In the 21st century, there is no industry that is yet to feel the effects of technological disruption. From manufacturing to farming, and education to architecture, we have seen technology change how we live, work, think, and solve. Technological innovation in healthcare has transformed the industry in ways we would have never envisioned even 20 years ago.
From drug supply chains to employee healthcare benefits, every step in the healthcare journey has seen technological disruption. Thanks to COVID-19, the speed of technological disruption has only accelerated. With social distancing and self-isolation norms in place, humanity has no choice but to turn to technology.
Analysis by Businesswire found that the global healthcare market was worth approximately $8,452 billion in 2018. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.9% to nearly $11,908.9 billion by 2022. That spike in value is all down to technological disruption, with companies like Onsurity bridging the gap between doctor and patient through wellness membership plans.
Healthcare is an opportunity-rich and dynamic industry. Many digital health solutions have already been devised and employed to make healthcare more accessible and safer. However, this is not to say that the human touch will no longer have value, rather technology will act as an enabler to increase human productivity.
Technological Innovation in Healthcare
Just what kind of technological disruptions are we talking about? Here are five major technologies that are already at work, and will only see increased adoption over the next decade.
High Speeds With 5G
5G mobile networks will allow more devices to be connected at the same time, while increasing the speed of data per device. With 5G, doctors and patients will be able to quickly receive the latest information, no matter how big or complex the data. 5G technological disruption will extend to remote monitoring, with wearable devices and trackers that will enable constant monitoring of vitals.
5G is also the backbone for the Internet of Things (IoT). The technology will allow hospitals to set up more internet-connected devices, giving staff real-time data, no matter where in the building they are. That will allow them to make more informed decisions on patient priority and treatment.
Technological Disruption in Healthcare with 3D Printing
3D printing has long been marketed as a quick alternative to manufacturing. Now, companies are engaged in 3D printing living tissues and organs to address the global organ donor shortage. If the technology is viable enough, it would allow hospitals to quickly print organs and tissues as required, saving valuable time.
In the long term, 3D printing could be used to print entire limbs, giving people cheaper and safer alternatives to existing limb replacements.
AR and VR Disrupt Screening and Diagnosis
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are big for gaming, but did you know they have uses in healthcare as well? AR and VR can be used by doctors to screen and diagnose disease better. VR will also allow doctors to perform complex surgeries remotely, by piloting surgery robots.
AR can be used to superimpose vitals and patient records, so doctors have quicker and easier access to critical data. This technological disruption will make it possible for doctors to treat patients without ever having to be in the same room.
Technological Disruptions in Healthcare with AI and ML
Big data, along with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) will help hospitals analyse large data sets. Big data and ML are already helping pharmaceuticals to analyse possible vaccines and treatments. A combination of these and 5G will help doctors and hospitals provide more accurate preventive plans with lower medical rates.
AI can also be used to diagnose diseases like cancer long before humans can. If applied properly, it could save millions of lives each year. AI and ML can also be used to create chatbots, to help answer health-related questions patients may have. Saving them, and practitioners, valuable time.
Telehealth Transforms Care
Thanks to social distancing, we have already seen telehealth become a popular method for consultation. Through services like Onsurity, patients can now compare doctors, book appointments and consult specialists all from the comfort of their home. As the pandemic continues, it is very likely this will become the preferred method of consultation.
Telehealth is also immensely useful for electronic health data records, making it easier for patients and doctors to store and access critical information.
Of course, all of this will have a knock-on effect. With more app-based services, patients will demand a fully digital experience. That’s where Onsurity comes in. Onsurity has been building a digital-first platform for employee healthcare plans. Our comprehensive wellness membership for employees covers everything from preventive care to hospitalization assistance.
Technological disruption has ensured digital healthcare is no longer a work of science fiction, but a reality. Now, affordable digital healthcare is no longer a dream. That’s all because of companies like Onsurity who are working to make healthcare affordable, accessible and easy to use.