Article | December 29, 2020
Virtual reality (VR), the new technological advancement, is set to transform practices in the healthcare industry. According to Statista, it is estimated that, by 2022, the second largest market share of VR will be from the healthcare industry. Virtual reality in healthcare operates in various divisions to offer a greater quality of patient care and performance of medical professionals. For the health and healthcare industry, from the clinical process to the user, VR has a multitude of applications such as tutoring future doctors, generating new life-saving routines, etc.
Virtual reality in healthcare can confront the challenges in the industry, including efficiently handling huge healthcare databases, training and development of medical professionals, patient engagement, disease awareness, medical marketing, patient treatment, etc. Virtual reality in the healthcare market, according to a report from Reports and Data, is expected to reach USD 8.03 billion by 2027 from USD 2.06 billion in 2019.
This article discusses how virtual reality in healthcare is going to transform the industry by applying it in various divisions such as medical training, patient treatment, patient engagement, disease awareness, and medical marketing.
Virtual Reality in Healthcare Training
VR in healthcare can transport you to areas, inside of the human body, that otherwise would be impossible to access and view. Medical students currently use cadavers to learn, but cadavers do not react the same way live patients do. Also, cadavers are very difficult to get hold of. When VR is used in healthcare training, students can view even minute detail of all parts of the body. This view is possible in stunning 360° CGI reconstruction and creates training scenarios, which would replicate real surgical procedures.
Virtual Reality in healthcare can be used to deliver high-quality surgical training. Using virtual reality, 4K 360° video of real-life surgery is filmed from multiple angles. Then it is combined with CGI models of the anatomy, which is being operated. This advanced use of virtual reality in healthcare provides medical students with an interactive and immersive training experience.
The ability of virtual reality in healthcare to see inside of the human body is useful for both doctors and patients. With the help of VR, doctors can take patients through their surgical plan. This is made possible by a virtual view of the anatomy and pathology of patients through a patient-specific 360° VR reconstruction. The result of this is an enhanced understanding of the treatment for patients and higher patient satisfaction.
Robotic surgery is a recent innovation. A robotic device, such as a robotic arm, is used in a robotic surgery while being controlled by a human surgeon. This utilization of virtual reality in healthcare makes sure of fewer or no risk of complications in surgeries. This also makes the surgeon finish the surgery procedure faster with greater accuracy. The robotic devices are accurate with reduced blood loss, smaller incisions, and faster recovery.
Mental Health and Psychological Therapy
The unique ability of virtual reality technology to take you anywhere virtually can be utilized to create a powerful virtual reality simulation in healthcare of various scenarios in which psychological issues occur. This eliminates the necessity of a therapist accompanying patients to various scenarios such as a tall building or a crowded shopping center to provide proper counseling. These scenarios can be easily created with virtual reality technology in healthcare. Virtual reality in healthcare market has also been used to help autistic children in the classroom, curb memory loss, and gather data for dementia research.
Pain Management and Physical Therapy
Apart from psychological issues, the healing capabilities of VR are also used in pain management and physical treatment. According to a study by the UW Harborview Burn Centre and the University of Washington Seattle, a full VR immersion acted as a distraction for patients, who were undergoing physical therapy after a skin graft. This distraction subsequently reduced their feeling of pain.
Virtual reality in healthcare is also found to be effective in reducing recovery time in physical therapy. Patients performing their daily exercises in a virtual environment, find the task to be more fun than usual. It also keeps the patients focused and helps them keep their spirits up and recover sooner.
With the help of virtual reality in healthcare, patients can experience a virtual tour of the inside of their bodies before surgeries. This is a 360-degree, three-dimensional (3D) tour. This enables patients to know their body, anatomy, and pathology, before the surgical procedures. Virtual Reality Medical Visualization platform is developed for the tour.
These advancements with virtual reality in healthcare engage patients thoroughly, which reduces tension and lead to a speedy recovery.
The most popular and initial application of Virtual reality was marketing. Still, it continues to be one of the most effective and powerful marketing tools. The ability to use VR to project the future of healthcare is the most powerful tactic in healthcare marketing. With Virtual reality in healthcare, one of the most powerful tactics that you can have to market in the industry is to show people what changes they can expect when they start or stop exercising, lose or gain weight, the progress they make through cancer treatments, etc.
As the possibilities of virtual reality in healthcare are endless, healthcare professionals and providers can attract more patients, doctors with high caliber, and nursing staff to your facilities. When those are in short supply, virtual reality in healthcare can be used as an excellent healthcare marketing tool to ensure expected results.
AbbVie, a pharmaceutical research & development company, created an experience to educate medical professionals and raise awareness among them regarding the daily struggle Parkinson’s disease patients undergo. The experience was demonstrated at a pharmaceutical industry trade show. People put on a headset and experienced how Parkinson’s sufferers navigate a virtual supermarket, meeting with difficult moments when they come in contact with other people.
Such experiences with virtual reality in healthcare help raise awareness for various diseases among professionals and patients. Virtual reality presentations can be conducted to raise awareness of certain diseases.
The Future of Virtual Reality in Healthcare
A lot of applications of virtual reality in healthcare are in their nascent stage. In the coming years, virtual reality will be used more in healthcare, which will improve the effectiveness and accuracy of present procedures. It will also enhance the various human capabilities, for both patients and medical professionals. Virtual reality in healthcare has huge potential, but only limited by the ingenuity and creativity of people who create and apply the technology. VR will surely transform medical training, physical and psychological therapies, rehabilitation, mental health treatments, and patient engagement, among others.
Virtual reality in healthcare holds the power to transform the way doctors are trained and treatment is provided to patients. According to reports from various market research companies, especially research done by Grand View Research, predict that, by 2025, virtual reality in the healthcare market will grow to a whopping US$5.1 billion. The major driving forces behind this growth are Rapid technological advancements in the healthcare industry and driving demand for rehabilitation and simulation training.
Frequently asked questions
How is virtual reality used in healthcare?
In healthcare, virtual reality is used in treatment, training, and to raise awareness among medical professionals and patients regarding various diseases. Patients and doctors are made to view the inside of the human body using virtual reality.
Where is virtual reality used in healthcare?
Virtual reality is used in various sectors of healthcare to deliver high quality patient care. Treatment with the assistance of virtual reality also increases the efficiency of medical professionals. Virtual treating is applied in all aspects of medical treatment.
What are the benefits of virtual reality?
Virtual reality in healthcare saves both, the time and money of healthcare providers. It also makes the work of medical professionals more convenient. It eliminates unnecessary travel for treatments by making appropriate decisions.
How virtual reality is changing healthcare?
Virtual reality is changing the healthcare by providing different advanced ways of treatments, especially for physical and psychological therapy, surgeries, pain management, and stress management and by assisting the rehabilitation process effectively.
Article | February 26, 2020
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) continues to advocate for improved data exchange, with the interoperability and information blocking rules being the latest federal push. One of the ONC’s goals with its latest guidance is to establish an ecosystem of innovation, with electronic health records (EHRs) serving as the foundation — i.e., the platform enabling application development and user access. But when it comes developing an EHR-based marketplace for innovation and mandating open APIs, there are many challenges for all players involved — including EHR vendors, tasked with standing up these sustainable marketplaces for innovation, and third-party developers, forced to bet big on which EHR platform(s) to innovate for and hope they chose right. How could the latest interoperability and information blocking guidelines impact the likelihood EHRs will be successful in developing sustainable innovation marketplaces?There are four key factors that stand to impact the success of EHR-based marketplace development, including:
Article | December 28, 2020
The recent COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 has changed the way the healthcare industry has been processing. It has transformed the healthcare sector digitally. Healthcare providers have changed services with the latest healthcare technology trends in digital and virtual platforms. Every healthcare provider is updating services by adopting digital advancements in their practices to increase their capacity to engage the maximum number of patients. Still more advancements and updates are needed to address many challenges in the industry such as cybersecurity, effective payment model, telehealth, patient experience, invoicing and payment processing, and big data.
Last year, wearable devices in the healthcare industry were quite popular with the patients. These devices have helped patients be aware of various healthcare metrics. Due to the introduction of the 5G internet, the wearable devices market is expected to have huge scope in 2021. Healthcare technology trends, such as the use of a digital dashboard scheduler or chatbots as a digital assistant, help hospitals and other healthcare organizations to better track appointments, contacts, demography, and make changes more efficiently as these are practical measures for modifying and monitoring patient activities.
Telemedicine, using video conferencing, digital monitoring, etc. have also been very helpful in containing the spread of the pandemic. It has made healthcare accessible for everyone, especially in rural areas. For remote patient care systems, telehealth and teleradiology reporting are very important technological upgrades. Healthcare technology trends of 2020, including patient portals, mobile health applications, remote care via telehealth, and wearable devices, played a major role in tackling the global pandemic situation. Artificial intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) also played a vital part in handling the situation. All the above-mentioned are COVID-19 fueled healthcare technology trends in 2020, which are expected to continue in coming years too.
Here is a detailed look into the healthcare technology trends, which are expected to address the new challenges and revolutionize the healthcare industry in 2021.
Technology Trends that will Revolutionize the Medical Industry in 2021
The digital transformation of the healthcare industry has been fast-forwarded by COVID-19 in 2020. Recognizing the healthcare technology trends, many healthcare providers have readily shifted their operations to the latest trending technologies. Others are also looking forward to setting their operations according to the upcoming trends.
It seems like almost all the healthcare providers genuinely wanted to transform their operating system to engage the maximum number of patients, due to the healthcare technology trends set after the hardest crisis in the healthcare industry virtual reality healthcare. So, before planning your healthcare strategy for 2021, don’t miss to include these healthcare technology trends of 2021 to achieve better healthcare outcomes and stand one step ahead of your competitors.
Patient Engagement Technology
One of the most competitive healthcare technology trends in 2021 will be patient engagement technology. There are countless technologies available in the market for patient engagement, evaluation, and campaigning. Due to high competition in the market, these tools are priced competitively.
Many healthcare organizations have started empowering themselves by achieving consistency in patient engagement with the help of available tools in the market. This also helps them achieve increased ROI. The healthcare technology trends, including remote care via telehealth, patient portals, wearable devices, mobile health applications, and many more, empower patients and increase patient engagement.
Hospitals and other healthcare organizations need to improve patient experience along with engagement. The entire road to patient satisfaction and experience can be changed with these healthcare technology trends in 2021.
As telemedicine revolutionized the entire healthcare technology in 2020 by playing a vital role in containing the COVID-19 pandemic, it is expected to be one of the healthcare technology trends in 2021 too.
Using the advancement, it possible for healthcare professionals to diagnose and treat any number of patients remotely through phone calls, mobile apps, emails, and even through video calls. Telemedicine can provide patients with better access to all healthcare services, drive up efficiency and revenue, and lower healthcare costs.
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
The arrival of both AR and VR solutions has made way to witness meaningful advancements in the healthcare industry and technology. Advancements that could only be dreamt of a decade back, have become realities and been implemented. These two healthcare technology trends offer some serious promise to the world of healthcare, including educating patients before a treatment procedure.
AR offers one of the latest and most spontaneous options in the healthcare industry. AR allows doctors and surgeons to experience 3D effects on real-world scenes. This healthcare technology trend permits the professionals to stay grounded on actual procedures with access to all the data through various other emerging technologies. This makes doctors compare data, in the virtual world, to understand what the patient is experiencing and make a flawless diagnosis and suggest healthcare procedures.
It is either impossible or expensive for patients to get answers from specialists for their routine queries. But, chatbots make it easier and comfortable for healthcare service providers to answer questions of patients cost-effectively. Though chatbots are currently in the experimental phase to be used in healthcare solutions, they are most likely to have the necessary access to clinical scenarios by the beginning of 2021. It is expected to be one of the progressive healthcare technology trends in 2021.
As a digital assistant, chatbots allow healthcare providers to keep a track of contacts and appointments and make changes, when necessary. Chatbots are going to revolutionize the clinical processes and business, providing practical as well as clear measures for modifying and monitoring patient activities.
Big Data and 5G
5G is about to sweep the world in the coming months. With the extraordinary intensification in transmission bandwidth of 5G, users will construct a huge amount of data. With 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT) will be used largely to send and receive data. In the next three years, the global wearables market is expected to reach an annual turnover of US$52 billion. This can be attributed to the introduction of 5G wireless technology, one of the healthcare technology trends.
Healthcare providers will have the access to a huge amount of accurate data when data from wearable devices and other initiatives are added together. This is going to change the way providers collect data and the way doctors and patients communicate.
Thus, while you plan to upgrade your healthcare technology for 2021, don’t forget that you will be receiving a huge amount of data from patients, which can be attributed to one of the important healthcare technology trends of 2021, big data and 5G.
Artificial Intelligence (AI), one of the prominent healthcare technology trends of 2021, is developed to mimic human thought processes. GNS Healthcare AI system and IBM Watson are some of the most popular examples for the active use of AI in the healthcare process. This trend is going to rule healthcare processes and revolutionize medical care in 2021.
To improve healthcare professionals’ and hospitals’ care delivery to patients, Google’s DeepMind has built mobile apps and AI. The AI healthcare market is expected to reach US$7988.8 million in 2022 from US$667.1 million in 2016. This healthcare technology trend is expected to take the healthcare industry to a new realm by increasing patient engagement and experience in 2021.
Cloud computing is one of the major healthcare technology trends in 2021 that is going to change the industry. Attributed to the recent development of various healthcare technology trends, the cloud computing market is expected to reach US$35 billion in 2022 from US$20.2 billion in 2017.
This tremendous growth is attributed to the need of storing a high volume of data for healthcare organizations at a lower cost. In the healthcare domain, the main use of big data is in Electronic Health Record systems (EHR). It allows secure storage of various digital documentation such as demographics, medical history, diagnoses, and laboratory results. Cloud computing, an important healthcare technology trend, is expected to make the healthcare process smooth and flawless in 2021.
The biggest trend of 2021 in the healthcare industry is the holistic technological transformation of healthcare firms. Whether AI, ML, RPA, telemedicine, big data, chatbots, or cloud computing, almost everything related to data management and monitoring will peak in 2021. These healthcare technology trends will rule healthcare in 2021. Moreover, targeted and personalized care for critical diseases is expected to be another trend in the coming years.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the technology trends in healthcare?
Trending healthcare technologies are AI, ML, RPA, cloud computing, big data, chatbots, telemedicine, etc. AI, the life-changing technology is going to completely transform the healthcare industry in the coming years starting from 2021.
What are the most important trends in healthcare technology?
Augmented and virtual reality, Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Medical Things, Machine Learning, chatbots, cloud computing, telemedicine, etc. are the most important technology trends in the healthcare industry.
What are the current technological trends in healthcare?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), Electronic Health Records (EHR), Blockchain and data security, health-tracking apps, therapeutic apps, and telehealth are the major current technological trends in the healthcare industry.
Article | September 9, 2020
© 2019 American Cranes & Transport Magazine.
Moving over-sized, over-dimensional loads during the day is no easy task. Adding darkness and poor visibility to your trip adds numerous hazards that must be thoroughly identified and mitigated.
When planning a specialized transportation project, there are three primary objectives:
Ensure the safety of the transport crew and the general public.
Protect the integrity of the cargo and transport equipment.
Protection of Infrastructure – roads, bridges, traffic control devices, utilities and the like.
For the most part, specialized carriers perform night transports to reduce the impact on day-time commuter traffic. Route challenges – construction, road closures, lane crossovers, bridges and other obstacles – are often better solved at night. Police and utility support are often more readily available at night.
Night transport hazards include employee fatigue, slowed reaction time and poor visibility for both the transport crew and motorists. Decreased visibility increases potential for trips, falls, runovers, back overs and equipment strikes.
It can’t be emphasized enough how critically important it is to ensure that all transport crew members have had adequate rest for these projects. Workers need complete rest before the transport takes place. A fatigued worker is a danger to himself as well as his fellow crew members. And while impaired drivers can be out on the streets during the day, there is often an increased number of these drivers on roadways at night.
Limited visibility is a given when it comes to night-time transports. Limited visibility increases the chance of going off route and striking objects, and the transport driver’s maneuverability and reaction time maybe be reduced. Road conditions can abruptly change during a night-time transport. Therefore, it is critically important to know the route and to have drivers run it in advance. Statistically speaking, accident frequency increases when the transporter goes off route and attempts to correct itself. While providing the necessary lighting to make night transport is important, artificial lighting can pose visibility hazards, especially to the drivers. Other hazards may include bright work lighting that produces glare.
OSHA has identified the “Focus Four” accident events that make up the most serious injuries and fatalities in the construction business. They are also known as the “Fatal Four.” Many carriers have had employees injured in the past as a result of one of these four incidents.
Caught-in-between hazards are injuries resulting from a person being squeezed, caught, crushed, pinched or compressed between two or more objects or between parts of an object. This is also referred to as “pinch points or entrapment.” As the transporter navigates its designated route the landscape is continuously changing. It is imperative that all ground crew members maintain situational awareness and not place themselves between the moving transporter and fixed objects such as guardrails, parked vehicles, buildings, etc.
Struck-by hazards are injuries produced by forcible contact or impact between the injured person and an object or piece of equipment. There are many potential struck-by hazards. Guide wires that must be raised can snap and strike workers on the ground. Tag lines should be used to control loads. The primary purpose of using tag lines is to control the load but more importantly give the worker a safe buffer distance away from suspended and the uncontrolled movement of these loads.
Fall hazards are anything that could cause an unintended loss of balance or bodily support and result in a fall. To prevent fall hazards all workers should have either fall prevention or a means of fall protection in place. As a rule, 100 percent tie off is required when using a fall arrest system (FAS). FAS’s should be thoroughly inspected before each use.
Electrocution hazards result when a person is exposed to a lethal amount of electrical energy. Maintaining minimum approach distances (MAD) is a critical safety practice. As everyone knows, equipment does not have to physically make contact with energized equipment or lines to cause serious injuries and even death. Electrical energy can “jump” from lines into equipment that has encroached the Minimum Approach Distance based on its voltage.
As noted above, it is critically important to ensure that crew members have had adequate rest and are not fatigued. Night transports are difficult enough, and the last thing you want to introduce are tired and fatigued workers. Being fatigued creates a risk for anyone who undertakes an activity that requires concentration and a quick response.
All companies should have an “Hours Worked Policy” that clearly spells out the number of hours allowed to work before a mandatory rest period. This policy should ensure that the transport crew has had adequate rest during day, that a fatigue assessment is conducted on all team members, that crews are never allowed to work double shifts and that employees are prohibited from driving long distances to return home.
Dealing with darkness
Visibility and slowed reaction times should be a part of the project planning. A limited amount of ambient light that only projects upward and outward impedes vision and increases blind spots for drivers. Lights cast shadows, increasing the potential for slips, trips and falls.
All transport moves should establish pre-planned Emergency Action Plans. When an emergency occurs, time is of the essence and can mean the difference between life and death. If it is a long-distance move the emergency numbers and first responder information can change. Crews should know when it’s time to seek emergency “safe harbor.”
When approaching overhead obstructions such as guide wires, electrical lines, communication lines and overpasses, travel speed is of utmost importance. Again, pre-route surveys provide advance knowledge of obstructions. At night, visual identification of roadway obstructions is reduced and delayed and last second reactions to oncoming hazards can lead to accidents. Support personnel in bucket trucks also have the challenge of reduced visibility.
In darkness, overhead hazards often require more utility support for height clearances, which means the need for raising energized lines, lifting traffic control devices, trimming tree limbs, releasing tension on guide wires, removing highway signs, repositioning street lights and raising railroad crossing arms.
Traffic control can also create hazards. The general public may ignore pilot car lights at night, so it’s often advisable to also use police escorts. All support vehicles and trucks should be properly marked and equipped with strobe lights.
The configuration of the transport system can also be a hazard. Navigating sharp turns or crossovers is greatly reduced based on the length of transporter. Snake-like maneuvers of trailers pose an increased risk.
It’s important to never allow personnel to take shortcuts by walking through or under transporter while it’s in motion. Stop or have the worker go around.
The transport crew must always maintain “situational awareness” to prevent being in line of fire or entrapped between moving and fixed objects.
All the equipment used in the transport must be deemed safe. You should have procedures to conduct thorough assessment of all new equipment.
Ensure machine guard devices are in place especially around moving components.
Provide secured areas using catwalks/railing system.
All steps should be designed with slip resistant material.
Ensure that all deck openings are properly protected and covered.
Components that hydraulically extend and retract should be clearly posted with DANGER signs.
Roadway conditions are always a bigger concern at night. Assess weather conditions prior to start of the project and don’t take chances. A “Go – No Go” criteria should be developed for each project. Once the decision is made to transport the load there is no turning back. Changing weather can cause the transporter to lose traction. Underpasses that are shaded during the day will likely freeze up more quickly. If the temperatures drop significantly during the move, equipment performance may be affected – especially those with hydraulics.
Because the reaction time of the transport crew is reduced, speeds are often reduced, causing potential for curfew violations. Boarding and deboarding the transporter increases risk for slips and falls. Other potential road condition hazards include grade of road, width of road, shoulder surfaces, railroad crossing clearances and bottoming out, overpasses, tight and narrow turning lanes, parked vehicles and frequent grade changes.
Crew prep is essential and should be a part of the job plan and job training. The team should be briefed each day to identify the responsibilities of all crew members. The crew should know it is empowered; everyone has the authority to stop the transport if something looks unsafe or when someone is unsure. In the event of a complication, crews should be informed of how to regroup and formulata mitigation plan. There should be an established means of communication that is limited only to transport issues. Most importantly, crew should embrace these words: When in doubt, call time out!
A Task Hazard Analysis (THA) should address all scope of work activities, identify hazards and have a mitigation plan for each, clear channels of communication, the traffic control plan and an “Emergency Preparedness Plan.” And finally: Know the route; ride the route and expect the unexpected.
Edwards Moving performs a night move using it’s Goldhofer Faktor-5 transport system.
Keys to a successful night transport
Early planning and attention to detail. Anticipate roadway hazards such as guardrails, poles & hydrants that pose obstruction with travel path or turning radius.
Preparing a detailed traffic control plan.
Thorough due diligence throughout scope of work.
Established contingency plan for equipment.