The healthcare sector is infamous for its slow adoption of technology. In spite of millions of dollars of research and discoveries that border on science fiction, human reservations about the negative effects of healthcare technology often halt progress.
But there are signs that anxieties about the impact of medical technology on healthcare today have begun to dissipate. From the increasing prevalence of partnerships to the rapid implementation of new tools, innovators in the industry are enjoying an unusual boom of confidence in healthcare technology.
Benefits of Technology in Medicine Gain Traction
So what are the key applications of tech that are earning more trust than ever before around the world?
mHealth: Patient Diagnosis Improvements
In 2017, the European Commission funded development for the creation of a brand new ‘mHealth Hub’ in joint partnership with the WHO and ITU. The project, currently underway, aims to create a center for governments across the EU’s member states to share successes in mHealth solutions. The Hub also aims to provide services that include training and education, showing international confidence in the nascent healthcare technology.
Lyft Healthcare Transportation Transformation
Both Lyft Healthcare and Uber Health launched in Spring 2018. The ride-sharing companies aimed to decrease no-shows at hospital appointments by providing NEMT (non-emergency medical transport) to patients when we spoke to representatives at a recent GDS Summit.
“On average around 25% of people don’t make their appointments because of transportation” Carla E. Small, Boston Children’s Hospital
It speaks volumes that these companies have already partnered successfully with hundreds of organizations across America. With some institutions saving up to 50% on transport costs, it’s clear that 2018 has seen a dramatic shift in the ways that healthcare technology is perceived by the industry.
But leveraging technology that already exists shows only part of the shift in attitude. Healthcare technology has also been developed specifically for the sector and is being implemented at record speeds.
Recent medical innovation in action
Cutting edge healthcare technology now takes a fraction of the time to enter the market, with new applications being developed and discovered at an accelerating pace.
IoT in Healthcare Projects
According to the most recent predictions from statistical aggregator Statista, the number of IoT healthcare units within the EU is set to reach 25.8 million by 2025. This is more than double the company’s prediction for 2017, which anticipated 11.1 million units to be in use across the region.
3D Printing Healthcare Applications Diversify
From dentures to bespoke renderings of patients’ entire anatomies, 3D printing has come a long way in recent years. Although technically created in the 1980s by inventor Charles Hull, 3D printing technology has only been commercially viable since 2006.
Even though this was a number of years ago, 2018 saw the number of medical applications dramatically increase. Healthcare companies continue to make savings of time and money thanks to further advances in the technology, as evidenced by this year’s winner of the Medical, Dental or Healthcare Application Award for the 3D Printing Industry.
Post care today, pre-care tomorrow
If recent healthcare technology advances are impressive, then the coming years will be even more exciting.
AI’s potential has already captured the imagination of business leaders across a wide scope of industries and healthcare is no exception. A recent report from PwC explores the many ways that the healthcare industry is primed to take advantage of AI technology, including predictive care that could limit the need to check in with healthcare professionals in the first instance.
Considering the advances in healthcare technology in 2018, it seems that the industry’s once sluggish uptake of new innovative treatments may finally be a thing of the past.