HEALTHCARE TRENDS 2021 – THE ECOSYSTEM
The aspect of healthcare technology is moving forward in a rapid pace as Artificial Intelligence (AI), TeleHealth and Smart Medical Devices are driving the next wave of technology innovation. With the current shortage of healthcare practitioners, the rapidly-aging baby boomer population has created high demands in term of telehealth services and in-home health tech where Artificial Intelligence and Smart Apps were used to assist in patient monitoring and improve rehabilitation.
As quality data and consumerism increases, Artificial Intelligence (AI) tends to gain reliability and trust within the community. Biomedical facilities and diagnostic tools are able to accurately determine the cause of illness, providing beneficial information for physicians to develop a diagnosis and plan appropriate course of treatment. As trust and reliability increases, the more artificial intelligence is being used in medical practice, the better it will become due to its machine-learning abilities. Therefore, it is not a question on whether if Artificial Intelligence (AI) will dominate the healthcare industry, but when and how it will happen.
Although the advancement of healthcare technology is used widely in hospitals and healthcare institutes, some medical practitioners might be reluctant to embrace and adopt AI diagnostic tools due to the fear of being replaced and the loss of human touch. However, I would beg to differ as these technologies is slated to play a supporting role in healthcare medicine rather than a replacement role. Through my observation, the integration of AI in healthcare allows physicians to increase their work productivity and efficiency as advanced technologies are useful tools to ease staff shortage, reduce cognitive overload and improve decision making.
The impact of digital health integrated AI technologies and machine-learning (AL/ML) driven change in healthcare business model is at a scale up. Observations have noted many technology giants competing to secure millions-dollar tech projects and racing to retain consumer’s mindshare and engagement. In doing so, these tech companies are willing to invest billions into their computing platform by creating services that are easily used across a range of consumers and applications (predictive analytic applications, machine learning, etc.) that contributes to accelerate the trend of health tech innovations.
In addition, it is reported more than $90bil was invested by third party and other institutional investors/shareholders who are willing to fund innovative health tech in the last 6 years. Regulators from both public and private sectors were also demanding interoperability and freeing of data to be aggregated to patients.
The significant benefits and opportunities that artificial intelligence and machine-learning (AL/ML) could bring to the table is high within the healthcare industry. Not only does AI assist in optimizing monetary transactions for the administrative aspect of the organization, but also plays a vital role in diagnostics, and rehabilitation. Healthcare digitization has expand precision medicine by:
1. Expanding through quantitative imaging and intelligent image acquisition
2. Transforming healthcare delivery by increasing workforce productivity and optimization of daily clinical operations
3. Improved patients’ medical experience by prioritizing complex cases and voiding unnecessary interventions.
With all these benefits combined, digital advancement and Internet of Things (IoT) has created a fertile ground for healthcare organizations to develop a patient-centered, personalized, intuitive and integrated health and social care ecosystem.