Emerging technologies that are changing the way healthcare is delivered in 2022

Wherever you consider the medical industry, you will find several new technologies being used to make new medicines, vaccines, and fight illnesses. The purpose is to make our lifestyle better and healthier.

The last two decades have been revolutionary for the healthcare industry. While many tech firms have applied their expertise to find solutions to the global pandemic, others have turned attention to using technology to transform healthcare services and products.

The global health crisis has accelerated the digitisation of the medical industry. According to a recent HIMSS Future of Healthcare report, more than 80% of healthcare providers have increased investment in digital solutions and innovative technology.

That means you will continue to see expansion in healthcare sectors, such as personalised medicine, telemedicine, wearables, and genomics. The industry is also set to leverage cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and extended reality to develop and provide new services and treatments.

Telemedicine – a new element of medical landscape

Stay-at-home orders and social distancing have changed the healthcare delivery model. It is the leading reason many health systems and clinicians have switched to virtual care and telehealth models. It can improve patient care in many ways.

Telemedicine has proven its resilience throughout the pandemic and established itself as a prominent and permanent element in the healthcare ecosystem. As a result, 2022 is the year in which many healthcare providers plan to formalise and strengthen training to promote and support telehealth practices.

The clinical teams will attain more expertise in providing urgent care by making a permanent shift to virtual models.

Ultimately, the increase in telehealth models will drive more focus around the mode of access related to tech in the coming years. As a result, it will have a significant impact on medical practice.

AI-powered technology to minimise infections

Infection prevention and control programmes powered by AI will be the focus of the medical community in 2022. By using AI, healthcare professionals are looking for ways to prevent infections. They use technology to monitor patients closely in real-time with early clinical intervention and infection risk identification.

Current data shows that medical facilities have allocated various resources to prevent and control COVID-19, which has increased other common healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) compared HAI data from 2019 and 2020 to determine the impact of a pandemic on HAI rates in the US.
The analysis showed a sharp increase in infections, such as bacteremia. However, the CDC found that the increase is not due to a large volume of sick patients but due to insufficient operational and capacity challenges.

As a result, the CDC has invested $2.1 billion in the public healthcare sectors to upgrade infection prevention and control activities. It is an infusion that aims to help various healthcare sectors leverage AI to identify at-risk patients. Moreover, the investment will allow healthcare professionals to use evidence-based prevention plans.

Integration of robotics

Surgical robots are not something new in the healthcare industry. In fact, they have been a part of this field for more than 30 years.

The procedures have evolved significantly, making surgical procedures minimally invasive, as well as reducing recovery time and infection risk. Moreover, with heightened security and optimised networks, medical professionals can complete robotics-assisted medical procedures in a variety of locations.

You may have seen many healthcare robots assisting doctors in the surgical theatres, labs, and other parts of the industry. The integration of robotics-assisted medical procedures has significantly overcome the labour shortage.

They can perform a variety of simple and time-consuming tasks, freeing workers and medical staff to focus on providing better patient care.

AI also supports the increased use of robotics in medical procedures. For example, it allows human-supervised robots to perform surgeries, move freely in the hospital for different tasks such as disinfection, linen transportation, and even patient interaction.

Improved surgical outcomes via AR/VR

A large percentage of healthcare centres and hospitals use augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). This percentage is increasing, most notably in the post-up recovery and surgical arena. In fact, many healthcare providers consider it one of the state-of-art facilities.

AR enhances what you see in reality by utilising location-specific information and image overlays. On the other hand, VR can create an innovative digital environment that can replace the current/ existing real world.

Though AR and VR have different healthcare applications, they can improve post-op care and surgical processes. In addition, the technology can reduce invasive procedures.

When performing a surgical procedure, physicians use an anatomical map gleaned from the latest 2D imaging (scans and x-rays). It serves as a guide to performing an open surgery, in which the patient’s anatomy is exposed, allowing the doctor to operate using less invasive tools to reduce recovery time and minimise the risk of infection.

AR can provide essential visuals to help surgeons perform less invasive operations and procedures. It creates a 3D rendering of the patient’s anatomy and superimposes it on the live video. The addition of this AR information can give doctors more details during surgery.

Optimised and error-free medical billing

Whether a small clinic, medical institute, or independent health provider, each organisation requires services to improve treatment and procedures. Healthcare facilities need technologies that are compatible with the current processes to improve administrative functions.

Automated medical billing is one option that helps medical institutes allocate human and financial resources efficiently. This is an important aspect of the healthcare industry in 2022 that can maximise the productivity of medical practices and improve their profitability.

Digital medical billing reduces administrative responsibilities when healthcare providers partner with reliable medical billing services. Moreover, employees have to spend relatively less time finding vital information and prepare claims for submission. There are many cases where medical staff has to be on the phone for long hours to connect to insurance carriers for pre-authorisation.

Outsourcing medical billing services provides hospitals and medical institutes with an array of advantages, from saving time and money to eliminating the burden of monitoring different aspects of the medical offices. As such, staff members spend more time educating their patients about the medical conditions and responding to inquiries on portals.

The current health crisis has led the healthcare industry to adopt the latest technologies to deal with the challenges and provide people with better support. The technology-driven, innovative solutions, such as telemedicine, medical billing, AI-powered solutions, and robotics-assisted medical procedures, are emerging trends in the industry. Thus, these solutions make the future of the medical domain and can benefit people in many ways.

About the author

Rahul Varshneya

Rahul Varshneya is the co-founder and president of Arkenea, a custom healthcare software development company. Rahul has been featured as a technology thought leader across Bloomberg TV, Forbes, HuffPost, Inc, among others.

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