By Ray Parker, entrepreneur and internet marketer
The year 2017 ended with much of the surprises and hopes. With the start of 2018, the legacies of 2017 will be carried forward and will see major disruptions in various industries including healthcare.
The previous year has been quite fruitful for the healthcare industry, leaving the industry to evolve and expand in the later years. One of the driving factors of the healthcare sector is the deployment of technology to support companies operate better than ever before.
The healthcare industry is progressing at a rapid pace, which will continue to influence the top issues of next year for the healthcare providers. Let’s have a look at some of the trends in healthcare industry you can expect and watch out in 2018.
Artificial Intelligence will replace the Human Workforce
The year 2018 will see massive investment from healthcare leaders in the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence. From automating the routine tasks like scheduling, paperwork, timesheet entry and accounting with AI tools, healthcare providers expect efficient and seamless workflow in hospitals and healthcare centers. It will help the health workers to work efficiently and ensure more work in less time.
In the next three years, only three-quarters of healthcare specialists are willing to invest in Artificial Intelligence. However, some of them lack the ability to deploy this technology according to PWC. Merely 20% of respondents had the technology to flourish with AI.
Chatbots in Healthcare
Chatbots have already overtaken a number of industries including retail and service sector. The health industry has not widely adopted the AI chatbots, but soon it will be a game changer. Apart from cost-saving benefits, it can help in scheduling the doctor’s appointment; notify nurse in case of critical condition and monitoring health status of the patient.
The Conversational Chatbots can also help patients directly interact to discuss their health issues and get the best possible treatment. However, chatbots in healthcare are still in experimental phase, which might not be possible to replace them as a substitute for proper medical care. In fact, they can be helpful in giving first aid treatment that is not as complex as other diseases. Moreover, the availability of chatbots 24/7 will lead to healthier prospects in the healthcare industry.
Big Data and Analytics
Big data and analytics have played a significant role in business, and healthcare is no exception, which is going to be rising trend in 2018. Big data and Analytics will support healthcare in a number of ways such as making predictions about the health of the patient, probable complications, outcomes of recommendations devised for them and possible readmission.
The big data and analytics in healthcare will not only result in better outcomes for the patients but also make a huge difference in refining regulatory compliance and settlements.
IoT in Healthcare
In recent years, IoT has been adopted largely by the retail sector. In 2018, healthcare will greatly see the integration and deployment of technology in hospitals and healthcare centers. For instance, IoT in healthcare can improve and refine the inventory management in areas like warehouses and pharmacy. Moreover, the hospitals are realizing the need for IoT deployment to optimize their inventory management.
The possibilities of IoT in healthcare are infinite and with the deployment of this technology, doctors will be able to share data and give possible suggestions in case of emergency. Healthcare specialists can make use of this technology to monitor patients at home, in the office or some other part of the world, ultimately reducing the cost of treatment.
Wearables will be the Mainstream
After the wearable devices hit the shelves, the consumers start to spend and adapt instantly. The adoption was mainly due to the increase in health awareness among people. Without going to the doctor, a person can check the blood pressure, heartbeat rate, and other health-related activities.
The automation in the healthcare industry has made it possible to send feedback to the patients about their health condition including blood sugar level, blood pressure, and pulse check. In the year 2018, adoption of these wearable devices will further increase due to rising diseases and death rates.
Cloud Computing in Healthcare
Cloud Computing is yet another revolutionary step in the healthcare sector, allowing patients and doctors to increase accessibility. Without waiting long for doctor’s appointment, patients can view their health outcomes through the cloud. In 2018, it is expected that 60% of communication with the healthcare providers and facilities will be done through mobile devices.
Patients record filing on the paper is outdated and thing of the past. Doctors and hospitals are now storing the patient records on the cloud, allowing patients to access medical records and results in 24/7. However, the privacy of the patient is a major obstacle in deploying the technology throughout health industry. Things will be resolved hopefully in 2018.
The year 2018 will prove to be a game changer in the overall improvement of the health sector. Not only will it benefit patients, but also the healthcare professionals, nurses, hospital staff, and doctors. Let’s watch out for the upcoming changes and improvements in the health sector through the deployment of technology.
Ray Parker is an entrepreneur and internet marketer with over 15 years of experience in Search Engine Optimization, Creative Writing and Digital Marketing with IQVIS. He has worked with several clients from all over the globe to offer his services in various domains with a proven track record of success.