The healthcare field has long understood the importance of data. Physicians have to pore over all the relevant data before they can make an accurate diagnosis. Figuring out which treatments and medicines will be appropriate for any given patient is also highly dependent on the available data. Even the development of new drugs and procedures requires huge amounts of data in order to come to fruition.
However, just because the healthcare industry already sees great value in data doesn’t mean that there is an end in sight for the development of new data technologies that will change the way healthcare is provided worldwide. Let’s take a look at the future of data technologies in healthcare:
The advent of data-driven medical technologies and devices is poised to forever change the world of healthcare. Augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR, respectively), 3D printing, artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT).
Even robots and drones are set to revolutionize the healthcare field. While all of these technologies serve different functions and operate in different ways, they all rely on the steady flow of data to function properly.
3D printing can provide on-demand prosthetics, AR will help to guide surgeons during procedures, and robots and drones will help with emergency disaster response as well as the delivery of goods and general patient care. Eventually, medical devices both inside and outside of healthcare facilities will share data with one another constantly as part of the IoT.
One of the biggest ways that the IoT will affect the healthcare industry is through the interconnectedness of wearable technologies. Wearables already have a foothold in the healthcare industry through the biometric data collected through smartwatches and fitness trackers.
Soon hospitals around the world will introduce wearable electrocardiogram and blood pressure monitors and various other biosensors. The data provided by these wearables will help doctors and physicians predict and prevent health issues like heart attacks or respiratory arrests before they occur.
AI will help the healthcare field in everything from administrative functions to supply chain management and even research and development. IBM Watson is a cognitive computing system that is already utilizing AI to analyze the DNA sequencing of patients in order to suggest appropriate treatments and remedial measures. One day, AI might even be used to make diagnoses on behalf of physicians or develop new drugs much more quickly than is currently possible.
Data Storage and Usage
Technological advancements in the storage and usage of medical data are also making waves in the healthcare field. From data analytics to medical record generation, to billing with blockchain, medical data is being implemented and stored in inventive new ways to maximize efficiency and security. These types of technical data storage and usage innovation are going to become commonplace in hospitals around the world.
Electronic health records (EHRs) have already revolutionized the world of healthcare. By moving medical records from paper to a digital format, EHRs have allowed medical professionals nearly immediate access to vital patient information.
In certain situations such as emergency disaster relief, the ability for a doctor to obtain a patient’s medical records in a timely manner can mean the difference between life and death. Additionally, EHRs allow for easy collaboration between patients and various doctors. Ensuring that they are all of the same pages when it comes to treatment.
Data Analytics in Health Care
Data analytics can help reduce instances of hospitalization among patients by optimizing medical tests by clinical decision systems and ensuring the correct frequency of preventive check-ups.
Furthermore, data analytics can help hospitals determine offer better healthcare by monitoring specific metrics related to patient outcomes. In the future, hospitals will have completely embraced both EHRs and data analytics as a way to improve overall effectiveness and efficiency.
This technology can also help hospitals confront public health issues by using data insights. Major issues like addiction, vehicle accidents, and even chronic conditions like obesity and diabetes can vary in severity based on location. Using big data analytics, healthcare institutions can predict health concerns in their communities and prepare accordingly.
The future of data technologies in healthcare looks bright. With recent advancements in data-driven technologies like AI and wearables, doctors will soon have a whole new wave of useful data and tools with which to process it. Even the way that data is stored and used will soon change the world of healthcare with wider implementation of EHRs and data insights generated by healthcare facilities themselves.