As a doctor, it is not only important to be on top of industry trends from a professional perspective but also as an investor. The best investors recommend to “invest in what you know”, and as a doctor you have unique insight into your own industry.
Digital healthcare has been progressing over the past few years, but the global pandemic completely accelerated these developments and saw the demand and adoption of digital solutions explode. Consequentially, it’s expected that healthcare providers will be investing more into these technologies.
So, what will the major tech trends in health be next year?
The COVID-19 vaccine is a huge one at the forefront of everyone’s focus. Everyone’s hopes are pinned on a successful roll out of vaccines globally, and the companies playing a role in this, not just developing vaccines but also distribution and other areas, are attracting strong investment.
The flow on impact will see more investment in other vaccines, preventative measures and health initiatives as we become even more health conscious and work towards avoiding any future virus outbreaks.
It’s expected that artificial intelligence (AI) will lead the healthcare industry in 2021 and have a place in all areas of healthcare. It’s become a key technology to assist with health tracking, trending and alerting, prevention, diagnoses and treatments, and decision-making. The sky is the limit for AI technology, with it already being used for fraud detection, medical imaging and as virtual assistants or robot assistants in surgery (just to name a few).
Here’s why AI has become an attractive option in the industry:
AI can provide tools to better streamline and automate operations and administration services, as well as conduct tasks significantly faster than humans. A key example of efficiency is using computer vision supported by AI, which intends to make diagnoses quicker and more accurately than humans.
Artificial intelligence has the ability to analyse data and guide medical practitioners with more accurate information. For example, AI can help guide surgeons to more precise incision locations, or indicate the best location for an implant using 3-D computerised systems.
AI also minimise risks associated with patient treament, such as through tackling issues in medication administration (for example incorrect dosage sizes).
What better way to provide the top quality of care than be preventing illnesses and health conditions before they even strike. We’re already shifting towards a more proactive outlook on our health, with wearable technologies and greater consumer interest increasing in this sector. AI allows for greater capability to capture and analyse data, monitor patients and provide information to predict and prevent.
Beyond the actual patient, AI can also prevent breaches of data and financial issues, with technology already being utilised for cybersecurity and fraud detection.
COVID-19 saw the medical industry embrace telehealth and experience its benefits. The physical and financial limitations imposed by the pandemic drove the medical industry to develop the right infrastructure, technology and systems required to implement telehealth, and it will now only continue to evolve and improve.
Now, thousands have been exposed to the quality, convenience and timeliness of telehealth and it’s expected to become a big part of our lifestyles.
Telehealth also offers a huge drawcard in providing better mental health care. Not only does it aid those with mental health challenges in remote locations, but it provides anyone with an instant outlet to obtaining help. These solutions and apps also provide a greater sense of privacy, personalisation and comfort. Especially as mental health awareness grows stronger every day, and more and more companies and education institutions have a greater focus on employee and student well-being, these technologies are set to boom.
Wearable technology and remote patient monitoring
Part of the rise of AI and telehealth comes the development of remote patient monitoring (RPM) and improved wearable technology to better support these virtual methods and provide real time patient date to practitioners from afar.
Wearable technologies and apps have been used for quite a while, although what started as a watch or device to measure how many steps you’ve done in a day now has the ability to conduct an ECG, protect your ears from dangerous noise levels, alert emergency contacts if you’ve experienced a fall, or even monitor the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. This will only continue to grow in the new year.
Remote patient monitoring is emerging in all fields and has a wealth of applications. They can be in the form of sensor-based devices, mobile apps, platforms and more to help everyone from seniors to new mothers and those battling chronic conditions.
Interoperability and data storage
The medical data that practitioners and consumers have access to thanks to all the developments stated above is astronomical. With such a huge amount of information being created from a diverse range of sources, there is now the need to collect, store and use it without falling for security risks. So, the focus will be on computer systems and software that can successfully interpret the data to improve patient outcomes, along with technology to improve cybersecurity and safe storage.
There’s one major factor that all these trends have in common – a dependency on quality networks and wireless devices. These technologies and systems will require powerful networks to keep everything running smoothly and efficiently. That’s where 5G connectivity comes in. 5G brings a lower latency and faster speed than other networks.
Seek Advice in 2021
Team up with an expert medical accountant who has knowledge on the trending health technologies and can help you make the best investment choice for your wealth plan.
Contact DocWealth, specialists in accounting, financial planning, investment and finance, investment and business for medical professionals. We operate in Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne and throughout Australia. Managing partner Kym Nitschke is available for a free initial discussion about your situation. Call us on (08) 8379 9950 or send me an email.
– Kym Nitschke
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