Many trends in IT were boosted by Covid-19, and the healthcare industry is no exception. Moreover, healthcare is a sector where the most noticeable changes occurred. Over the previous seven years, investments in American digital therapeutics firms have grown by an average 40% annually, and recent statistics show that it is just the beginning: over the next five years, up to 80% of US healthcare providers intend to invest in technologies.
Surf has been developing web and mobile applications since 2011. Our clients are experts in various fields: fintech, banking, retail, foodtech, healthcare, and we will definitely find the best solution for your business. We have collected 7 new digital health solutions that you can apply in your start-up or healthcare organization. Keep up with the latest healthcare technology trends and stay in touch with Surf to implement any of them.
Latest healthcare technology trends
1. Data security with blockchain
Over the past few years, the problems of data leakage in the medical field have only been growing. The attacks are increasing in frequency due to the amount of networked devices in the healthcare industry, which makes it unsafe for many healthcare companies to share with third-party stakeholders and inside the system devices.
In a nutshell, blockchain is a digital ledger or database that stores data. It is very difficult to be changed or hacked: the data interchange takes place directly and no centralized authority has any control over or influence over it. Verified Market Research projects that the global blockchain in the healthcare market will develop from a size of USD 1497.28 million in 2020 to USD 7308.32 million by 2028, with a CAGR of 76.30 percent between 2021 and 2028.
The use of blockchain technology by BurstIQ, a platform for health and medical research, is one of the greatest illustrations of how data security may be achieved. This business specializes in developing patient-specific treatment plans. Some of the company’s clients admitted that BurstIQ frees them from having to spend a lot of time creating applications to meet the data needs in order to focus on important aspects of their healthcare practices, such as providing patients with the support they need and ensuring that the data they provide is secured by the industry’s most secure data exchange platform.
2. Blockchain and IoT for ensuring supply chain traceability and protecting from counterfeiting
Drug fraud is a problem on a global scale. According to the World Health Organization, there are approximately 1 million yearly fatalities brought on by fake and subpar medicines, with a resulting cost to the world economy of $21 billion. During the pandemic, the number of counterfeit medical items surged by about 47% between 2020 and 2021.
Block Pharma is a French company which found new ways to prevent drug counterfeiting using blockchain technology. Participants may communicate with the supply chain and notify labs if any pharmaceuticals are phony thanks to this platform. An app created by Block Pharma allows users to monitor the source of their purchased medications.
Surf has its own experience in building apps for pharmaceutical companies. We had the opportunity to develop a series of mobile healthcare applications for the biggest pharmacy chain in Europe which is also a member of a large group of pharmaceutical companies. We have spent less than four months developing the cross-platform apps from scratch. A cross-platform framework Flutter was used to create the apps, helping the customer save 40% of what they would have otherwise spent on native development.
3. IoT-based remote patient monitoring (RPM)
The market of devices and smart medical devices allowing remote patient monitoring is expected to increase from $1.02 billion in 2021 to $1.19 billion in 2022 and to reach $2.09 billion in 2026. Thanks to IoT-connected mobile medical equipment, a patient can use a special medical device to undergo a basic test, receive all the results online and keep in touch with a healthcare professional in real-time.
Using IoT in Healthcare for remote patient monitoring software, Australian company Sensital enables caregivers and healthcare providers to remotely assist their patients, automatically identify health hazards, and take immediate action to deliver timely remote health care to their patients. Maybe this concept sounds perfect, but, nevertheless, the IoT-based remote patient monitoring system still faces different challenges. For example, low payment rates: implementation of IoT-based RPM usually requires hiring additional workers to maintain the system running which is not cheap.
Payments rates are too low. According to some physicians, implementing RPM technology and conducting corresponding administrative tasks in many cases requires hiring additional staff, which increases their overhead. A good point here is that companies are still looking for new ways of making the digital healthcare solutions more affordable, available, and transparent.
4. AI chatbots for patient support
Chatbot is a text-based communication that is powered by artificial intelligence and a set of rules for aiding people in different industries from tourism to healthcare. Chatbots in the healthcare field offer different kinds of service, for instance, appointment scheduling, medical guidance or support, and symptom checks, etc. Now when technologies go further, applications with chatbots become more and more user-friendly and customer-centric.
The market for healthcare chatbots was valued at 184.60 USD million in 2021 and is anticipated to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 15.20 percent to reach 431.47 USD million by 2028 and this looks very promising and prospective. One of the leading market players is a technology startup called HealthTap (USA) which provides healthcare apps. HealthTap built a chatbot that gathers symptoms and offers plausible reasons via dialog-based encounters. It also sends pictures of similar diagnosis, suggests possible solutions, and can even record all previous requests with symptoms.
As any other chatbots, chatbots in the healthcare industry help firstly reduce the workload of the company administrators by offering users answers to frequently asked questions, reduce the number of customers who left without waiting for an answer on the hotline, and much more. Customers feel the care of the company through the chat bot and brand loyalty increases.
5. AI for drug development
This trend is not extremely popular now, just starting to take off. More than 150 small-molecule medicines are now being discovered by biotech companies employing an AI-first strategy, and more than 15 have already entered clinical trials. This approach gives companies faster results even though the process of creating new drugs is challenging and relatively expensive.
American start-up Genesis Therapeutics founded in 2019 uses AI and biotech to intensify the development of new drugs. The company’s workflow is based on neural networks, biophysical modeling, and a scalable computing platform. AI software shows the molecules natural enough, classifies them and depicts as graphs, adding a variety of atom-to-atom contacts, spatial separations, and additional complicated properties rather than just as bonds or no bonds: this helps to simplify visualization as much as possible, while preserving all the important details. There are other details of the process of drug development, but more interesting is what this start-up gains from this?
Genesis Therapeutics participated in the Startup Battlefield at Disrupt in 2020 and clearly caught the attention of judges and investors with its potential. The company obtained $52M to advance AI innovation and start a pipeline for medication research and development. Thus, the future of drug development looks good and you are still in time to contribute to these innovations. It is proved by the recent statistics which say that investors in biopharma services and diagnostic labs anticipate higher valuations across all subsegments in 2022, with potential rises of 10 to 20 percent across the board and above 20 percent for commercialization services and technologies.
6. Telehealth for remote health care
Before the pandemic, just 1% to 2% of all ambulatory care visits were telemedicine visits; today, they make up 30% of all visits. The main distinction between remote patient monitoring (RPM) that we already mentioned above and telehealth, in a nutshell, is that RPM applies technology to communicate with patients remotely, whereas telehealth comprises the entire industry and the technologies required to deliver this kind of healthcare.
The interest in telehealth increased 78 times comparing February and April of 2020. Even though, pandemic seems to quiet down in 2022, telehealth still remains popular and attracts new customers.
Anthem Blue Cross is an example of the companies that implemented Telehealth for remote health care and successfully use it. This technology allows Anthem Blue Cross to reach new clients that are not able to get to the clinic, expand their patient base, and save money.
What is most important — user-friendly and easy-to-understand mobile apps. It is impossible to imagine a high quality healthcare service with an inconvenient interface for users.
7. Smart wearables that track your health and fitness
Some of you probably have such devices on your wrist: it counts your steps, checks your heart rate, shows how many calories you have burned in the gym, and so on. Tech healthcare trends went further, and special biosensors were created, including smartphone-based biosensors, that can make all the analysis more precise and raise the level of quality of distant healthcare. They are used to recognize biological indicators and interpret them into quantifiable data. The global biosensors market size was $25 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $50 billion in 2030. This increasing trend will influence the choice of insurers, healthcare organizations, and businesses to take advantage of the services of wearable health monitoring devices.
Summing things up
We have collected 7 healthcare tech trends that are relevant for the online healthcare marketplace right now and still gaining momentum. All of them are already implemented and successfully applied in various start-ups worldwide. Some of the trends may seem unrealistic, but anything is possible with us.