As we wind down 2019, it’s time to head to the crystal ball and predict the biggest healthcare technology trends for the coming year. Not surprisingly, 2020 will continue to focus on digital transformation. For patients, this means a greater focus on prevention, quality, and access, while for providers it translates to improvements in technology to allow greater focus on high-touch tasks, reduced time for clerical needs, and improved insight from patient data. The underlying promises remain the same: meaningful accessibility, greater efficiency, and an improved patient experience.
Let’s take a look at the Top 5 Healthcare Technology Trends for 2020.
AI and Machine Learning
Automation technologies will continue to dominate healthcare and include a diverse set of capabilities, from robotic process automation (RPA), to continued development of artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML). All are becoming key investments for CIO’s looking to increase capability and contain cost while improving productivity in day-to-day operations. In 2010, medical data doubled every 3.5 years. In 2020, it is projected to double every 73 days. The digitization of healthcare is producing more and more data, while hospitals and provider organizations still struggle to unlock its full value. McKinsey estimates that there could be as much as $100 billion in annual savings for medicine and pharma by leaning on artificial intelligence and machine learning tools to process the increase.
Robotic applications connect humans and machines and perform tasks with excellent precision, increased productivity, and in some cases, greater patient safety than regular procedures. Robotic technologies can be used to perform surgeries, disinfect patient rooms and operating suites, manage pharmacy medication dispensaries, and reduce risks for patients and medical personnel. They can aid in laboratories, supply rooms, physical therapy suites, and remote patient monitoring devices. In 2020, robotics continues to make way into mainstream healthcare by increasing productivity and changing the way healthcare is delivered, monitored, and conducted.
Telehealth and Remote Patient Monitoring
Telehealth and remote patient monitoring services are being realized by mainstream healthcare as a significant part of an expanding digital portfolio for managing access, overcoming geographic and socioeconomic barriers, and expanding chronic care services. For 2020, the AMA recently added six new “e-visit” CPT codes, and CMS finalized policies to increase plan choices and benefits. The most recent change allowed Medicare Advantage plans to include additional telehealth benefits. Telehealth can reduce the cost of care by eliminating the physical barriers that prevent patients from managing their health, and in some situations, seeking treatment in the first place.
The wearable industry is expected to reach $240 million in 2021. Devices to measure blood pressure, heart rate, rhythm, and sugar levels continue to dominate the buying market. The Internet of Things (IoT) is fostering a new generation of “quantified self” devices in 2020, connecting healthcare silos, enabling remote patient monitoring, and unleashing the potential of real-time tracking. Worldwide spending in the wearable technology market will increase by a third in 2020, with smartwatches leading the rise. According to revenue, headsets are in the number two spot.
Genomics has progressed from an emerging discipline to a vital area of biomedical research and a growing component of medical care. Innovations in clinical research will drive our ability to predict, treat, and combat imbalances and diseases with greater precision, and improved outcomes. Simple blood samples may soon help us detect cancer and optimize disease management, through the use of genomic medicine. The future is bright for genomic research, advanced clinical trials, and precision medicine.
As healthcare technology enters 2020, one thing is certain: technology is a key building block for the infrastructure of the healthcare delivery system. Technology provides us with greater efficiencies, more precise therapies, and the ability to connect care across geographical, social, and physical barriers. And although technology is vital, it must align to people and process, in order to identify barriers and provide usable solutions. A key component of healthcare technology in 2020 will rely on this connection.
Regardless of the innovation, the delivery mechanism, or the product, we must connect the technology to the people who use it. Let’s create sustainable partnerships within our communities, across vendor solutions, and system silos for maximum use and positive change. Let us know how we can help you realize your healthcare automation potential in 2020.
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Cheers to all for a happy, healthy 2020.
About Boston Software Systems
Since 1985, Boston Software Systems is the dedicated leader in healthcare automation. Hospitals, health systems, and providers have streamlined data management and improved accuracy while reducing costs and administrative burden. We have worked with all of the leading EHR vendors, while optimizing usability and user satisfaction.
Our exclusive healthcare experience offers a thorough understanding of the unique challenges of HIPAA, PHI, and security. We have thousands of connections working with all applications and vendor systems, and provide 100% US-based support.