Healthcare is one of the largest industries in the world due to the impact it has on us. In a growing and innovative world, we keep on wondering what the healthcare technology trends are. It will pass the “hype phase’’ and become a tangible donated tool for healthcare. After basic research about this topic, one would immediately become optimistic. Just by looking all the investments and funds going into healthcare. In the U.S. a new record was set of 9.1B in healthcare. In 2017, 26% increase over the previous year. MedTech ideas are emerging, some make the world better. Either way, the technology in this industry has already allowed for new possibilities that never existed. Predicting the future is not possible but these 8 facts won’t stop evolving.
Unlike VR, AR has endless possibilities to become integrated into our daily lives. Concepts and mockup models of AR integrated into automobiles, manufacturing, shopping, and gaming are presented every year and the results are always impressive. Unsurprisingly, the healthcare technology trends has also managed to make its way into the golden age of VR innovation and is now taking the medical education and practice to a whole new level.
AR In Medical Education.
Providing enough supply of doctors the teaching process must be faster to meet the community’s demand.
To solve this problem, AR technology trends has pioneered in the last years to achieve this. With companies like Echopixel, HoloAnatomy, HoloLens, and 3D4Medical, medical students can understand the human body and its anatomy without practicing it physically. These 3-D holographic images are either modeled or taken from CT and MRI scans. Creating these medical images in 3D is not new, but with AR, interacting with these images is what revolutionized the medical educational process.
AR In Medical Practice.
The following is a list of what AR can do in healthcare technology trends today:
- Nurse assistance: Accuvein allows nurses to avoid injections errors by projecting exact location of the vein.
- Autism Brain Stimulation: “Empowered Brain” helps autistic children with their language, positive behaviors, and their language.
- Diagnostics: EyeDecide can show doctors a simulation of the patient’s vision suffering from a specific condition to understand all the symptoms. ProjectDR displays patient’s scan images on their body and synchronizes with the patient’s movements to help doctors better diagnose.
- Doctors/Surgeons Assistance: Atheer, Augmedex, and Google Glasses are making doctors’ practices much more precise and effective by having all their digital needs literally “in front of their eyes”.
- Pharmaceuticals: AR allows patients to see how their drugs work in 3D instead of reading long descriptions on bottles.
We use Artificial Intelligence every day, it learns from us, and it makes our lives easier effortlessly. It’s in our smartphones, cars, banks, houses, computers, or anywhere that matters enough to make a huge difference in our daily lives. Healthcare technology trends adopts A.I. through the following:
Chatbots, Telemedicine, and Remote Patient Monitoring.
Today, chatbots exist in healthcare to ease the communication with patients, especially the ones that are difficult to outreach. Companies like Babylon Health Buoy Health, CataliaHealth, Florence, MemoraHealth, SimplifiMed, and others, are developing chatbots that assist patients with diagnosis and drug prescriptions while others assist doctors with their administrative work.
AI voice is what we have been using for a while with Siri and Google on our smartphones which now became Google Home or Amazon’s Alexa and Echo Dot. This invention will become the patient’s, nurses, and doctor’s personal assistant.
- At home, these electronic cylinders answer the patient’s questions regarding their consumption of drugs and their medications and doctors’ appointments.
- At the hospital, an invention like Alexa would organize and update doctors’ and nurses’ schedules. And keeps the patients in recovery rooms updated on the next visits.
- AI in healthcare is considered to be a successful technology since it assists doctors and nurses. And allows them to have the growing amount of information they need at their fingertips.
3. 3D Printing.
3D printing is the utopian solution for rapid prototyping. The technology allowed for easy, fast, and cost-effective fabrication and manufacturing. However, what made 3D printing the revolution it is, was its ability to produce precise and sensitive designs. 3D printing is becoming more feasible than ever and it is making its way into more industries by the day. Here is how it has been adopted by healthcare:
3D Printed Drugs.
- Personalized 3D printed oral tablets: Creating personalized healthcare has been a challenge the medical industry has been facing for a while. Therefore, in the cases where a patient responds to the same drug in different ways, customized medicine (structure and dosage) would be their ultimate solution.
- Drug Release Profile: With 3D printing, it is now possible to design and print drugs to help understand their release profiles. It makes it possible to print personalized drugs that facilitate targeted and controlled drug release.
3D Printed Organs.
This is a “still in development” technology(healthcare technology trends) that the industry is investing in hard. It is not perfect yet, but it sure is here. It is controversial today within experts on the predictions of whether 3D printed organs is the perfect replacement or the worst. The artificial organ transplant is still a bit off, but even with the imperfect results, scientists are still being able to use it to progress with their research. ExVive3D Liver Model is one of the examples of the imperfect print used for experimental research. On a model that lives up to 40 days, drug benefits and vaccines are tested, and by that, we are no longer relying on animal and synthetic model testing.
3D Printed Prosthetics.
3D printed prosthetics is one of the most developed healthcare “future” technology trend. This integration changed the face of medicine as we know it. Today the goal is not be functional but to make them as customized as possible to match the wearer’s needs. Not only that the future of this technology still has so much to offer, but also now, with the proper equipment and right material, it is much easier to do.
4. Cardiac Transplant (Heart In A Box).
When we research “cardiac transplant complications”, the results discussing hygiene, precision, and techniques keep on piling. Healthcare technology replace the surgeon’s hands throw machines that can stich parts our eyes can barely see.
Although the cardiac transplantation methods haven’t changed for a long while (by that we mean the physical process of moving the organ from one body to the other), patients with fatal heart diseases choose to undergo the painful process owing to the improved treatments that suppress the immune system and prevent infection after a successful surgery. As for storing the organ, it has always been preserved in a cold solution. To be transported in coolers to whoever is in need. TransMedics changed this process into what is called warm perfusion. An incubator like device that keeps the heart and lungs breathing which prevents damage to the organ and buys more time for the doctors to treat it.
5. Organ on a Chip.
Aiming to minimize the hard and long process of clinical trials, Wyss Institute researchers decided to simulate an organ on a chip. Normally, a clinical trial would take years to complete and would cost billions of dollars. To prove its effectiveness in a convincing manner before it reaches the market. Today, researchers are experimenting with a new technology that recapitulates the microarchitecture and the functions of the living human organ on a chip. “Each individual organ-on-chip is composed of a clear flexible polymer. About the size of a computer memory stick that contains hollow microfluidic channels lined by living human cells. Interfaced with a human endothelial cell-lined artificial vasculature and mechanical forces. Those forces can be applied to mimic the physical microenvironment of living organs, including breathing motions in lung and peristalsis-like deformations in the intestine. Because the microdevice are translucent. The human organs provide a window. Referral MD.
Healthcare technology trends means we are talking about all the contributors to the human’s health and well-being. Which is why it’s necessary to mention both: medical wearables and consumer fitness wearables.
The aim of the invention of medical wearables is the reason this technology will not stop improving anytime soon. Medical wearables detects life-threatening conditions and collect bio-metric data to help diagnose the patient. Developing these devices is yet not commercialized due to the regulations that keep it on a safety and accuracy standard. These devices function as:
- Cardiac Monitoring: monitor heart rate to check for arrhythmia’s.
- Infant Monitoring: Detects wet diaper, body movement, and monitor oxygen levels.
- Pain Management: Transports pain medication for migraines and lower back pain relief.
The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of fitness wearables is the smartwatches and trackers. This concept existed before the watch when our phones could track steps by motion sensors. Later it evolved into watches and now went way beyond by becoming more immersive, personal, and interactive. For the tracking watches, the features that they can now provide just keep on piling up. Fitness watches are on the verge of their next breakthrough by becoming able to monitor hydration and blood sugar levels. Fitness wearable companies are now looking at further opportunities than the watch. Today, fitness technology companies are introducing AR and VR for an immersive and effective experience. Not only that the wearables become a true living personal coach, but VR gaming while pedaling on the gym bike just takes the whole experience of healthcare technology trends to a whole new level.
7. Anti-Aging Blood.
This future treatment option will use younger people’s blood to reverse the effects of aging. However, this project might take 10 – 15 years to develop. Attempting to achieve immortality in the near term, Grifols, a Spanish blood products firm, invested $37.5M in Alkahest.The company taking human plasma and dividing it into fractions to see if they boost the brain function.
Bioelectronics is simply the replacement of that medicine box divided into days for people with chronic diseases. So now instead of popping prescription pills, patients will have an implanted device. This device adjusts the electrical signals in the nervous system to provide targeted treatments. Typically, an oral drug would travel through the bloodstream to interact with organs along the way. This process almost always causes side effects. With bioelectronics, it is will be possible to target only the specific organ suffering from the medical condition.
It is important to point out that these technologies are still emerging in healthcare technology trends.
Today, one might say it could take up to 10-20 years to see these innovations commercialized in the future. But every year the progress goes faster and the healthcare funds increase. With all this effort invested in healthcare technology trends. It is safe to say that the future for this industry looks promising. Healthcare is already more accessible than ever thanks to technology. More ideas are developing every year aiming to improve the well-being of our communities. Every one of these ideas is a new possibility for researchers and doctors to operate faster and better. The main motive, after all, is to meet the world’s high healthcare demand.