Network Management, Inc. Blog
Checking In On the Future of Medical Technology
One of the most important parts of the medical field is maintaining efficiency and data access for both its patients and medical professionals. It’s not a surprise that the best way to achieve this is through medical technology solutions--a specialized field of IT solutions that is showing incredible growth, particularly in recent years. We’ll go over a couple of predictions we have concerning the future of medical IT, including how the field will grow and what methods will be adopted.
Prediction #1: Robotic Automation
There are certain procedures in hospitals that require either a long time to complete, or complete precision in order to be done properly. This being said, robots with automated processes can be a major way to eliminate these processes as a whole. Automation is nothing new to industry as a whole (think factories), but it will likely grow more commonplace in medical IT in the near future.
Prediction #2: Patient-Generated Data
A doctor is required to keep close watch on their patients’ conditions, but to do this, they either have to bring the patient to their medical care facility where they can be observed by trained staff, or go to the patient themselves. This brings up a lot of issues, particularly the fact that inpatients are expensive, whereas traveling to the site of the patient incurs other expenses on the part of the organization.
It’s also not great if the patient is responsible for reporting in, either. There will always be a concern that patients will report inaccurate numbers or measurements to create results they want to see, not what’s best for them. They could even forget to bring important data to an appointment, creating more opportunities for less than stellar medical care at that particular moment.
We think that it won’t be too long before patients have access to technology that helps them more easily share data between themselves and their healthcare network. This includes providing insights automatically that can be shared with their physicians. This allows medical professionals to best shape the care they provide for their patients.
Prediction #3: Blockchain for Management and Identification Processes
The nature of blockchain technology makes it great for a hospital’s needs. It provides security and permanency for records, basically making it one of the most secure ways to identify and manage patients. The blockchain is currently being looked into as a valuable tool in supply chain management as well, which can be seen as a pseudo practice run for how it would be used for patients.
Prediction #4: Asset Tracking with the Internet of Things
A hospital lacking supplies can lead to disastrous results. People could die without access to their medication, and critical surgeries can’t be done without access to surgical instruments and various drugs. The Internet of Things can be extremely important for making sure this doesn’t happen, as it can boost operational efficiency and patient safety by guaranteeing access to all supplies needed by a medical center. This is accomplished by taking a look at data collected by Internet of Things devices, using insights collected by them to make smarter decisions about assets and ultimately creating fewer operational losses.
What are your predictions for medical IT in the next few years? Will other industries follow in its footsteps and invest in some of these other solutions we’ve mentioned? Let us know in the comments.