The world of healthcare IT and healthcare software development is in a state of constant flux. Quite a bit of change has occurred, even in just the last five years – and future trends may be even more impactful. In this article, we’ll take a look at a few of the top trends that may become widespread in healthcare technology in 2019.
Healthcare continues to be the industry where innovative technologies transform the way services are delivered and received. It is this innovation may unfortunately be hampered by its regulations, lack of interoperability and tasks.
As healthcare IT continues to evolve, more innovative strategies are being planned and software is playing a major role in reshaping the healthcare sector.
This all means that the organizations that are reliant upon these technology innovations will benefit! Not only the medical professionals such as the dentist, doctor, ER practitioner, risk manager, nurse, etc will benefit, your practice and your patients’ experiences will improve over the course of the next decade with the help of some amazing new technology.
The Internet Of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things is poised to grow quickly in 2019. Early in 2019, the first 5G-compatible networks will be released – which will provide IoT devices with better connectivity, lower battery consumption, and a number of other helpful benefits.
IoT devices could be used to monitor the health of patients, both in hospitals and at home. Sensors in a shower floor mat, for example, could register the pressure of a patient when they’re using the shower – and alert a nurse if there is a sudden shift in weight that could indicate a slip or a fall.
Automation is expected to become much more widespread in the world of healthcare IT and healthcare software development. Machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) can both be used to automate software functions.
In 2019, we may see more of the administrative tasks in hospitals and healthcare be taken over by automated algorithms. For example, an AI-enabled program could be written to allow for automatic patient intake, without the use of a nurse or another administrator.
Augmented Reality And Virtual Reality
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies have been under heavy development in the last several years, and 2019 may be the year that they become mainstream. Computers continue to become lighter and more inexpensive, and 5G networks will enable much higher bandwidth.
Together, these two factors could make AR and VR adoption commonplace, especially in the world of healthcare. AR and VR are particularly interesting when it comes to training nurses and doctors – it would provide a more risk-free environment where new physicians and medical professionals can train in real-world scenarios, and expand their expertise and knowledge.
Also known as “additive manufacturing”, 3D printing can “print” objects including scoliosis braces and other medical devices.
There are even 3D printers which can create human skin and organs – and while they are only in the trial stages, this kind of “bioprinting” device has the potential to revolutionize medicine in 2019 and beyond – and healthcare IT professionals must be aware of this trend.
Biometrics is the practice of using biological data as a method of identification and access control – fingerprint scanners, for example. This could be very useful in the world of IT, especially with the strict HIPAA laws that safeguard the medical information of patients.
Biometrics could be used in 2019 and beyond as a way to safely store and secure data, and ensure better identity safeguards and compliance to numerous data regulations, including HIPAA and the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Know The Top Trends In Healthcare For 2019 – And Be Prepared
Though it’s impossible to predict the future, all signs point towards these trends becoming even more widespread and commonplace in 2019. So make sure you’re prepared, and that your healthcare IT team is ready to adopt these advanced technologies – and build the medical facilities of the future.
Now, don’t forget the software needed to move these trends forward!
Self-Service Software and Patient Portals become more relevant
In the past the requirement for patient portals was more of a one-way communication doctor to patient. With more emphasis being put on patients becoming active players in their own healthcare treatment, portals are more relevant and on their way to becoming mainstream. Helping to enable patients and physicians to interact online and access their medical records. For the patient who is engaged, they can even help catch errors and be an active participant in ongoing treatments.
Telemedicine and patient kiosks, with the endorsements of the U.S. Government and many of the EHR companies is likely to increase adoption rates. There are many avenues for these types of technology to benefit patients and healthcare organizations alike, but the key is to ensure that human-to-human communication isn’t entirely eliminated.
Specialty and Combined Practice Organizations
The patchwork connections between healthcare specialty organization will slowly become a thing of the past. The Interconnectivity and Interdiscipline healthcare approach will breed more need for multi-specialty EHR software spanning to multiple domains. This type of software will help reduce the costs and time of interconnecting different groups of specialists. Healthcare organizations and the patients they service will benefit.
Blockchain is Not Just for Finance!
Healthcare professionals and technologists will continue to see movement to streamline and secure the sharing of medical records, protecting the sensitive nature of medical records is one benefit that Blockchain is known for. Patients will have greater control over their information and allowing for a more protected interoperability process between physicians and their organizations. In order to achieve these goals, custom-built healthcare blockchain technology innovators will emerge!
More Usable & Better Software!
With the push for physicians to adopt and then use EHR software for all healthcare processes, physicians on the front line of enterprise healthcare delivery struggled with the required software products that made them difficult to use, confusing and downright frustrating.
With the advent of many software products focused on the user, these difficulties are diminishing quickly. With the buyers and end users of the healthcare software products being the same, software product vendors are now expected to deliver the same user experience as seen in other B2B industries.
Technology advancements abound for Healthcare now and in the future. From increased efficiencies from healthcare software and analytics and telemedicine to the increased safety from blockchain and the cool tech that is AR, VR and Biometrics, there are so many things to look forward to!