Over the past few decades, technology has changed the way we do everything. From how we shop to how we communicate to how we work, advancements in technology are affecting all aspects of our lives, including how physicians provide medical care and how patients receive that care.
Technology in healthcare is always evolving, and it’s getting more sci-fi by the minute.
Not sure if you’re up to date on all the breakthroughs that are going on?
Here are the top seven healthcare technology trends for 2023.
1. Remote Healthcare and Telehealth Services
Telemedicine has been around for decades, but the COVID-19 pandemic made it the new norm. In a 2021 survey conducted by the American Medical Association, 85% of physicians surveyed reported that they currently provide some sort of remote healthcare.
Remote healthcare is comfortable and convenient for patients. It makes it easier for physicians to stay in contact with patients that require follow-up care or are trying to manage chronic conditions. In a world where we all know how important it is to limit our exposure to infectious diseases, it’s a win-win for both parties.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, many physicians provided telehealth services in place of in-person appointments. Now, both are options.
Like on-call hours, physicians should make sure that their employment contract specifies their telehealth obligations, including how often and from where they’ll provide those services. Read this article to learn more about what a physician employment contract should include.
2. Wearable Medical Devices
Both healthcare and technology professionals expect the Internet of Medical Things to grow considerably in 2023. The IoMT refers to the use of wearable medical devices, software systems, and applications that track medical conditions and share the data in real time.
Wearable medical devices such as pulsometers and fitness trackers are easy and effective ways to monitor pulse, body temperature, sleep patterns, and blood pressure.
Other wearable devices can do much more.
For example, smart gloves can reduce tremors in patients with Parkinson’s Disease. Watches that perform ECG scans can help monitor cardiovascular concerns. Continuous glucose meters help people with diabetes manage blood sugar levels.
Artificial intelligence is becoming more commonplace in the medical field, and physicians and scientists can use it to do many different things, including:
- Predict the outcomes of clinical trials
- Detect side effects in pharmaceuticals
- Detect neurological conditions
- Process tomography scans and predict patterns
Artificial intelligence is becoming prevalent in almost every industry, but the healthcare industry as a whole has some concerns. The U.S. FDA, Health Canada, and the UK MHRA are all putting guidelines in place as to how it should be used.
Nanomedicine is the use of microscopic materials and objects (including tiny robots) to diagnose diseases and treat those diseases at a cellular level. Those robots, known as xenobots, can be injected into the human body to detect and fight all sorts of diseases and conditions, including tumors, genetic diseases, and auto-immune disorders.
5. VR and Augmented Reality
Healthcare providers are using virtual reality to monitor patients’ needs, assist with pain management, and improve rehabilitation efforts. VR environments and augmented reality simulations also serve as an effective teaching tool, allowing medical students to “practice” clinical skills without having to tend to real patients.
6. Organ Bioprinting
3D printers are now printing bioartificial organs. Using different cell types and stem cells, scientists can now “print” new organs to replace failing ones. It’s a new technology that many in the healthcare and tech industries are excited to pursue and perfect.
7. Smart Implants
Like organ bioprinting, 3D printers are also useful in building custom surgical instruments, mechanical limbs, and bionic prostheses. This technology has the ability to produce longer-lasting implant materials and prostheses than the technology of the past.
In addition to external limbs, there are also smart implants in development that can improve cardiovascular health and improve the quality of life for people with certain disabilities. For example, neural implants in the brain may be able to improve vision in blindness or improve mobility in those with paralysis.
In order to provide the best care for your patients, it’s important to stay up to date on healthcare and technology trends as they emerge.
Just think, 100 years ago no one could imagine that it would be possible to perform an organ transplant, or insert a pacemaker into the heart, or view the organs and tissue inside the body with an MRI scan. So while nanomedicine, organ bioprinting, and smart implants may seem like sci-fi now, in fifty, or twenty, or even ten years from now, they might be the norm.