of the equation is adding more accessibility to people who are in these places anyway.
According to Digital Authority Partners, the benefit of a retail clinic is that having access to one reduces the number of trips to an emergency ward or hospital for a medical need that could be treated at a retail clinic. This permits urgent care practitioners to focus on those who need emergency service which makes the delivery of healthcare services more efficient on all levels.
Changes are always taking place in the healthcare industry. What has made the future of delivery of healthcare services move forward so quickly is the partnership with new technology. Advancements in technology fit perfectly with the medical community and have improved the functionality of it. Plus, technology has created some amazing applications that have improved healthcare service delivery in ways that may not have been possible otherwise. And if you’re not sure where to start, check out this list of awesome healthcare consulting companies that can help you figure out the path forward.