Technology in healthcare, or healthcare tech, is now a vital aspect of a holistic and patient-purposed healthcare system. No longer is the average individual unfamiliar with high-speed internet or online applications. Patients understand the purpose and value of advanced technology in the medical sphere, and they've come to expect it. Therefore, patients and medical professionals anticipate utilizing software made to improve hospital or support staff productivity. Healthcare tech should also give new insights into treatments and medicines or advance the overall quality of patient care.
Within the healthcare tech field, innovators and exciting new software are constantly being developed. During and after the 2020 COVID-19 crisis, new technologies were launched by necessity. The need for updated patient communications and novel treatment processes will only continue to grow in the coming year. Below we detail the most prominent emerging technologies in healthcare.
During the pandemic, digital therapies became a sudden necessity as millions of patients were cut off from in-person treatment. The subsequent rapid transition to digital platforms for virtual visits was hastily done and resulted in increased user error and buggy tech. However, despite these complications, some digital therapy platforms proved to be incredibly helpful. They connected disparate patients to medical professionals almost instantly. They increased patient compliance and allowed therapists to see more patients daily.
As patients with chronic illness, mental health needs, degenerative diseases, and other conditions continue to use digital therapy, we will see the tech grow and refine itself.
Health tech apps can provide a breadth of services to administration and medical professionals. From automating routine administrative tasks to providing care to patient self-scheduling, mobile applications historically digitize the day-to-day functions of a medical center. In 2022, these apps will serve a broader purpose as they provide differing functions.
Patients want to reach physicians promptly, and they want accurate data for wait times and visit lengths. They want real-time updates on post-op notation and lab results. Mobile applications can provide these services and streamline the administrative aspect of healthcare. The data collected during this process also gives medical professionals insight into patient habits, physician competence, and real-time compliance practices.
The healthcare community can expect a continued focus on security and HIPAA compliance in the coming year. Mobile applications in healthcare will also develop more user-friendly practices as they innovate into new sectors of medical care.
Medical hardware is any physical equipment used for patients in any medical capacity, including surgery and day-to-day wear. Medical hardware includes an array of products ranging from blood sugar monitoring to medical lasers. An exciting move in 2022 will be the continued development of 'smart' medical hardware. These devices will be able to work beyond their base function. For example, a Bluetooth-enabled pacemaker can connect to a patient's phone and deliver real-time data that any layman could understand. Smart medical hardware as a field provides ample opportunity for exciting innovation.
Virtual reality has been a popular buzzword for the past several years, often associated with gaming and television. VR also has promising applications in the medical field, including pain management and interactive physical therapy. In 2019, VR headsets were used in a pilot study to relax patients before and during surgery. The patients reported lower pain levels as compared to no headset, and they also reported experiencing lower levels of anxiety.
These headsets can be used in medical settings such as therapy offices, patient homes, and hospitals. This year it's projected that many different applications for healthcare VR will be proposed.
Internet of Things, also known as IoT, is the interplay between devices like hardware, mobile apps, and any object used in a medical setting. The IoT market is expected to swell to $158.1 billion in 2022 and stands as one of the more exciting emerging technologies in healthcare due to its breadth and potential applications. When medical devices can connect and share data, medical professionals stand to gain tremendous insights into patient habits.
IoT tech allows providers to use secure mobile client communications and automatically instruct the patients' at-home hardware to adapt based on the appointment's findings. The possibilities are varied and promising, which makes IoT applications an important technology to watch in 2022.
QliqSOFT provides secure texting, virtual visits, and automates repetitive administrative tasks improving the experience for patients and the care team. In 2022, medical professionals need digital and interactive patient solutions. The QliqSOFT platform is a trusted mobile application with proven patient satisfaction. Reach out for a demo today.
A lifelong communicator, this Tennessee native got his start in broadcast news before branching out into public media, corporate, communications, digital advertising, and integrated marketing. Prior to joining QliqSOFT as the company's first marketing team member, Ben shared his talents with organizations that include the University of Alabama, iHeartMedia, and The Kroger Company.
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Prior to the pandemic, telehealth visits ─ delivering patient-provider visits virtually ─ was an afterthought in the care continuum — ill-regarded and little-used beyond patients in rural areas who had few care choices. Virtual visits comprised less than 1% of all outpatient visits. Private insurers generally follow guidelines from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which allowed telehealth in only limited circumstances and paid at 30% below in-office reimbursement rates.