Apr 19th 2018

Healthcare Technology Trends to Keep an Eye Out For

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Rapid advances in healthcare technology trends, such as hand-held genome sequencers and cancer treatment drugs, are shaking up the healthcare industry. In the wake of World Health Day on April 7, let’s take a closer look at some important new medical technology.

Healthcare IoT

Some medical devices can now alert consumers to whether they’re likely to need treatment. The “internet of health things” translates data into easily accessible information and communicates with other objects, machines or people. For instance, Sentrian, a remote patient intelligence company, uses a platform to detect 88 percent of hospital visits five days in advance with a 3 percent false positive rate, according to ReadWrite. In addition, preventative healthcare can harness the connectivity and monitoring abilities of new medical technology to help patients better adhere to treatment programs. According to Accenture‘s 2017 survey, approximately 73 percent of healthcare executives said they thought IoHT would be “disruptive” to the healthcare industry within three years.

Healthcare Information Storage

If you’ve visited a doctor’s office recently, you might have been surprised that they still use pen and paper in a world where pretty much everything has gone digital. Finally, that’s starting to change. In its iOS 11.3 release, Apple allowed consumers to see their electronic medical records, empowering them to update their doctors better about their medical histories. As Computerworld noted, thanks to such access “‘in the provider-to-patient-to-provider scenario, a physician may share test results with a patient and the patient may then schedule a follow-up appointment.'”

Hand-Held Genome Sequencer

The Human Genome Project in 1990 was the result of 13 years of collaboration and millions of dollars in research. Flash forward 28 years, and now genome mapping can be performed with a hand-held device, according to the BBC. Such sequencing can be used to analyze the DNA of cancers to determine the best course of treatment. Examining the genetic code of different bacterias could also help doctors detect antibiotic resistance early.

Artificial Pancreas

The FDA last year approved a hybrid closed-loop insulin delivery system that uses computer algorithms to provide an adequate level of insulin to the body, according to CNBC. The device could provide hope for the 1.25 million Americans living with Type 1 diabetes.

Looking Ahead

While we don’t yet know the extent of the impact new healthcare technology trends will have, it is encouraging to see a rise in informed patients. With more accessible data, there is also hope for progress in curing diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Though we don’t know what the future holds, the notion of such progress continuing into the 2020s should be a major cause for optimism.

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