Technology is changing the way we think about healthcare. From wearable tech to AI, healthcare tech trends are rapidly redefining how healthcare professionals and patients interact with one another.
Healthcare is an industry that will never stop evolving, which means healthcare technology trends are always changing, a process that has been exponentially accelerated by the demands of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In fact, it is estimated that the global mobile health app market will reach a value of US$102.35 billion by 2023 and technology giants are set to play an even greater role in healthcare than they already do, with companies like Tencent developing medical AI to reduce cases of misdiagnosis.,
In this blog post, we have compiled a list of healthcare tech trends to be prepared for in 2022. From big data and on-demand healthcare to AI, cloud storage, and more, we’ve got you covered!
Trend 1: Leveraging Big Data effectively
By its very nature, the healthcare industry produces and stores a huge amount of data. In fact, it accounts for 30% of the world’s total data volume and is expected to grow by a compound annual growth rate of 36% out to 2025.
Increased digital transformation in healthcare is increasing the amount of data generated, but not the ability to use it. In order to proactively turn the huge amounts of data available into actionable medical insights, healthcare providers are increasingly investing in solutions such as:
- Scalable storage: Organisations are increasingly investing in scalable healthcare data storage and retrieval solutions that allow quick access to important data while still providing the necessary levels of security to ensure the privacy of those patients whose data is being stored. For example, hierarchical storage management (HSM) is an integrated solution that provides very fast backup and restore capabilities together with long-term storage that can be used for compliance and retention.
- Diverse storage: Modern healthcare providers are looking at diverse, flexible and reliable storage options for their healthcare data that can adapt to changing needs over time. The healthcare industry is unique in its need to store a wide variety of file types, usually image-based, produced by a range of different machines and pieces of equipment. One potential solution to this issue is Vendor Neutral Archives (VNA) which store all files in a standardised file format with a standardised data interface, allowing them to be accessed in a vendor-neutral manner by other systems.
- A skilled workforce: In order to store, access and maintain healthcare data in an efficient manner, healthcare providers need a workforce with the right skills. The healthcare industry is currently facing shortages in terms of hiring staff with advanced technical knowledge and investing in healthcare professionals with technical skills is rapidly becoming a critical driver for recruitment.
Trend 2: On-demand healthcare
In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, on-demand healthcare has seen strong growth in providers with the ability to implement healthcare services remotely. The use of telehealth has increased by over 50% since the start of 2020, with 74% of US consumers saying they would use a telehealth service and 76% saying that access to medical treatment is more important to them than human interaction.,
Outside of the social distancing measures put in place to combat the pandemic, telemedicine also benefits those without easy access to local healthcare, or with mobility issues that prevent them from travelling. The benefits mean that, by 2022, the global telemedicine industry will be worth more than $66 billion.
With both augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) devices becoming more widely available and affordable, healthcare services are rapidly evolving to include their use. A new trend that is becoming popular within medical applications is video triaging, where clinicians work remotely on virtual consults using AR/VR hardware to assess patients. Entire procedures can be done with VR devices, allowing surgeons to train for surgery in a risk-free environment before actually doing the surgery in person. AR tech can also be used to guide surgeons during operations, reducing the chances of mistakes.
Trend 3: The growth of wearable medical devices
The growing use of wearable medical devices has generated a market for healthcare video triaging that would allow healthcare professionals to assess and treat patients from remote locations using telemedicine in concert with technology such as smartwatches, fitness trackers and smartphones.
In fact, the IoMT (Internet of Medical Things) market is predicted to be worth $142.45 billion by 2026.
While the added influx of data generated by wearable medical devices does compound the data storage issues we’ve already covered, the ability to combine real-time biometrics in combination with telehealth consultations offers real material benefits to both healthcare providers and patients.
Trend 4: Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence has been making its presence felt in a variety of industries, and healthcare is no different. In healthcare, AI can be used for a variety of purposes from providing real-time imaging diagnostics to supporting surgical procedures. In fact, it’s estimated that up to 85% of all healthcare tasks could theoretically benefit from the use of artificial intelligence.
While AI certainly won’t be replacing healthcare professionals any time soon, it does have certain beneficial applications, including:
- Predictive healthcare: AI can not only predict diseases and healthcare needs of a population but also identify at-risk individuals in the community who may require additional support.
- Speeding up clinical tasks: AI is already being used to speed up triaging processes by analysing patients’ symptoms and suggesting more efficient treatments based on past experience. This will help free healthcare workers to better focus on their patients.
- Reduce healthcare inequalities: AI can help reduce healthcare disparities by gathering and analysing data from a wide range of sources (including wearable medical devices) to deliver personalised healthcare strategies for each patient, regardless of race or social status.
Trend 5: The shift to the cloud
Cloud computing offers healthcare providers a wide range of benefits as it can reduce healthcare costs, increase accessibility and improve security.
Healthcare providers are already storing their records on cloud servers, as it’s cheaper and easier to scale up or down based on healthcare needs. The use of the cloud is also helping healthcare organisations improve data security — by implementing strict access protocols at several levels across multiple servers, sensitive patient information will be better protected from ransomware, data leaks, and plain old fashioned accidental data loss.
While there are plenty of benefits to cloud migration, it’s not without its pitfalls. There are additional significant costs associated with the migration process and getting the best out of using cloud storage or computing requires enough skilled staff to manage that migration.
Choose the right partner to get ahead of the curve
With healthcare providers always struggling to keep up with the pace of medical advancements, finding the right cloud services provider to manage your digital transformation has never been so important.
Nexstor, in partnership with distributed hybrid cloud Qumulo File System, can help healthcare organisations take advantage of the benefits cloud computing has to offer with a flexible and scalable solution.
The healthcare industry is currently going through a period of seismic change, which will continue into 2022. Healthcare providers need to be prepared for every technological trend coming their way if they want to stay competitive and effective in this ever-changing environment.
Big data, on-demand healthcare services using virtual reality for treatment, and more advanced wearables than ever before look set to change how we approach healthcare. The combination of these technologies with AI applied across the healthcare value chain has opened healthcare providers to a world of possibilities.
To find out how Nexstor and Qumulo can make those possibilities a reality, contact us today!