Together with the new trends in the world of IT, significant changes in the number of industries have arrived as well. Banking, education, hospitality – the list can go on and on. However, one particular industry saw some really drastic changes and we are talking about healthcare here. It’s all about saving people’s lives and it will always be around so no wonder it was among the first ones to implement new technologies. Where is the healthcare industry now and what exactly changed? Let’s have a look.
A quick overview of the hottest IT trends
As we all know, the world today is buzzing about the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning. In a series of our blog posts, we’ve already covered the most promising IoT trends for 2018 and Machine Learning and AI trends. In case you missed those posts, check them out and see why these technologies are so trending now.
We can now live in smart houses, control our TV and oven while being away from home and command our garage to open. But besides that, IoT brings something else rather than personal control. Internet of Things and artificial intelligence have now become an essential part of many processes, from manufacturing to data analysis and processing. Due to increased amount of data that companies obtain, they need something 100% accurate and reliable to process it and machines have proven to do such kind of tasks far more fast, efficient and accurate than manpower
AI in form of personal assistants
It’s also well-known that the number of mobile users today is great and the number keeps growing. So no wonder there are now applications that serve as personal assistant and they are performing the exact same set of functions that a nurse would do in a hospital.
Such apps are based on artificial intelligence and their main goal is to monitor patient’s state of health, contact doctors or ambulance if necessary and overall give patients some tips or recommendations. These apps also have different functionality: some of them are built specifically for patients with heart diseases and others – for patients with diabetes. Therefore, the second app, for example, would help the patient build a nutrition plan and would also remind to take medicine on time.
It may not sound as something revolutionary but think about it. Once the patient leaves the hospital, nobody will take care of them. Of course, they can always contact the doctor, but the doctors simply cannot be available 24/7 so virtual personal assistants have a bigger role than we may expect.
Increased accuracy of patient monitoring and data gathering
IoT is all about devices that collect some sort of data and communicate with each other. So same applies to healthcare: IoT is used in the monitoring of patients’ state and in case of anything worrying, the devices are able to immediately call the doctor or nurse.
Apart from more accurate monitoring, such approach also ensures that nothing is missed in terms of patient’s data: everything will be recorded and stored in the database, which can later be shared across the doctors who are involved in treatment.
In addition, IoT also helps in tracking the state of equipment and alarming when it needs maintenance. When we speak about equipment that is vital for patient’s life, no mistakes can be made and thus we need something that will guarantee us the excellent performance and ensure nothing is missed.
Pro-action instead of reaction
Because so many people today have personalized gadgets, it became much easier to help them take control of their own health with a lot of apps, smart watches, etc. So what we can say here is the fact that IoT and AI turned healthcare into the more proactive state rather than reactive. The apps can help identify the upcoming disease symptoms and will warn the patient about necessary actions to take. Tracking devices are gathering all the info about the patient and can recognize whether something is wrong.
For example, Apple has teamed up with several device makers to create iPhone-enabled devices, including Dexcom (glucose monitoring) and Cochlear (hearing aids). Monitoring both heart rate and glucose means Apple could target two of the most expensive chronic diseases in health care: heart disease and diabetes.
Last but not least – all paperwork is finally shifting to electronic state, empowering nurses and doctors to work on more serious tasks rather than monotonously filling in patients’ forms, for example.
So while these technologies are doing significant amount of work they also let doctors and nurses focus on more serious things and help make their work easier. And development of personalized apps and gadgets based on IoT and IT, as pathetic as it sounds, helps in saving lives simply because now patients are observed 24/7 and no minor hints about the changes in their health are missed.
With applications across imaging and diagnostics, virtual assistants, remote monitoring, in-hospital care, and more — the AI healthcare space has seen a record rate of new companies entering the space every quarter.
Eight of the AI 100 companies are developing AI solutions for the healthcare industry.