8 Technologies That Will Transform Medicine and Healthcare in the Year 2020
logo Vivek Asrani
July 16, 2020 | 6 Min Read

8 Technologies That Will Transform Medicine and Healthcare in the Year 2020

The medical and healthcare domain has seen a major boost with the emergence of cutting-edge technologies. Earlier these technologies used to be a part of other business domains such as manufacturing and construction. 

However, in recent times, due to modern innovations, we are seeing doctors and physicians taking advantage of these technologies to uplift the medical and healthcare sector.

Here’s a glimpse of the progress made in this sector.

Over time, advancement in technology has proven to be a blessing in disguise for thousands of patients. For example, AII3DP notes that 3D printers can assist in creating customized prosthetic limbs, dentures, tissues, and organs.

On top of this, the National Institutes of Health says that 3D printer technology has opened a new dimension which now makes it possible to create “polypills.” 

The amazing part is, these pills have multiple compartments. And each compartment consists of a different medication that is released at a different interval. 

As a result, these pills will provide greater convenience to patients who are taking multiple medications. It will also ensure that the patient gets the right dose of medication at the right time.

In the words of Forbes writer Bernard Marr

“Medical technology, including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and wearable tech devices are looking forward to facing the 21st century challenges. With the help of these technologies, medicine and healthcare organizations can meet the growing demands and efficiently operate to provide better patient care.”

Examples of businesses Who have Adopted These Technologies and the Benefits That Can Be Derived from Them

  • Start-up Ciitizen is working towards giving cancer patients access to their own health records by developing technologies that facilitate this. The user can opt to share those records with their care team and even researchers if they’d like.
  • Switzerland-based healthcare company Stuward recently launched a telemedicine application named Stuward VU amid the roll-out of 5G. The service helps connect independent medical professionals with people seeking online consultations. It was created partly to help doctors better compete with the much larger tech companies that generally have significantly larger marketing budgets and other administrative resources at their disposal.
  • iCarbonX is a healthcare start-up that‘s created a patient data platform to collect patient information, and monitor, understand, analyze, and improve the lives of its users through technology. The platform uses AI combined with the patients’ medical history, behavioral, and biological data to create a map of human health based on information collected from patients all over the world. The information collected is then used to learn from diseases, classify conditions, make more accurate diagnoses, and provide better treatments.

Now, let’s divert our attention to the list of technologies that will revolutionize medicine and healthcare in the year 2020.

1. AI

The most fascinating thing that is making the right noises across the medicine and healthcare industry is artificial intelligence. And there is a reason for it. It has grown at the speed of knots and there are lots of exciting opportunities surrounding it. This is the right time to utilize its full potential for healthcare marketing.

According to a research, it has been estimated that the use of artificial intelligence in the healthcare industry is expected to grow swiftly at an annual rate of 40% through the year 2021 - to $6.6 billion, from roughly $600 million in the year 2014.

The good news is, with the help of AI engines, it is now possible to reduce and mitigate the risk of preventable medical scenarios in 3 crucial ways:

  • Automatic Reminders

This feature assists patients who need to take medications within a stipulated period.

  • Ascertain People at High Risk

It assists in discovering those in need of medical intervention by triggering medical staff alerts. This way, it makes way for creating custom care plans. IBM Watson is currently testing this with opioid addiction issues.

  • Deliver Personalized Dosage Recommendations

This feature is based on each patient’s exclusive body chemistry and associated environmental factors.

Thus, with the help of artificial intelligence, it would be easier to ascertain disease, diagnose conditions, crowdsource & develop treatment plans, monitor health epidemics, create efficiencies in medical research & clinical trials, and make operations more efficient to handle the increased demand on the healthcare system. By the end of the year 2020, medical data will double every 73 days. McKinsey predicts that there could be $100 billion in annual savings for medicines and pharma by using big data and AI & machine learning tools to process it.

Ultimately with the help of AI and machine learning, it would become easier to eradicate various medical problems. The only thing needed is governing and regulatory bodies to determine the best way to regulate the utilization of algorithms in healthcare.

2. Chatbots

Today, symptom checkers that function in the same way as chatbots are easily available, without any charges. But, these chatbots demand users to input symptoms and complaints on a manual basis. Shortly, we would have a Chatbot that can make predictions and suggestions based on a user’s data. This includes heart rate, activity collected through wearables, and sleep tracking. With the help of such features, these bots can help users make healthier choices without visiting the doctors.

In the series “Black Mirror” there was an episode titled “Rachel, Jack, and Ashley Too” that featured an incredibly smart and emotional Chatbot that made human-like conversations with the character. Just imagine having a similar personalized Chatbot that is accessible through your smart device and additional health & lifestyle features.

This chatty virtual being wakes you up based on your sleeping pattern. It even recommends when the best time to consume each meal is based on your nutrigenomic profile. The Chatbot even finds the right words to motivate you to go to the gym or find the best jokes to get you in a good mood. Can it get any better than this?

3. Robotics

One question that everyone has in their mind is: Would you trust a robot when you come across a life or death situation? At present times, we are seeing collaborative robots like da Vinci surgical robots are helping humans with tasks in the operating room. However, if you perceive that the role of robots is limited to only surgical uses then you are absolutely wrong!

They can help in different tasks like assisting doctors in scrutinizing and treating patients in rural areas through “telepresence,” transporting medical supplies, helping patients with rehabilitation or with prosthetics, disinfecting hospitals, automating labs, and packaging medical devices.

Other medical robots work as micro-bot by targeting therapy to a specific part of the body like radiation to a tumor or clear bacterial infections. By the year 2023, it has been estimated that the global medical robotics market is expected to reach $20 billion.

4. Computer and Machine Vision

Today, it has become a possibility to train computers to “view” the world and comprehend visual input. Machine vision has seen drastic progress in recent times. Now, it is possible to use computers and machine vision in medicines for viewing scans, run diagnostics, medical images, surgery, and much more. 

With the help of machine vision, doctors can know the amount of blood lost by a woman in her childbirth. This way, you can take care of the mother appropriately to reduce the mortality of mothers from post-partum hemorrhaging.

Computers today provide precise information which was earlier based on guessing games. The machine applications where computers are being used to see CT scans to ascertain neurological and cardiovascular illnesses and spot tumors in X-ray images are growing rapidly.

5. Wearable Tech

If you think that wearable fitness technology only lets you know the number of steps that you walk daily then you are hugely mistaken. Today, smartwatches can, not only aid in tracking your steps but also monitor your heart’s rhythms.

There are other forms of wearable devices like ECG monitors that can find out atrial fibrillation and send reports to your doctor, monitor blood pressure, and self-adhesive biosensor patches that track your heart rate, temperature, and much more.

In fact, with more than 80% of people willing to wear wearable tech, there are lots of opportunities to use these devices in healthcare setup. By using wearable tech, consumers can proactively get health support in case there are any anomalies found in their trackers.

6. Genomics

Thanks to AI & machine learning, it is possible to get advanced genomic medicine. This type of medicine is used by decoding the person’s genomic info to determine the personalized treatment plans and clinical care. Genomic has already made its presence felt in oncology, pharmacology, infectious diseases, etc.

With the help of computers, it is possible to scrutinize the genes and gene mutations that lead to medical conditions much swifter. This way, the medical fraternity can comprehend in a better way not only how the diseases happen but also the best way to treat the condition or even eradicate it.

Several research projects in this area are being performed for medical conditions, including cystic fibrosis, cancers, and organ transplant rejection to ascertain the best way to treat these conditions through personalized medicine.

7. Digital Twins

A digital twin is a near real-time replica of the medical treatment done on the patient. This replica can be the life-long record of the individual in question. With the help of digital twins, doctors can ascertain possibilities of the successful outcome of surgery, thus, leading to wise therapy decisions and managing chronic diseases. 

The major objective of using digital twins is to enhance patient experience with the help of effective patient-centric care. Though, its use is still in an infancy stage, but, it has a tremendous future in the medicine and healthcare domain.

8. 3D Printing

Similar to other industries, 3D printing enabled prototyping, customization, research, and manufacturing can come handy in the healthcare sector. With its help, surgeons can replicate patient-specific organs to assist in conducting the procedures. It is even possible to create lots of medical devices and surgical tools with the help of 3D printers.

It assists in developing cost-effective prosthetic limbs for patients and print tissues & organs for transplants. You can even use it in dentistry and orthodontics.

Concluding Thoughts

In the near future, we will see these technologies shining like a bright star and transforming the medicine and healthcare sector for its betterment. 

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