- 80% of worlds healthcare data is unstructured
- $7Trillion+ – The cost of health and social programs worldwide and it is rising.
- 9 Patients will start using remote monitoring devices by 2020
- 400 million people in the world lack the basic health services
- 1 Billion people are living in extreme poverty ($1.25 per day)
- 112 out of 190 countries – India’s Healthcare system ranking as per WHO’s report
Healthcare experiences significant disruptive and transformative changes roughly every fifty years which leads to a healthcare revolution in clinical care.
From 1870’s germ theory of disease to the discovery of penicillin in 1928 to the adoption of the randomized controlled trial in 1940’s, all these revolutions have played a huge role in shaping and defining the healthcare that we know today.
The next healthcare revolution is now upon us. After decades as a technological laggard, the healthcare industry has entered the digital age. Emergence of New age mobile technologies with advances in analytic software’s, sensors, genomic sequencing to capture and analyze vast amounts of information about patients have brought in the much required revolution that we have been waiting for.
Let’s have a look at various technology advancements that have been made in the recent past that are challenging the conventional approach to medicine and are playing an important role in revolutionizing the healthcare sector.
Telemedicine / HealthCare Apps:
The number of smartphone users is forecast to grow from 2.1 billion in 2016 to around 2.5 billion in 2019. Owing to the increase in number of smartphones the advent of health technology apps is surely going to shake up the industry. These apps have not only played an important role in revolutionizing the Health tech sector but have also provided a common platform where the patients and the doctors can interact with each other easily.
Below are few HealthTech apps which have been really successful in creating a value for the patients and doctors.
Considered as one of the most popular healthtech apps in US, DoctoronDemand allows you to have a video consultation with the doctor at your convenience. Now have doctors write prescriptions for your medical issues and get your all questions answered from them with a single tap on your mobile. The app follows a fee based system with each Video session with a doctor costs around $50. DoctorOn Demand is predominantly used by patients for non – emergency medical issues like cold, flu, allergies, back pains etc.
Practo is a ‘Health and Fitness’ app which can be used to search doctors and clinics in your city and book appointments on the go. It’s available for free on both Android and iOS platforms. Apart from searching doctors in your city, practo also allows the patients to chat doctors through message, Audio and Video. Patients can take subscriptions from doctors online and can order medicines online using the app itself.
Algorithmic Medicine: Big Data & Deep learning:
AI has already started revolutionizing the healthcare by leveraging big data analysis to optimize healthcare services. All these advances as a whole have laid a strong foundation for the next revolution of data driven healthcare – “Personalization”. Data-driven healthcare aims at providing highly personalized healthcare to each individual patient thus improving the quality, efficacy and cost of healthcare. Vast amounts of patient’s data are collected so as to analyze and effectively use it to manage their health and wellbeing.
Major breakthroughs that have been made in this sector are Google’s Deep Mind Health Project and IBM Watson. IBM Watson for Oncology provides the ability to analyze a patient’s data and provide personalized treatment plans that combines the attributes from the patient’s file, clinical expertise, external research and data.
The genomics revolution has a direct impact on how we study how humans evolved, how species adapt to new environments, and how individuals and tumors will react to drugs.
With days passing by we are seeing Genomic information to influence clinical decisions. Taking into account the genomics of the patients and their tumors, scientists have to make some treatment decisions based on whether a drug will be effective to a patient or not.
Chabot’s and Virtual Assistants:
With new applications being explored almost every day, High speed technological advancements in natural language processing (NLP) and deep learning have fueled the development of virtual assistants and Chabot’s this year.
With an aim to bridge the gap between clinicians and patients and provide patients with basis medical consultations, Chabot’s and virtual assistants have been the main areas of focus this year. From diagnosing patients and providing support between appointments, to delivering medication alerts and educational materials, virtual assistants are proving to be doctors/physicians new best friend.
Sense.ly – An avatar-based, virtual assistant nurse helps patients with chronic health conditions, better monitor and manage their health.