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Tech Trends In Healthcare This Year

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The advancement in technology in the area of healthcare has been said to have benefits that are extraordinary for medical practitioners and patients. Healthcare technology is no threat to medical practitioners. However, there should be great wisdom in using these tools.

As seen and started in most hospitals, the health records are being done handwritten on papers and are being stocked on vast piles of folders. These contain essential medical and personal information of the patients. Years have gone by, and the problem on this type of data recording has been a cycle that has never been solved. Thanks to developers of new technology, there will finally be an alternative to handwritten records (sometimes are too hard to figure out). The Electronic Health Records or HER will be replacing paper records and will make life easier for everyone.

Another part of the technology that will soon take over some tasks is the use of Artificial Intelligence for appointment scheduling, health status monitoring, and the notification of medical assistance. Accordingly, Artificial Intelligence or AI is already widely used in radiology and dermatology.

While AI is already slowly being introduced in healthcare, the IoMT or Internet of Medical Things is also being adopted by medical practitioners. IoMT is a set of medical devices and application software that helps determine and monitor issues on patients before becoming critical.

Moreover, the future in medical technology will also be using existing devices and gadgets that people have right now. There will soon be mobile healthcare applications that are capable of facilitating the medical conditions of patients. For example, the Mobile Ultrasound app that is already in use by some doctors.

These trends in healthcare technology are just some of the few things that are to be introduced to the public. The benefits and reviews have also been positive more than negative.

Robots & Artificial Intelligence Allows Doctors More Time With Patients

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Robots, artificial intelligence and smart speakers will unburden doctors to give them more time with patients, according to an NHS report on the pending technological “revolution” in healthcare.

Rapid advances will also be spurred on by developments in the ability to sequence individuals’ genomes, of their genetic data, according to the review published on Monday.

The report led by US academic Eric Topol called for fresh education of staff, with 90% of all NHS jobs predicted to require digital skills within 20 years.

But those who fear robots may edge out human practitioners may be reassured by the review suggesting technology will in fact “enhance” professionals, giving them greater time for patients.

Smart speakers, such as Siri and Alexa, were envisioned as having a “major impact” on care.

Virtual Reality Program For Physicians

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The J&J VR station allows attendants to see what every doctor is doing inside the simulated reality.

Medical Virtual Reality (VR) is one of the most captivating emerging technologies trend today. Previously, VR was only associated with the gaming industry.  Now, one specific industry is starting to adapt it in multiple ways virtually every day. You may have guessed which one: healthcare.

In 2017, VR was used to treat soldiers with PTSD to deactivate a deep-seated “flight or fight response,” relieving fear and anxiety.

In 2018, some doctors are using VR to fight the opioid crisis by allowing people to escape to a virtual world in order to cope with acute pain.

The Johnson & Johnson Institute, a world leader in professional education, has launched a new global virtual reality training program for surgeons and nurses. The program currently includes three unique VR training modules for orthopaedic surgery, with plans to add more. The new technology is designed to teach orthopedic surgeons, nurses and medical students how to conduct a series of medical procedures through a combination of digital learning tools.

This 3D virtual environment mimics a real-life setting.

Once a doctor gets used to the new digital surroundings, the program guides them through an entire procedure, telling them what to do and what instruments to use.

The program currently includes three unique VR training modules for orthopaedic surgery – Total Knee Replacement, Total Hip Replacement with Direct Anterior Approach and Hip Fracture Treatment with a Proximal Femoral Nail – to help improve surgical techniques and drive greater patient outcomes.

As the global population continues to age, the volume of orthopaedic surgical procedures is expected to rise exponentially. In the United States alone, the volume of primary Total Hip Replacement and primary Total Knee Replacement is projected to grow by 171 percent and up to 189 percent, respectively, by 2030, according to data presented at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery (AAOS) 2018 Annual Meeting.

All instruments and implants in the VR training modules are designed to simulate real-world experience in an operating room, while anatomy and biomechanics provide an accurate scenario for the user. The modules meet clear educational needs at every experience level, ranging from basic to advanced and expert. The training also takes into account the fewer training hours that residents typically have given their heavy workloads and work hour restrictions.

Virtual Reality Infograph

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Workplace Trends To watch In 2019

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  • Demographic shifts and data analytics are spurring change in the workplace.
  • Gen Z workers are expected to comprise 36 percent of the workforce by 2020.
  • Seniors will work longer putting off retirement.
  • More employees will want to align with employers that have a social mission.
  • Increasingly employers will track workers using data analytics.

Gen Z is rapidly joining the workforce with the oldest members of the generation being 23 years-old. They’re expected to comprise up to 36 percent of the global workforce by 2020. These new entrants are digital natives who expect strategic use of software and technology in the workplace, as they are the first generation to grow up entirely in an internet-centric society.

In developed nations with more access to effective healthcare, more and more people are reaching their 100th birthday, meaning that careers will be longer than we’ve ever seen before. Companies and their employees are planning for rising retirement ages by reviewing the role of pensions, benefits and physical or schedule accommodations for older and more senior employees. As an example, Japan expects half of all babies born currently to live to or past 100 and is taking the idea of the “100 Year Life” so seriously that Shinzo Abe’s cabinet worked between September 2017 and June 2018 to create a formalized structure for a ‘Human Resources Revolution’.

Some companies are analyzing communication patterns on internal messaging systems, tracking geographical locations, and giving their employees health trackers to collect health data. The Apple Watch are now being included in employee wellness plans. It is anticipated that by 2021, 90 percent of wellness plans in the U.S. will include health trackers. As an employee it is advisable to be aware of what data your employer is gathering and what they’re using it for. Collecting data without compromising employee trust is imperative, and businesses must be transparent about what they are collecting and using your data for.

AI Has the Potential Of Being More Accurate Than MD’s

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Jörg Goldhahn, MD, MAS, deputy head of the Institute for Translational Medicine at ETH Zurich, Switzerland says that artificial intelligence systems simulate human intelligence by learning, reasoning, and self correction. This technology has the potential to be more accurate than doctors at making diagnoses and performing surgical interventions. It has a “near unlimited capacity” for data processing and subsequent learning, and can do this at a speed that humans cannot match.Increasing amounts of health data, from apps, personal monitoring devices, electronic medical records, and social media platforms are being brought together to give machines as much information as possible about people and their diseases. At the same time machines are “reading” and taking account of the rapidly expanding scientific literature.”The notion that today’s physicians could approximate this knowledge by keeping abreast of current medical research while maintaining close contacts with their patients is an illusion not least because of the sheer volume of data,” says Goldhahn.Machine learning is also not subject to the same level of potential bias seen in human learning that reflects cultural influences and links with particular institutions, for example.

“Computers aren’t able to care for patients in the sense of showing devotion or concern for the other as a person, because they are not people and do not care about anything. Sophisticated robots might show empathy as a matter of form, just as humans might behave nicely in social situations yet remain emotionally disengaged because they are only performing a social role.”

“Patients need to be cared for by people, especially when we are ill and at our most vulnerable. A machine will never be able to show us true comfort,” they say.

Will Artificial Intelligence Determine How Much You’ll Pay for Goods & Services?

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One thousand dollars is the new normal for smart phones in less than a year. Smartphones have replaced dozens, maybe hundreds of other single-function devices, from portable stereos to flashlights to TVs, and even personal computers. The average person has more computing power and more high-tech functionality in his or her pocket than even the wealthiest family had back in the day.

What can AI do for you: AI will also be capable of making energy much less expensive to produce and store. The average consumer already has access to hundreds of products capable of reducing the amount of energy they consume, including “smart” appliances like refrigerators, which can optimize and automate certain functions to keep energy costs low. Moreover, AI algorithms can make clean, renewable energy sources (like wind and solar) more efficient, ultimately reducing the cost of production, and the costs of producing and distributing food products.

AI has the power to greatly reduce the cost of insurance in all areas, including health insurance and auto insurance. Refined algorithms can more specifically calculate an individual’s risk factors, giving them the best possible rate for any policy. Plus, advanced algorithms can lower the risk of needing to file an insurance claim. For example, AI-powered self-driving cars have the potential to greatly reduce the risk of collisions, which in turn would make insurance dramatically cheaper for everyone, and advanced algorithms in the medical field can detect instances of cancer and other complex illnesses sooner, reducing the total costs associated with curing or treating those illnesses.

Soon, AI algorithms will be so sophisticated and tech companies will be so mature that the value of consumer data will be much higher, and the average consumer will provide more data with every digital interaction. At that point, tech companies may be interested in providing consumers with smartphones and other devices for free, with the intention of collecting enough data to counteract the costs of production and distribution.

Health care costs will likely remain high for the foreseeable future, but gradually, AI will gain the power to reduce those costs. Proactive screenings can be automated.

Will Jobs Be Necessary In The future?

Facebook Asked Top Hospitals For Patient Data

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  • Facebook had asked top hospitals to share anonymized patient data, including information on illnesses and prescriptions, CNBC reported.
  • The social media giant planned to use the data to help “several major U.S. hospitals,” which were not named, identify patients who may need care.
  • The effort never passed the planning phase, a Facebook spokesperson told the network, adding the company didn’t receive or analyze such data. Patient consent was not discussed in the early talks, according to the report.
  •  While Facebook’s patient data program may be put on ice for now, the company has a lot of data on individuals and could reboot the effort.

Meanwhile, healthcare companies, and particularly insurers, are pushing to move patients to lower levels of acuity settings, including urgent care and primary care clinics. More emphasis is being given to so-called social determinants of health, primarily access to food, care services and housing, as these factors are known to impact a person’s health.

As preventative care moves upstream and away from hospitals, technology companies see an opening into the $3 trillion healthcare market. Companies from Lyft to Uber and Apple have all announced healthcare platforms this year. Amazon, J.P. Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway also announced they formed a healthcare company in an effort to take greater control over costs and their employees’ health.

“For the first time, (digital) diagnosis of disease was the most-funded value proposition among digital health companies,” Rock Health found in its Q1 digital health funding report.  Digital health startups continue to both tackle the clinical aspects of care (diagnosis of disease, monitoring of disease) and reducing friction between patients and the healthcare system (health benefits administration, on-demand healthcare services).

Other companies such as Omada Health, Virta Health and Vida Health all specialize in accumulating patient data for specific chronic conditions, highlighting a rising of digital therapeutics brands and products.

Whether its a startup or a mature technology company, new entrants have their sights set on healthcare and many are betting on data..

 

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