Year 2020 marks the beginning of a new decade which will prepare us to harness the opportunities and face the challenges in the healthcare domain which is transforming enormously in every aspect. While the authorities are working on healthcare regulatory reforms and policies, the investors are trying to penetrate among the masses and research organizations are tapping the potential of AI and other technologies to bring the best healthcare experience. The focus on accessibility, quality, and affordability has now widened to include predictive, preventive, and outcome-based healthcare models which will promote social and financial inclusion. There is a lot to witness this year with the cumulative force and momentum gained during the last few years.
Let’s get to know the possible trends and technologies defining the healthcare industry in the year 2020.
AI and Machine Learning
AI continues to grow its presence in the healthcare industry with its application as an intelligent symptom checker, surgical robot, and many such helpful forms which give deep insight into crucial things. It has widely been used in detection and diagnosis of diseases with more accuracy, still the outlook seems to continue with AI only as a “confirmatory tool” on the base of best practices which are already in use. Investment in AI will continue to increase, especially, in the drug discovery application. Other areas where AI and machine learning would receive more demand are identification of diseases, development of treatment plans, monitoring of health epidemics, and clinical trials and medical research.
Genomics will make an impact
Continued research and work on genomic medicines, with the help of AI and machine learning, will advance to make an impact. The information gained from genomics of a person would be utilized to make more efficient and personalized treatment plans. In particular, pharmacology, oncology, and infectious diseases will be benefited with genomics. The analysis of genes and its mutation would help in determining the cause of a disease as well as the mode of its eradication. The current researches going on organ transplant rejection and different types of cancer will reach to the next advanced level with genomics occupying the center stage of such studies.
Telehealth closer to the mainstream
Telehealth can address the most challenging problem of extending the accessibility of quality healthcare services to the maximum number of people. It is widely getting accepted as a standard option that facilitates primary care through virtual consultation in a very cost effective manner. With 4G moving towards 5G and increased clinician’s support, the telemedicine services are getting steadily closer to the mainstream healthcare services.
A year of boom for the “healthcare retail”
Year 2020 might witness a momentous shift with “healthcare consumerism” becoming quite apparent. This is characterized by patients or users demanding retail-like experience in healthcare services and products compelling the providers to meet consumers’ expectations. This is the outcome of empowered and aware patients who believe in “comparison shopping” even in the healthcare domain. Also, with rapid digitalization of the healthcare industry, now the patients can easily compare different healthcare services, their benefits, cost, accessibility and other value-additions before taking a decision. This will further boost the growth of digital healthcare platforms and healthcare ecommerce portals.
Increased adoption of wearables
If you think wearable devices can only count your steps, you might be wrong. The widespread acceptance of wearables in the last couple of years has propelled technology leaders to come out with richer and latest feature-enabled versions of the devices. The demand and market for healthcare wearable devices will zoom further in the coming year bringing people closer to their own healthcare. The modern devices can track the heart rhythms and temperature, detect atrial fibrillations, monitor blood pressure, and create a lot many useful data and personalized health reports. These data can reach your doctor and can send emergency alert to take action on time and prevent serious complications.
Increased adoption of extended reality
VR and AR are not only for games. They have found increased adoption in healthcare, especially, helping in medical trainings and surgery simulation. AR has helped the practitioners and surgeons during critical surgeries of brain and blood vessels. Going forwards, its use in patient care would be extended, particularly for people with visual impairment, depression, cancer and autism. Now, extended reality that combines AR and VR would benefit physicians and patients both in understanding a condition and its detailed treatment plan deeply.
The year 2020 is going to be a milestone in the healthcare industry with a lot of anticipated recalibration in every aspect to meet the ever-increasing healthcare demands.