Our health is one of the most important components in our life, and due to our hectic schedules and everyday routines, we forget to take care of ourselves.. How can we be sure our spirits and bodies are healthy? In some cases treatments and prescribed medications are incorrect and require adjustments. This is where the new, innovative technologies are in  great demand. Today, it’s no secret many organizations increasingly adopt advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, VR & AR, blockchain etc. The innovations enable them to provide exceptional diagnostics and patient treatments as well as enhance the efficiency of medical institutions.

According to a recent report by Grand View Research Inc., the global healthcare IT market is anticipated to reach  $104.5 billion USD by 2020. Better patient outcomes, reduced treatment costs, elimination of unnecessary hospital procedures with easier hospital workflows, and patient-centered treatment plans are a few reasons for the continuous growth of healthcare technology implementation.

Certainly, technology can never replace actual doctors and nurses. However it can provide them with more data-driven insights and actions. A combination of data, technology, and special software can enable doctors to achieve their desired results faster, and empower patients with the knowledge of the state of their own health.

How innovation will transform the patient experience

The Artificial Intelligence market for healthcare software and hardware is expected to achieve rapid growth globally with a CAGR of 42% by 2021. AI is able to help healthcare practitioners in improving patient outcomes by using medical knowledge which has been thoroughly analyzed and retained by AI systems. In addition,, these systems can provide physicians and researchers  real-time, clinically relevant and necessary information from data stored in electronic health records for urgent needs.

Artificial Intelligence can easily improve the accuracy of medical image analysis with the help of digital image processing, pattern recognition, and machine learning AI platforms.

Severe conditions including cancer and diabetes are expected to be diagnosed in minutes by the year 2020 using cognitive systems to provide real-time 3D images. Imagine how many lives we can save with this technology in the near future. These pictures are able to identify typical physiological characteristics in the scans. What’s more, it is predicted that by the year 2025, AI systems most likely will be implemented by 60% of global hospitals and insurance companies.

It should be noted robotics play an important role in the healthcare sector. They are shaping the future of the medical devices sector. Robotics for surgical intervention, keyhole surgery, and automation of some procedures are a crucial part of all aspects of medical devices innovation. All this, from the design of special features and tools, to manufacturing for the market, and entry to end use in a surgical environment and different medical establishments. The healthcare sector is now being heavily influenced, not only by changes in robotics but also in artificial intelligence (AI), with the emergence of customer/patient focused delivery models, and new business and research arrangements that are evolving to reflect these technological changes.Wheelchair design is currently undergoing a sharp upward curve in innovation due in no small part to the explosion in advanced robotics capability in the last five to ten years. Also, disinfecting robotics is a major area for hospitals attempting to maintain high levels of cleanliness and prevent Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).  The origami robot, which is taken orally, repairs internal stomach wounds. Companion robots, designed to be lovable, are forming part of efforts to combat social isolation and depression, to work with traumatized children and to help with assisted living needs.

Some of the major advances aided by surgical robots are remote surgery, minimally invasive surgery and unmanned surgery. Due to robotic use, surgery is done with precision, miniaturization, smaller incisions; decreased blood loss, less pain, and quicker recovery time. Use of AI reduces the need for as many physicians to diagnose the symptoms of the patient. Surgical robots make surgery easier and quicker due to less dependence on surgeons. This reduces the waiting time for patients to get surgical treatment. Based on this, it is possible to reduce healthcare costs , enabling more people to have affordable healthcare around the world.

There are some special devices available today. For example, a useful fitness trackers which can pre-diagnose the pulse and arterial pressure and replace laboratory tests by non-invasive methods (for example, blood sugar levels). There are many situations whereby conventional testing is challenging. Often people with diabetes unnecessarily expose themselves to dangerous levels of glucose rather than take the risk of having a sudden hypoglycemic event. Long-term exposure to high blood sugar levels can cause serious, long-term health issues. However, these trackers minimize this problem by allowing quick, non-invasive, portable and continuous monitoring allowing the person to regain control of their insulin doses and glucose levels throughout the day and night.

3D printing and special customized care

The 3D printing market for healthcare is expected to be worth approximately $6 billion by 2025. This technology has enormous potential to transform the healthcare sector due to its customization ability. This, in turn, may dramatically reduce surgery times and medical expenses. Today, the most popular applications are 3D-printed scaffolds or prosthetics, and medical devices as dental implants and hearing aids.  The real game changer for 3D printing could be in human tissue printing. Printed livers, hearts, ears, hands and eyes, or building the smallest functional units of tissues, could lead to the fabrication of large tissues and organs. In these cases, they can be used as surgical grafts to repair or replace damaged tissues and organs.

Surgery and Augmented Reality (AR)

Currently, more and more healthcare specialists are leveraging day to day operations using augmented reality. AR applications are used in the healthcare industry for surgical preoperative assessment, medical simulation, minimally invasive surgery and rehabilitation. With the help of innovative technology, a surgeon can now wear smart glasses during the procedure and stay focused on the task minimizing mistakes and reducing the need to multitask more than is necessary. As for patients, Augmented Reality can drastically improve the quality of treatment they receive from their healthcare provider.

For instance, the ability to look inside the body with the help of the AccuVein AR scanner to  trace in the patient’s veins in augmented reality, reducing the margin of error for the nurse making an injection or drawing blood..

Virtual Reality (VR) and modern therapy

Virtual Reality is helping medical specialists expand new and improve existing skills in a risk-free environment as well as remotely cure diseases. It’s used in medical training and education enabling health practitioners to learn new procedures, technicalities, usage of equipment, and interact with patients through human simulation software.

Psychiatrists are able to apply VR for virtual therapies to help deal with patients fears, claustrophobia, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and severe pain cases. For example, Phobos developed by PsyTech provides an environment where users can face their challenges in a controlled form in a risk-free zone and experiment through VR simulations. These methods make virtual reality favorable and useful for healthcare workers as they can enhance the overall treatment experience.

IoT in a healthcare center

IoT has immense potential to benefit the healthcare industry through improved health monitoring, higher efficiency, and lower costs. Wearable devices and apps allow us to collect and analyze health data in ways previously unthought of. Activity monitors can track anything from your heart rate to your walking distance providing a valuable service in preventative healthcare. Healthcare facilities can access patient information and health records more quickly using IoT systems. The same system allows practitioners to keep track of medical supplies and communicate with field employees.

Devices including as ultrasounds, thermometers, glucose monitors, electrocardiograms, and others are getting connected enabling patients to track their health. Furthermore, numerous hospitals have started to utilize smart beds which have sensors to the detect the presence of a patient and automatically adjust them to provide proper support without the need for a nurse to intervene. IoT can also help transform patient care at home. For instance, smart medication dispensers at home can automatically upload information to the cloud and alert doctors when patients don’t take their medication.

Many companies today strive to provide a good healthcare software to bring not only a great results, but also be really useful both for patients and medical workers. By applying their data management and analytics capabilities to healthcare, the big tech giants like Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft  could decrease the need for medical care by anticipating patients’ health conditions before they know they’re sick. The NIX company has great potential and experience in software development allowing it to create big software products for large healthcare companies and organizations.

Healthcare systems transformed

In summary, digital breakthroughs have given healthcare specialists advanced tools to research, treat, and communicate. By adopting emerging technologies, they empower patients and caregivers to access vital data and gain more control over their health. Incorporating innovative technologies in healthcare software development improves connectivity and automation of all processes from monitoring of patients to providing of treatment. The technologies as AI, Big data, VR and others may reduce surgical pain, minimize hospital stays and follow-up, enhance communication, foster recovery time and much more. Great technological innovations are on the horizon in the healthcare industry.