Within a very short space of time, the healthcare industry has been overwhelmed by the unprecedented disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Technology and innovation in the healthcare sector have been slowly growing over the years, but as a result of the pandemic, that growth needed to be expedited to at least cope with effects.
To survive this world crisis, and see the healthcare industry grow, technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) have become critical components. In trying and uncertain times, reverting to proven systems is expected; however, new and improved ways need to be implemented to evoke performance, efficiency, and productivity when challenges rise above the norm. Here are the technology trends in 2021 and the rise of AI in the healthcare industry.
As a result of Covid-19, the use of telehealth resources accelerated drastically. As opposed to in-person hospital visits, statistics show over 43.5% of primary care used telehealth methods in April 2020. The Coronavirus is primarily spread through close contact and different variants by air, so one of the most significant advantages of telehealth methods is reduced between patients and healthcare workers. Telehealth devices allow patients and healthcare workers real-time communication and critical health data sharing while patients are at home.
Post covid, telemedicine will be fully integrated into society and welcome as an efficient alternative to in-person visits. One of the most critical aspects of telehealth is how people adopt and get to use the system. Current telehealth systems are equipped with features like file transfers, screen sharing, video chat, as well as general texting.
Telehealth applications allow patience and healthcare providers the efficiency of reviewing and storing medical records on the app. Other essential features include information security, appointment management, location services, history viewing, and healthcare provider information. When considering the needs of telehealth services, all of these features are essential.
Artificial Intelligence Against COVID-19
In the fight against Covid-19 artificial intelligence plays a vital role, especially when it comes to CT scan analysis, facial recognition in a mask, thermal screening, vaccine development, and most importantly, detecting the virus. When Covid-19 broke out, one of the most important things governments needed to do is implement technology to see the pandemic.
Using AI systems, early detection of the virus gave decision-makers the opportunity to evaluate the healthcare system, global and regional climate conditions and start developing a vaccine.
With a variety of methods to screen body temperature, thermal screening with artificial intelligence can help identify symptomatic individuals with high temperatures amongst many people. In today’s world of fighting Covid, and the need to wear a mask posed a threat to facial recognition technology.
With massive improvements to the systems, facial recognition technology can now identify users up to a 95% accuracy rating. One of the biggest problems in CT scans is primarily human error, and artificial intelligence can help eliminate that problem by detecting chronic diseases like pneumonia instantly and their cause.
The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)
Doctors and patients have seen significant improvements with the introduction of devices and mobile apps, with early detection, treatment, and prevention of many chronic illnesses. The combination of telehealth and IoT development technologies has opened the way for the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT). EKG and ECG monitors are wearables that are included in this technology, without neglecting common medical measurements like blood pressure readings, glucose level, and skin temperature.
One of the most significant challenges the health industry faces is the ability to provide effective communication with medical IoT devices consistently. Although IoMT brings remarkable improvements in the healthcare sector, there are a few issues that need to be rectified for users to fully enjoy the technology’s potential, both patient and healthcare providers. There are security and connectivity issues in specific environments that need to be addressed. With improved medical device manufacturing, we shall see all these issues resolved.
Blockchain has evoked drastic changes in healthcare in the industry in 2020 and continues to improve in 2021. Improving data security, transaction records are securely shared with patients as healthcare providers run their ledgers digitally. Cloud computing and IoMT are becoming common trends in the industry, while Blockchain continues to improve accessibility, security, and much-desired profitability. One of the most significant advantages of Blockchain is interoperability in healthcare technology.
Healthcare information is protected, and there is greater integrity with public-private required methods. They are complying to set regulations, the flexibility of anonymity, and accessing information securely controlled in the best interest of all parties involved. During the Coronavirus, public health crisis, portability of data, accessibility, security, and integrity are all features in high demand. Helping Covid-19 patience and healthcare providers communicate remotely and efficiently, Blockchain ensures stability and consistency in providing these features. Through Blockchain, the digital ledger is fully visible, proving improved integrity and transparency culture.
It is expected that some people may not be completely comfortable with the supply chain or counterfeiting; however, users can rest assured transactions are logged and transparent through the blockchain system. The system easily consolidated; as a result, there is no manual tracking of the transaction, which savings a bit of money in the process. Although many companies and tried and tested Blockchain, it took companies like IBM Watson Health three to years to officially introduce blockchain-certified solutions. Through wearable devices, patient records and health status will be made available to your employers for private checks and documents.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare
In 2020 and 2021, the trend of artificial intelligence has shown great potential to improve healthcare through technology. With a combination of making similar human decisions and information processing, artificial intelligence has the potential to change and improve the healthcare industry as we know it. The future of healthcare can see efficient diagnoses, speed, and improved precision.
With artificial intelligence capabilities, early detection of health irregularities gives healthcare professionals the opportunity to treat patients early and accurately. Artificial intelligence can have a footprint in pharmaceutical production by helping drug developers advance biological and chemical interactions.