In recent years, there has been an exponential increase in the number of new technologies and their capabilities, which in the future should lead to a completely different model of healthcare. The key challenge is still the same – build a HIPAA compliant app.

During this new technological revolution that will change the entire healthcare industry, vast amounts of data, cloud computing services, machine learning methods, and artificial intelligence solutions are combined. As a result, users are allowed to obtain and analyze unique information on a massive scale and at a relatively low cost.

Networking medical equipment has already changed the way we work in healthcare. By 2020, the widespread introduction of high-tech methods in medicine will lead to the implementation of the concept of “smart hospital.”

Fourth Industrial Revolution Big Data

The concept of a “smart hospital” is based on the optimization and automation of processes in the information and communication and technological environment of interconnected objects (the so-called Internet of things). The purpose of this environment is to improve existing medical care procedures and open up new possibilities for medicine. For example, integrate the customer retention in terms of patient centricity. The Fourth Industrial Revolution, associated with the concept of large databases, is also of fundamental importance. It consists of combining network devices with cloud computing methods, big data analysis, and artificial intelligence, which allows us to call such an infrastructure “smart.”

The Internet of things has already become a reality – it generates a considerable amount of data and allows you to receive information much faster and with more details than ever before (according to forecasts, the growth of data in the world will be 40% per year, i.e., the amount of data will increase 50 times by 2020). At the same time, healthcare costs are growing and uncontrollably. Infrastructure for healthcare requires high costs, which include the maintenance of clinics, the purchase of equipment and apparatus, ceilings for healthcare. According to current forecasts, the costs of the global healthcare system will grow by 4.2% per year. They will increase from 7.1 trillion US dollars in 2015 to 8.7 trillion US dollars in 2020. This situation is becoming increasingly unacceptable for most countries. For healthcare to remain accessible for future generations, it is necessary to rethink its organization and management practices adopted in this industry.

Health workers must build partnerships to apply technologies that help make the necessary changes. The introduction of digital technologies and methods for working with big data (including in genomics) will help not only to improve the results of patient treatment but also reduce healthcare costs and ensure the transition to personalized medical care. An example of how machine learning and information technology are changing the healthcare environment is radiation diagnostics. According to experts, more than 80% of all human actions can be replaced by computer algorithms. In this regard, oncology and dermatology also occupy a leading position. Information technology can not only change but, of course, will improve our understanding of healthcare.

Four innovations that will contribute to the development of the concept of “smart hospital”

Healthcare Trends 2020

Blockchain – a distributed database of consecutive transaction records composed of related transaction blocks and stored in a digital registry. This technology allows you to use each source of patient data as a block of a common database and to protect information when sharing this data with medical and scientific organizations. Blockchain technology helps institutions connect traditional data warehouses, significantly increase the knowledge and organizational effectiveness of their use, provide reliable protection for medical and business data, and simplify patients’ access to medical information. In the future, this technology should help overcome the limitations of the widespread exchange of medical data that currently impede the implementation of innovations. This is, in this case, the protection of data and confidential patient information in the process of network exchange. Blockchain increases the transparency of actions not only between the patient and the doctor but also between different healthcare institutions.

Biotelemetry is a method of instrumental data collection and analysis for monitoring heart rate and other vital indicators of the patient’s condition throughout the day. Many wearable devices, including smartwatches, glasses, monitors, and electroluminescent clothing, are being developed or are already on the market. These developments help people get information about their physiological parameters and behavior and thereby provide an opportunity to improve their health. These technologies can be used to guide patients at home and obtain objective information about what is happening with the patient between visits to the hospital or clinic. In particular, it helps doctors determine how effective treatment is and how patients are recovering. Also, these technologies help reduce the number of referrals for hospitalization.

Development of drugs and methods of precision medicine based on genomics and big data analysis – after the start of the Human Genome Project, more than 1800 genes associated with diseases were identified. More than 2000 genetic tests were proposed to assess the health status of patients. Genomics is one of the most critical components of digital medicine. Sequencing and editing genes require, among other things, computers, and robotic systems. These developments are essential primarily for oncology. At the same time, they can be used, although to a lesser extent, to form targeted approaches to the treatment of diseases of the central nervous system, infectious and autoimmune diseases, and cystic fibrosis.

Virtual rehabilitation in orthopedics – physiotherapy is an essential part of orthopedic care. After the transition to results-based medicine and the implementation of appropriate cost-recovery schemes, it will be possible to expand the scope of application of new devices that, in conjunction with mobile apps, will help patients perform daily physical exercises after surgery, observing their every movement. The data obtained using the methods is transmitted to doctors in real-time. In essence, thanks to this, they can amend the training protocols. Exercises are performed under the guidance of a virtual trainer. These systems can also collect patient reviews, which will then be used to determine the amount of compensation for orthopedic surgery, such as joint prosthetics.

This article is not only about what technology is capable of, but also about what medical personnel can be exempted from. They will be able to devote their free time directly to patients, using technology to increase the efficiency of their work and improve patient treatment results. The combination of human intelligence with statistical analysis has excellent prospects in terms of improving diagnosis and treatment tactics through the use of quantitative data.

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