DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, December 31, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ — The definition of healthcare has long been restricted to providing for people after their sickness has been diagnosed. Of late, however, the focus has slowly been shifting towards prevention.
“It’s time to move from reactive sick-care to proactive healthcare by default.” Koen Kas, Healthcare Futurist.
This change in attitude has largely been fostered by technological advancements. Thanks to technology, healthcare experts now have access to previously unavailable data. This makes it possible to monitor patients remotely, fill patient charts faster and optimize diagnosis and treatment time-frames.
The HealthTech industry has grown very rapidly since 2015, and the number of venture-back HealthTech financings has grown by 25%.
HEALTHTECH IN 2020: WHAT’S AWAITING YOU
Technology can do exciting things for healthcare especially through Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR).
In the coming year, here are the top five trends in HealthTech to look forward to!
1. THE EVOLUTION OF IMMERSIVE LEARNING
Extended reality is no longer restricted to making video games and CGI for movies. Over the last twenty years, it has evolved vastly and helped develop learning and workplace training.
“Education has found a new dimension with AR/VR technology in the 21st century.”
In the healthcare industry, immersive tools help naïve as well as experienced healthcare practitioners improve their skills without any risk. Learning anatomy is simplified and doctors can perfect difficult procedures in a safe space.
“In 2020, the revenue for VR/AR for education is geared to increase to $300 million, rising to $700 million over the next five years,” suggest reports from Goldman Sachs.
2. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE THAT ENABLES EFFECTIVE DIAGNOSIS, PROCESS, AND SECURITY
Often, there is a big lag in disease diagnosis. Artificial intelligence has reduced this manifold through deep learning and image detection. This will allow doctors to spend time treating patients rather than handle automatable tasks.
”Over the last decade, AI has become more accurate in its diagnosis, being nearly as perfect as healthcare professionals.”
The healthcare industry deals with big data regularly. Processing this manually is difficult and time-consuming. When AI is used, large chunks of data are analyzed rapidly, speeding up processes.
AI can also help win over patients’ trust by improving data security. Many patients are reluctant to give information because they don’t know who can access it. AI can be used to increase data protection through firewalls, authentication, encryption and the prediction of unusual behavior.
3. TELEHEALTH: CONNECTING CARE PROVIDERS ANYTIME AND ANYWHERE
One of the challenges of healthcare is geographical accessibility. Urban residents can access healthcare easily, but people in rural and remote locations cannot.
“The hurdle of healthcare accessibility is overcome with remote monitoring and telehealth, and catapulted further with the introduction of 5G.”
Telehealth and home monitoring make it possible for healthcare practitioners to provide their services without having to meet the patient in person. Although not a holistic response, it can allow doctors to make recommendations and even submit prescription requests.
Augmenting this with AR and VR can bring the doctor’s room to patients’ homes. Thus, they can experience the comfort associated with being in the same physical space as their doctor without leaving their home.
The technological barriers here have been slow network speeds and demanding imaging tools. These congest the network and create a lag in communication that can potentially hurt outcomes.
“5G will hasten image transfer, reduce lag in video appointments, increase the reliability of real-time monitoring and provide rapid access to AI tools.”
With this, as 5G rolls out worldwide, it will make healthcare practitioners more accessible. Patients can look forward to faster diagnosis and treatment, while doctors can optimize their time and prepare for the patient even before arrival.
4. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF VIRTUAL REALITY IN HEALTHCARE
Virtual reality has applications beyond education in healthcare. The imaging capacities of VR have been used innovatively in medical science.
Some patients cannot be sedated or anesthetized because of their age or health condition. For such patients, more and more hospitals are employing VR headsets. The headsets are fitted with immersive reality, which distracts patients from the pain.
“VR reduces anxiety for patients undergoing complex procedures, and makes the experience less frightening.”
In the coming year, we will see VR expanding to help patients deal with different physical and psychological pain.
Burn patients are very likely to benefit from VR, as their pain cannot be mitigated easily medically. Using immersive reality games such as SnowWorld can help distract them, leading to a 50% reduction in their perception of pain.
Patients of PTSD and phobias often find it difficult to cope with situations in daily life. VR helps with exposure therapy to these triggering stimuli, which hastens the recovery process. Slow exposure has also been found to minimize phobia.
5. GENOMIC ADVANCEMENTS THAT HELP COMPREHEND GENETIC INTRICACIES SWIFTLY & ACCURATELY
Studying genes and their components can be very tricky, as they are difficult to visualize. Not being able to interact with complex data visually slows pattern recognition in the brain.
Genomics is particularly important because it helps detect genetic disorders early. Diseases like thalassemia are linked to genetics, and early detection helps improve the quality of life for patients.
Dr. Maryam Matar from the UAE Genetics Association asserts the role of technology here, saying, “Genetic testing and newer technologies provide an opportunity to understand our genes better and allow us to take action to help subside those genes by following a healthy lifestyle, sleep and exercise pattern.”
VR and AR are helping researchers view these complex structures in a 3D format. With even simple tools such as headsets, they can interact with their data in a new form.
“With VR, you can walk through the genes, examining them part-by-part and detecting interactions.”
AR takes this a step further by projecting these images, allowing multiple people to access this information at once.
THE GLOBAL IMPORTANCE OF HEALTHTECH
On a global level, these emerging trends have prompted large organizations to focus on technology. Several healthtech events are being organized worldwide, to bring together experts and encourage innovation. The largest health conference in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region, Arab Health, is making the tech revolution the focus for its 2020 event.
With its immersive solutions partner, Munfarid, the conference will bring Futuristic Healthcare experiences in Training, Diagnostic, Therapeutic, and Wellness programs to its attendees. Through initiatives such as #VRforGood and #VRforImpact, these organizations aspire to help the elderly with chronic illnesses and are spreading happiness through improved quality of life for people all around the world.
IN A NUTSHELL
Technology has been the driving force behind innovation in healthcare and will continue to be so over the coming years. It has made procedures safer, more reliable and optimal.
Through recent advances in AR and VR, patients and practitioners can look forward to a brighter, healthier, and happier 2020!
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Source: EIN Presswire