As in recent years, technology promises to transform more areas of healthcare, in both the near and more distant future. A 2019 Forbes article offers multiple examples where great changes and advances are expected.
A starting point is robotics, whose potential extends far beyond the application for surgery, which is already well-known. Tremendous growth is expected in the use of robotics for healthcare, from a telepresence in rural areas where doctors are scarce and for the transport of medical supplies within an organization to disinfecting hospital rooms, to helping patients with rehabilitation and micro-bots involving specific patient therapies.
Another example, the wearable device, has potential uses that go far beyond the fitness tracking and counting steps that we all know. Wearables can be put into service to monitor heart rhythm, ECG, blood pressure, temperature, etc.
Technology is driving the rise of genomic medicine, where a person’s genomic info is used to determine personalized treatment plans and clinical care. Computer analysis of genes and gene mutations will facilitate personalized medical treatment for such situations as organ transplant rejection, cystic fibrosis, and especially cancer.
Some of the uses that healthcare will find for 3D printing will include patient-specific practice organs to be used by surgeons, on-demand device and tool manufacturing, customized prostheses, and transplantable tissues and organs.
Look for enormous growth in virtual and augmented reality for healthcare—Forbes estimates its market will be $5.1 billion by 2025. Not only is this technology extremely beneficial for training and surgery simulation, but it’s also playing an important part in patient care and treatment, from treating patients with visual impairment, depression, cancer, and autism, to an augmented reality environment that supports healthcare practitioners during brain surgery and reconnecting blood vessels.
Two other developments with promise are the development of digital twins to enable doctors to explore outcomes, as well as the 5G wireless network that will allow better data transfer, telemedicine advances, and remote monitoring, among many other benefits (Marr, 2019).
This blog post is an excerpt from the longer HealthStream article, Trends That Will Shape the Next Decade in Healthcare. Focused on the people providing healthcare, HealthStream is committed to helping customers address and solve big problems in our industry. From hospitals to long-term care and across the care continuum, there are challenges stemming from demographic changes, governmental mandates, and the need for higher care quality. Download the webinar, Ten Healthcare Trends for 2020, where Robin Rose, Vice President, Healthcare Resources Group, HealthStream discusses this information in detail. HealthStream is dedicated to improving patient outcomes through the development of healthcare organizations' greatest asset: their people. Learn more about our healthcare workforce development solutions.
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