Top 4 Healthcare Technology Trends for 2021
The previous year proved to be disastrous for the business world. Every industry was reeling under the pressures of the coronavirus pandemic. Widespread unemployment, salary cuts, and of course, millions of deaths were the hallmarks of the year. But one sector that was working tirelessly throughout the pandemic was the healthcare sector. Doctors, nurses, physicians, and other medical staff put their hearts and souls to save our lives. And we owe them big time. But if we dig deep into the matter and carefully analyze the events, we will see that technology played a significant role in our fight against Covid-19.
Industrial Revolution 4.0 technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), 3D Printing, and Internet of Things (IoT) allowed healthcare professionals to monitor the dynamics of the pandemic. Moreover, advanced research in the healthcare industry ranging from vaccines and social care to digital twinning and robotics, enabled doctors to decide the immediate steps they need to take to stop the virus's spread.
Here are the top 4 healthcare technology trends of 2021 that will continue playing a significant role in our fight against the covid-19 pandemic and other diseases.
1. Healthcare will become an essential part of our lives.
If 2020 taught the importance of integrating business processes with technology, 2021 would teach the significance of healthcare and hygiene. Companies need to reinvent their office premises to safeguard employees and customers. They can do this by installing biosecurity systems such as sanitization stations and body-screening technology to eliminate the spread of contagious diseases. Moreover, quarantine measures for on-site workers are critical as they cannot work from home and are more susceptible to catching the virus.
For employees that can work from home, companies need to address other challenges such as:
- Are remote workers taking precautionary measures for safeguarding their health?
- Apart from handling work and home responsibilities together, are remote workers also taking care of their mental health?
- Are remote workers taking regular breaks, exercising, and meditating regularly?
Healthcare technology will help address all the challenges mentioned above effectively.
2. Healthcare technology will give rise to remote medicine and virtual care.
Various types of software technology will allow healthcare professionals to provide remote medicine and virtual care. Doctors can give the right treatment to patients from the comfort of their homes. Video-conferencing tools integrated with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems have bridged the gap between hospitals and patients. Research by Forrester reveals that virtual visits will hit the one billion mark by the end of 2020.
In countries like India and China, where fewer doctors are available, remote medicine will allow more patients to seek medical help from anywhere and at any time.
Another aspect of virtual care is autonomous robots that will provide the necessary healthcare from the patient's home itself. They will eliminate the likelihood of infection as patients need not make routine visits to hospitals/clinics. Moreover, they will effectively deal with mental health dysfunctions. For example, companion robots in the UK are reducing disorders caused due to social isolation and loneliness.
3. Healthcare technology will transform the field of genomics and gene editing.
Gene editing is the technique to manipulate the behavioral traits of new living cells. These traits, called phenotypes, govern essential cell abilities such as longevity, resistance against illnesses, healing rate after injuries, and many more. Scientists have already been using gene-editing techniques such as CRISPR-Cas9 for treating cancer and heart diseases.
Healthcare professionals are making use of software technologies for developing several breakthroughs. One such example is "precision medicine," where drugs can be customized according to a patient's genetic profile. It has dual benefits. Firstly, it will increase the medicine's effectiveness, and secondly, it will minimize/eliminate the unwanted side-effects.
4. Healthcare technologies will increase our ability to respond to future outbreaks.
Countries worldwide are making significant investments in building smart cities. Smart cities are cities that make use of IR 4.0 technologies for achieving the following:
- Taking automated data-driven decisions
- Strengthening digital connectivity
- Designing public transport
- Energy distribution
- Waste collection
- Protecting the environment
But there are many other challenges that smart cities will face in the future. One of them is the significant flux of people from rural areas to cities. UN predicts that 68% of the world's population will reside in urban areas by 2050. It means that more people will live in close proximity that can become ideal places for infectious diseases to spread.
2021 will prove to be a year of mindblowing discoveries in the healthcare software technology sector. Virtual consultations will dramatically increase and medicines will be developed according to the genetic build-up of the patient. The pandemic has made us realize the significance of technology in saving people's lives, meaning we will see substantial investments in the healthcare industry.
Nishant likes to read and write on technologies that form the bedrock of the modern day and age like machine learning, data science, AI and robotics. His expertise in writing content that caters to the right audience has helped grow countless business opportunities. During his free time, he is often found contemplating spiritual topics. He has keen interest in mythology and is also a best-selling writer. Nishant works for Sage Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd., a leading provider of ERP and CRM software to small and mid-sized businesses in India.
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