IT researchers are always optimists at heart. Deep down they truly believe something new and capable of transforming our lives is waiting just around the corner. Be it the IoT, telemedicine, cloud computing, or streaming diagnostics, healthcare technologies continue to open the door to new possibilities for keeping us healthier, provided online health informatics degree providers can scale up to support demand for skilled specialists.
So what are those brave new technologies that will be completely changing the face of healthcare as we know it?
1. Next Wave Digital Interface: Virtual Reality
Expect VR/AR pilots to evolve into mainstream applications. Hospitals are pinning their hopes on VR tools to reassure patient pre- and post-surgery anxiety, helping veterans with PTSD, and assisting patients with limited mobility with at-distance physiotherapy. As you would expect, a large number of institutions providing online MSHI programs are embracing VR as part of their clinician training. VR holograms aid medical students in anatomy, pharmacology, and surgery, and instruct on common procedures such as CPR, wound care, and catheter insertion.
2. Healthcare IoT Gets Real
Healthcare is warmly embracing the IoT. Healthcare IoT strategies are addressing issues as diverse as patient engagement, monitoring chronic disease, and patient safety. IoT-based devices and a suite of promising sensors are exploring monitoring patients with chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, cardiac issues, and diabetes, as well as predicting epileptic seizures among other things.
3. Migration to the Cloud
While cloud computing comes with its own swathe of security issues, these aren’t preventing healthcare organizations from a mass migration to the cloud. As healthcare providers continue to adopt value-based care models, the cloud represents an opportunity to strip data-driven costs out of their process.
Expect to see everything from applications, big data storage, disaster recovery, and other infrastructure components move expeditiously to both public and private cloud solutions. From a patient perspective, the broad adoption of cloud computing creates downstream opportunities for streamlined data sharing and more flexible access to drive deeper patient engagement once data protection and privacy issues are resolved.
4. Enter Ransomware
Currently, ransomware is approaching a global epidemic and healthcare is not immune. Indeed, its accelerated adoption of technology is increasing its exposure and diversifying potential access points as the system struggles to update its distributed gaggle of technology platforms in both the public and private systems.
5. Big Data (Again!)
Between the burgeoning IoT and rise of smart medicine, the volume of healthcare-related data is increasing exponentially. Virtually every aspect of a patient’s experience and history will soon exist in digital form somewhere. This demand for data is driving sharp spikes in demand across the healthcare industry from patients and practitioners to hospitals through to third party service providers.
While this technology-enabled future promises seamless integration, on-demand access, customized treatment, and smart preventative care capabilities, it remains a work in progress. The combination of technology trends seems unstoppable and tantalizingly close to realization. However, this version of our future demands significant investments in time and resources to still deliver on its promise.