Introduction

The Future “Health-kit” will have “Tools of Technology” for “Souping up” healthcare delivery! The current, healthcare system is facing several challenges from emerging pandemic fatal outbreaks to hiked health expenditure. In coming future healthcare holding hands with various technologies can find the solution for all the challenges. The expected reach of healthcare industries in 2017 is US$ 160 billion and US$ 280 billion in 2020. It can be achieved by the information technology trends that will act as a driving force for this outreach. The information technology can boost the healthcare sector by 14% annually. The quality and the way of healthcare delivery and can be changed by the trends in the information technology.

Technologies in Healthcare

The use of information technology for delivering healthcare can increase the quality, safety, and efficacy. The technological trends help in practical comparison of the patient data and in making clinical decisions. Let’s see how technology can be used for healthcare delivery by different advancements.

1. Telemedicine

Telemedicine can exponentially increase the quality of the healthcare to the population at a distance. It is the combination of information and communication technologies. Telemedicine can connect the physician and patients lying in remote areas. The healthcare delivery is made more accessible with telemedicine. The physicians can have an online access to the patient related health records and diagnostic test results. It serves as an opportunity for interactive trainings, and medical video conferences. According to global market research reports, telemedicine reached $11.6 billion in 2011, and it is forecasted to reach US$36.3 billion by 2020. In India, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) is using telemedicine for quality delivery of healthcare. Televital is using telemedicine for remote anesthesia monitoring.

Fig 1: Global Telehealth market Forecast

Global Telehealth market Forecast                                                                                                                                   Source: IHS Technology

The benefits of telemedicine are

  • Tele-follow-up
  • Tele-education
  • Tele-healthcare
  • Tele-communication
  • Remote patient engagement

The different telemedicine modalities that can be used by the hospitals are:

Patient remote monitoring: The doctors can continuously track the health information of the patients and provide a timely treatment even the patient is at a different location. The healthcare can be facilitated to the patients without follow-up visit. The patient can clarify the queries about the medication, dosages, diet, and exercises to be followed for the present condition without meeting personally with the healthcare provider.

Live video: The healthcare provider and the patient can interact with live video conferences for consultation, diagnosis, and treatment. The recorded live videos of the doctors can be viewed by the patients for clarifications in the treatment.

Store and forward: The health information, medical data can be stored, and forwarded to the between the healthcare provides, patients, and caregivers. The recorded health history like digital images, x-rays etc can be transferred by secured electronic communications.

E-visits: E-visits can help the patients to fix online appointments with the doctors such that they can communicate without personal meet. The doctors and the patients can have real-time video conferences. The prescription can be sent to the patients by text messages or emails.

  • Health Analytics Tool

 As the amount of health information is increasing, the need for health data analytics is continuously increasing. The usage of health data analytics can play a role in the reduction of healthcare expenditure. By analyzing the information and the patient care and quality of care is improved. The analysis of health data may help the research and development of new effective drugs based on the genomic profile of the patients.

The research report studies estimated the global healthcare analytics market to reach $18.7 Billion by 2020 at a CAGR of 25.2% from the current value of $5.8 Billion in 2015.

Table 1: List of Healthcare Analytics companies

COMPANY NAMES

USE OF ANALYTICAL TOOL

IBM

Improving collaboration in patient care

OptumHealth

Providing decision supports system

Oracle

Better data transparency

Verisk Analytics

Payment accuracy and revenue integrity

Truven Health Analytics

Integrate information from various sources

 

The benefits of health analytics tool are

  • Clinical decision support
  • Better care coordination
  • Minimize fraud and abuse
  • Improved patient wellness
  • Decrease administrative costs

Fig 2: Health Data Analytics Global Market

Health Data Analytics Global Market

                                                                                                                                             Source: Heavy Reading

  • Health Information Management System (HIMS)

 The health information management system is used for analyzing, acquiring, and protecting the medical information of the patients to provide quality care. The health information management system can help in improving the efficiency of information management in the healthcare sector. It can be applied for the management of the resources for collection, storage, retrieval, interpretation, and communication of the healthcare data. They can be used for dealing patient care, medico-legal issues, research, planning, execution, and evaluation f the healthcare provided. The global market of healthcare management systems was expected to reach USD 228.8 Billion by 2020.

Nuance is working with health information management systems.

The benefits of health information management system are

  • Effective monitoring
  • Provide timely quality care
  • Provide early alerts on diseases
  • Provide tools for effective planning
  • Improve diagnostic and clinical services

  • mHealth:                                                                 

Mobile health (mHealth) creates an opportunity to take healthcare monitoring out of the office, out of the lab and become a part of life.
The global Market Research report estimates mHealth market will reach $59.15 Billion by 2020. The market of mHealth is becoming larger and more prevalent. This technology is enabling the physicians and patients to check on healthcare processes on-the-go.
Physicians and healthcare providers can use mHealth tools for orders, documentation and simply to reach more information to the patients. Education, counseling, and monitoring of the patients can be possible to the healthcare providers with the use of mHealth.
The patients can access to the provider with communication devices like smart phones, tablets. The health data of the patients can be tracked with the smart apps that are installed in the communication devices. This technology can be used to alert the patients with text messages and reminders about the disease condition, lifestyle, food habits, etc.

fig 3: Mobile health applications

fig 3 Mobile health applications

  • Picture Archival and Communication System (PACS)

 Picture archival and communication system is a healthcare information technology that is used for storage, retrieval, management, distribution, and presentation of the medical images. The use of PACS can replace X-ray films with computerized images. It can support long-term and maximum benefit. The transmission of the images generated by PACS is easy. The comparison of the images made from different modalities is made easy by PACS. The images can be generated fast and can be viewed for multiple work stations. The backup of the images is also made easy.
The global research market forecasted the growth rate of picture archival and communication systems at a CAGR of 10.0% in 2019.

The benefits of PACS are

  • Facilitates easier comparison
  • Reduce duplication of images
  • Better organization and storage
  • Quick access for sharing images
  • Zoom on images and manipulate for better view

  • Wearable Health Devices

Wearable health devices can aim for a profitable health market. They are the innovations for the remote monitoring of the patients. They have digital technology for recording the vital signs, blood pressure, weight, blood sugar, heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and electrocardiograms and send the data to the health care professionals. This data is used by the healthcare professionals for providing quality care to the patient without a personal meeting of both. This can provide benefits for both the patient as well as the healthcare professionals.  The health information of the patients can be up to date with the help of these devices.

Wearable health devices can be “bliss” for the patients with diabetes and cardiovascular disorders which will allow the care givers and the family members to have a close surveillance over the patient‘s activity. They also help in fall detection and severity of the condition.

Different wearable healthcare devices are

Device

Description

Omron Wristband

Smart wearable wristband can monitor blood pressure.

Bioman’s T-shirt

A wearable textile that can measure all the body vitals. Along with the skin temperature, skin moisture content and electrophysiological signals.

BodyTel’s Wearables

Bluetooth enabled smart wearables that can measure and keep track of body vitals.

ADAM

Automated Device for Asthma Monitoring and Management, is a smart wearable patch Synched in with the Smartphone that will monitor the body condition of asthma patients and will give alerts to the patients and caregivers in case of risk emergence.

Quell

Pain reliever wearable device which uses nerve stimulation to reduce pain and it also tracks the severity level of pain.

The forecast of global marketing research for wearable health devices is 31.27 Billion USD by 2020.

Fig 4: A scenario of usage of wearable health devices is depicted below

Tractica

The benefits of wearable health devices are

  • Quick access
  • Quality outcomes
  • Increased accuracy of readings
  • Alerts and reminders for medication
  • Continuous monitoring of the patient’s health
  • Personal Health Records

                Personal health records are the electronic records that are used by the patients. It is a tool for managing the health. They can be easily accessed, stored, and secured. It is simply a collection of health information. These can be accessed from anywhere with the computers, smart phones, and tablets. They contain information like doctors name, contact number, drug related allergies, medication history, family history, medication, dosage information, information related to chronic condition, dates of screening tests, surgeries, health goals and dietary habits.

The benefits of personal health records are

  • Tracking of health progress
  • Organized screening tests
  • Managing of health assessment
  • Updating monitored vital signs

Fig5: List of PHR Tools

List_of_PHR_tools

  • Mobile Apps

                Mobile apps can play a vital role in healthcare delivery by storing and transferring the health data and information. These can be accessed by installing in smart phones and tablets. The use of this technology can decrease the number of visits to the doctor. They are used for the easy monitoring of the vital signs by the patients themselves. Timely care can be taken for the prevention of diseases by the early detection of the symptoms. They can reduce complexity in health conditions. Appointments with doctors can be scheduled by the use of mobile apps. There are apps for access of both doctors and patients and also apps for doctors separately. Some of them are

  • Diagnostic apps
  • Clinical reference apps
  • Public health apps
  • Tele health apps
  • Disease management apps

There are many apps for individual use like exercise, diet, sleep, meditation, women health, pregnancy, weight loss etc.

The research of global markets predicted the market value of mobile apps to reach 101 Billion USD by 2020.

Fig 6: Illustration of global market of mobile apps

Illustration of global market of mobile apps                                                                                                                                                          Source: Tractica

  • Big Data

 Healthcare organizations have a mine of data related to the medical records of different number of patients. This data can be stored and accessed with an ease by the use of new technologies. The healthcare organizations require a robust data sourcing to integrate and manage data from all the relevant sources for efficient diagnosis of the patient and the treatment. The healthcare providers and the patients can also access to their medical data with this tool.

The use of big data can act as a solution for research and analytical data storage and use. Big data can help the healthcare sector for data collection, storage, information retrieval, generation of knowledge, and decision making. According to global market research studies the market value of big data can reach up to 7.0 Billion USD by 2020.

Fig 7: Global forecast of big data

Global forecast of big data

Summary

The convergence of healthcare with the information technology can play a key role in booming the healthcare sector. The challenges of the healthcare ecosystem can be overcome by revolution with the information technology. The trends in information technology can fuel the healthcare sector. The access to healthcare can be simplified by the advanced technologies. The future of healthcare delivery can be made much easier, accessible, and informative with the use of these trending technologies.

References

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Information Technology Trends For Competent Healthcare Delivery

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