Top 5 Trend in Health Tech in 2022 Which Will Impact the Healthcare Industry
Many software businesses have spent the previous two years focusing on using their skills to tackle challenges created by the worldwide epidemic. At the same time, many healthcare firms that would not be called tech companies in the past have shifted their focus to technology and its potential to revolutionize how their products and services are delivered.
The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly advanced the healthcare industry's digitalization. According to the HIMSS Future of Healthcare Report, during the next five years, 80 percent of healthcare providers want to expand their investment in technology and digital solutions. Organizers will use artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, Extended Reality (XR), and the Internet of Things (IoT) to create and offer novel treatments and services in fields including telemedicine, personalized medicine, genomics, and wearables.
Here are the top five trends in health that will impact the healthcare domain in the next years.
Extended Reality For Clinical Training and Treatment
Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR) are all included in the term extended reality (XR) (MR). All of these technologies use glasses or headsets to modify our view of the world, either by immersing us in completely virtual surroundings (VR) or by superimposing virtual components over real-time photos of the world around us (AR/MR). They all have the potential to revolutionize the healthcare industry.
Virtual reality headsets are used to teach doctors and surgeons, allowing them to get intimately familiar with the workings of the human body without endangering patients or necessitating the use of cadavers.
Virtual reality is also employed in therapy. This has been used to teach social and coping skills to children with autism as part of therapy. It's also been used to help with chronic pain, anxiety, and even schizophrenia, where therapies have been devised to let sufferers work through their anxieties and psychosis in a secure and non-threatening setting.
In 2022, the number of AR applications in healthcare will also increase. For example, the AccuVein system detects the heat signature of blood flow and highlights it on the patient's arm, making it simpler for doctors and nurses to discover veins while giving injections. In surgical theatres, Microsoft's HoloLens technology allows surgeons to get real-time information about what they're seeing and share their perspectives with other professionals or students who may be watching the surgery.
There are other non-medical AR health applications, such as the AED4EU geo layer, which offers real-time instructions to the nearest publicly accessible automatic defibrillator device.
Telemedicine and Remote Healthcare
The percentage of healthcare consultations conducted remotely increased from 0.1 percent to 43.5 percent during the first months of the epidemic. Most of us are content with this, according to Deloitte analysts, and will continue to use virtual visits.
The reasons for this growth are evident – but even if communicable illnesses aren't included, there are several compelling reasons to build skills to inspect, diagnose, and treat patients remotely. This movement has the potential to save lives by drastically extending access to medical treatment in rural areas and nations where doctors are in limited supply.
New generation wearable devices have heart rate, stress, and blood oxygen monitors, allowing healthcare practitioners to precisely monitor vital indicators in real-time.
Methods established during the pandemic to deal with patients safely and remotely are anticipated to be expanded into other areas of healthcare in 2022, such as mental health and the provision of continued follow-up care for patients recuperating from procedures and significant sickness. Robots and the Internet of Things are key components of this movement, and smart technology (machine learning) will inform experts when sensors identify the need for assistance or cameras detect that an old person has fallen in their house.
In a society where half of the population lacks access to basic services, telemedicine has the potential to increase healthcare access (according to the WHO). However, this is contingent on gaining public confidence — there are some instances where many people are concerned.
Using AI and Machine Learning for Medical Data
The high-level use case for AI in healthcare, like in other industries, is to assist in making sense of the massive amounts of unstructured data accessible for capture and analysis. In healthcare, this can take the shape of medical imaging data such as X-rays, CT, and MRI scans, as well as data on the spread of infectious illnesses such as covid, vaccination distribution, genetic data from live cells, and even handwritten doctor's notes.
Current AI advancements in the medical area frequently entail the augmentation and upskilling of human professionals. Computer vision - cameras that can detect what they are seeing and convey the information – is used by surgeons working with AR, as discussed in the preceding section. Another important use is automating first patient contact and triage to free up physicians' time for more important tasks. Telehealth companies like Babylon Health employ AI chatbots that are driven by natural language processing to collect information about symptoms and route them to the appropriate healthcare practitioners.
Preventative medicine is another area of healthcare where AI will have a significant influence in the future years. Preventative medicine seeks to forecast where and when sickness will arise and put remedies in place before it occurs, rather than reacting to illness by offering treatments after the fact. Predicting outbreaks of communicable illnesses, hospital readmission rates, and where lifestyle variables like nutrition, exercise, and environment are likely to contribute to health difficulties in particular demographics or geographical locations are all examples of this. AI enables the creation of systems that can discover trends across large datasets considerably more efficiently than traditional analytics procedures, resulting in more accurate predictions and, in turn, better patient outcomes.
Medicine and Genomics
Medicines and therapies have traditionally been developed on a "one-size-fits-all" premise, with studies aimed to optimize pharmaceuticals for efficacy with the greatest number of patients and the fewest unpleasant side effects. Modern technology, such as genomics, artificial intelligence, and digital twins, allows for a far more individualized approach, resulting in therapies that may be tuned to the individual level.
Genomics - the study of genes and, more recently, the use of technology to map individual genomes (a person's DNA structure) – is particularly valuable for developing tailored treatment. This is leading to the development of novel medicines for major diseases such as cancer, arthritis, and Alzheimer's disease. Nutrigenomics is a sub-field of genomics that will receive substantial investment and success in 2022; it entails creating individualized health-focused food programs based on genetic characteristics.
Simulations and Digital Twins
In many sectors, digital twins are swiftly gaining traction as part of a trend that includes building models based on real-world data that can be used to imitate any system or process. This movement in healthcare includes the concept of the "virtual patient" computer models of individuals used to test drugs and treatments, with the goal of shortening the time it takes to get new medicines from concept to market. This might start with models or simulations of specific organs or systems. Progress is being made, however, toward practical models that replicate complete bodies. According to current research, this is still a long way off from being a reality, but we will witness advances toward this aim in 2022.
Human organ and system digital twins are becoming a reality, allowing clinicians to investigate diverse illnesses and test therapies without endangering individual patients and decreasing the need for costly human and animal experiments.
Digital twin technology is one of the most important tech developments in healthcare for 2022 because of its ability to assist the healthcare sector to generate therapies more swiftly and cost-effectively.