Article | April 1, 2020
Drug discovery is a notoriously long, complex and expensive process requiring the concerted efforts of the world’s brightest minds. The complexity in understanding human physiology and molecular mechanisms is increasing with every new research paper published and for every new compound tested. As the world is facing a new challenge in trying to both adapt to and defend itself against the coronavirus, artificial intelligence is offering new hope that a cure might be developed faster than ever before. In this article, we will present some of the technologies being developed and applied in today’s drug discovery process, working side-by-side with scientists tracking new findings, and assisting in the creation of new compounds and potential vaccines. In addition, we will examine how the industry is applying AI in the fight against the coronavirus.
Article | April 1, 2020
Healthcare organizations are scrambling right now to stay on top of Coronavirus while also providing world-class care to other patients with various healthcare needs. This becomes a problem for marketing teams to not only stay consistent in their messaging and marketing priorities but also in shifting focus to this new uncertain reality we’re all facing. There is no blueprint for what’s happening right now, but there are steps we can take to help keep the momentum moving forward.To start, healthcare marketing teams should first focus on how they are communicating about Coronavirus to their community and patients, and how their digital marketing channels (such as SEO, paid media, content marketing, and social media) fit into that message. At Marcel Digital, we’re currently working with our healthcare clients to shift digital marketing strategies to fit this new mold. Here’s what we’re telling them.
Article | April 1, 2020
The pandemic-fueled technology adoption has enabled the healthcare industry to address the challenges, including cybersecurity, telehealth, invoicing and payment processing, patient experience, effective payment model, and big data. The responses to the unusual COVID-19 pandemic has sped up the adoption of new digital technologies in the industry. It has also fueled advancements in health technology. From the start of 2020, these advancements transformed the healthcare industry into a next-gen one by accelerating digitization of their internal and external operations by two to three years.
This surprising impact of technology in the healthcare industry has brought out unexpected competition between the key players in the B2B healthcare market. Whatever the field, adapting yourself to modern changes is the best strategy to thrive. Get yourself updated according to the changes or get yourself outdated is the new norm in the healthcare industry.
The following trends and advancements in technology in the healthcare industry due to the pandemic in 2020 show that healthcare providers are always searching for new ways to improve their productivity, performance, and efficiency. These were the need of the hour during the pandemic, for them to surge ahead of their competitors.
• Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare
• The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)
• Supply chain management technology
• Privacy issues
• AR/VR/MR in Healthcare
• Digital marketing trends in healthcare
This article looks into the major innovations, advancements, and trends brought out by the global pandemic in 2020 in the healthcare industry.
One of the biggest challenges faced by the healthcare industry in the US today is its digital capacity to effectively engage consumers and make them stay healthy. This can include helping people to prevent getting infected by various diseases such as COVID-19 and effectively managing various other chronic conditions. This is where technology in the healthcare industry has a major role to play.
Due to the latest advancements in technology, the healthcare industry was already evolving but the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated this transformation dramatically. McKinsey reports that US$250 billion was spent on technology in the US healthcare industry to shift the industry into a virtual care model in the wake of the pandemic. Also, a study by FAIR Health, a non-profit group, says the increase in telehealth claims in the US is 4,000% in 2020.
Here’s a detailed look into the above-mentioned advancements, innovations or trends brought out by the pandemic in the industry.
Had the world ever thought that it would be possible one day for doctors to remotely examine the health of patients via a smartphone or a computer? Telemedicine, a new trend in technology in the healthcare industry, addresses many challenges in the industry. Improved technology in the industry has made telemedicine easier, even for people, who are not computer savvy. Telehealth services are now provided through different telemedicine apps.
In the light of the pandemic, rather than in-person visits, 43.5% of primary medical visits were done using telehealth methods in April 2020 in the US. The major benefit of telemedicine is that it reduces contact between healthcare workers, patients, and other patients. This reduces the chances of the spread of infectious diseases.
Reports say that 71% of Americans considered telemedicine useful at the beginning of the pandemic. This trend is expected to continue in the coming years too. With the pandemic, telemedicine saw an immediate boom compared to previous years. This boom in telehealth is projected to break US$185.6 billion by 2026.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare
Artificial intelligence, a new trend and advancement in technology in the healthcare industry, had a critical role in fighting the pandemic. AI played a major role in areas such as pandemic detection, vaccine development, facial recognition with masks, thermal screening, and analyzing CT scans. AI is becoming the new operating technology in the healthcare industry.
Major AI healthcare applications
Healthcare providers will benefit a lot from AI-driven tools as AI technology in the healthcare industry has become a transformational force. Machine learning algorithms and software in AI will revolutionize the use of technology in the healthcare industry and the science of healthcare in the coming years too. AI will unify machines and humans through the brain. Some of the AI technologies in the healthcare industry, which are very relevant, are machine learning, natural language processing (NLP), rule-based expert systems, physical robots, diagnostic and treatment, patient engagement and adherence, and administrative applications.
Benefits of AI in healthcare and statistics
AI addresses many challenges that present technology in the healthcare industry cannot tackle. Better data-driven decisions, increased disease diagnosis efficiency, reduced treatment time, easy integration of information, reduced costs, increased patient satisfaction, fewer errors, and easier payment options are some of the benefits AI-assisted technology in the healthcare industry can provide.
According to an analysis by Accenture, by 2026, clinical AI health applications are expected to create approximately US$150 billion for the US healthcare economy as annual savings. Also, the US AI health market is expected to reach around US$6.6 billion by 2021.
The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)
Nowadays, medical interactions involve some sort of equipment or device; it can be a glucose monitor, blood pressure monitor, or even an MRI scanner. It may not be a surprise now that, according to a 2020 Deloitte report, the available number of medical technologies are around 50,000. The internet-connected devices, which are known as IoMT tools, are transforming the healthcare and technology in the healthcare industry.
What Is IoMT?
The connected infrastructure of software applications, medical devices, and health systems and services are the IoMT. This has emerged by combining IoT development with telehealth technologies and telemedicine.
Potential of IoMT in healthcare and statistics
Lower costs for care, fewer mistakes, and more accurate diagnosis are the potential capabilities of IoMT. IoMT paired with various smartphone applications allows patients to send information regarding their health to doctors and get treated for diseases. This type of technology-driven healthcare not only improves patient experiences but also reduces the cost. IoMT, the new trend in technology in the healthcare industry, also has a positive effect on drug management.
According to Goldman Sachs, IoMT will save US$300 billion annually in the healthcare industry. AllTheResearch expects that the global IoMT market value will reach US$254.2 billion from US$44.5 billion in 2018.
Supply chain management technology in the healthcare industry
Utilizing advanced supply chain management technology in the healthcare industry enables healthcare providers to reach the right patients with the right product at the right time. Digitalized supply chain management also makes healthcare organizations improve provider-patient connectedness, data flow and analytics, regulatory compliance, and asset tracking.
A range of challenges faced by healthcare providers prompts you to digitalize supply chain networks, using the latest technologies in the healthcare industry. Advanced supply chain management technology will help you optimize costs, reduce unnecessary variation due to error and variability, enhance patient care, engagement, and delivery, and address new value-creation priorities.
According to reports from market researchers, global healthcare supply chain management technology is expected to reach US$3.3 billion in 2025 from US$2.2 billion in 2020.
Privacy is a serious concern in technology in the healthcare industry, especially because of HIPAA compliance in 2020. Although data and information of patients can be efficiently stored and retrieved through cloud computing, complying with the strict electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI) is difficult.
While electronic health records and sensor networks, and advancements in other technologies in the healthcare industry will surely improve the quality of healthcare by reducing medical errors and costs, associated security and privacy are challenges to be addressed. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association estimated that stolen or lost PHI may cost the US healthcare industry approximately US$7 billion annually.
To solve these issues, hospitals, and other healthcare providers have to stop using outdated technology and adopt state-of-the-art technologies without violating HIPAA. Encryption technology in the healthcare industry is the best option and healthcare providers should start using it to ensure the privacy of patients.
AR, VR, and MR in Healthcare
Virtual (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are important technologies in the healthcare industry to enhance and ensure the quality of telemedicine, especially during the period of the pandemic. The pandemic has made these technologies more popular and the trend is expected to continue in the future too. Both of these technologies in the healthcare industry are used to enhance patient and provider visits and even to educate medical students.
AR and VR also have the potential to help stroke victims overcome deficiencies, assist in robotic surgeries, educate patients before surgeries, facilitate easy surgical planning, help patients with PTSD, and reduce anxiety in children during a painful procedure or blood tests. Mixed reality (MR) is the mixed use of both VR and MR in a patient’s healthcare process and is also gaining popularity.
Blockchain is a trend which is expected to revolutionize technology in the healthcare industry. Using blockchain or digital ledgers will enable you to securely distribute transaction records to patients with improved data security. Along with other trends such as cloud computing and IoMT, blockchain also offers portability, accessibility, and high security. One of the greatest benefits of blockchain technology in the healthcare industry is interoperability.
As blockchain provides full visibility through a digital ledger, it improves integrity and transparency. Blockchain technology in the healthcare industry is beneficial to handle clinical study information, patient wearable data, and patient records.
Scope of blockchain technology in the healthcare industry
Various statistics on blockchain technology in the healthcare industry expect a wide scope for this technology. The global blockchain technology market in the healthcare industry is projected to cross US500 million by 2022.
Digital marketing trends in healthcare
Digital marketing technology in the healthcare industry has been revolutionized as new trends were set by the pandemic in 2020. As the world shrunk to online mode during the pandemic period, the following healthcare digital marketing trends emerged.
The smartest way to attract new patients to your service is content marketing and educational content. 2020 is the time where the content truly emerged as king. Educational content is vital in the healthcare space because everyone always tries to learn new things. It can be a trick or tips about the latest technological advancements, general industry news, or new diagnostic options.
Mobile responsive websites
Another important digital marketing technology in the healthcare industry is making an attractive website, which also must be mobile responsive. In this modern world of technology, everyone wants to access every facility at their fingertips. So, if your website is not mobile responsive, you won’t get traffic to your website easily.
Along with these two trending digital marketing technologies in the healthcare industry, some of the other trends are:
• Video marketing
• Multichannel initiatives and customer touchpoints
• Online reputation
• Powerful presence on social media channels
• Location-based SEO
The essential trends and advancements in technology in the healthcare industry depicting the future of healthcare are machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data science along with a focus on effective healthcare digital marketing technology and strategy. The pandemic fueled B2B healthcare technology will make the industry evolve every year and go on resolving new challenges that arise.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is technology important to the healthcare industry?
Integrating technology with healthcare industry will improve quality of life. Also, the use of digital technology in the healthcare industry will increase efficiency, quality, and patient experience.
What is new technology in healthcare?
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many trending technologies are used in healthcare. The new technologies in the healthcare industries are AI, blockchain, chatbots, voice search, and virtual reality.
What are the negative impacts of medical technology?
Medical technology can have some negative impacts on patients such as impersonal or minimized care, negative health effects, increased patient costs, inappropriate use, and invasion of privacy.
FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE
Article | April 1, 2020
Prioritizing health and managing it, has become highly important because our lifestyle is continuously evolving in ways that take a toll on us mentally, physically, and emotionally. However, the major issue for the patients lies in the inaccuracy of treatment due to the lack of complete health records in any hospital. With the recent changes in privacy legislation and data management, patients are even unable to retrieve their own health records.
For example, someone had an accident and was taken to the emergency room. The first thing they will need to do in their condition is to fill the hospital’s form. Then, for the treatment, if the injured person is conscious enough, doctors ask questions like if they are allergic to some medicines or do they suffer from diabetes or any other disease. Besides, what if the individual denies having allergies or diabetes in their half-conscious state? And the previous hospitals where they have already had treatment before have denied sharing the medical details of the person either due to privacy issues or data corruption. Well, it can create a lot of fuzz.
Solely, to improve the health industry without compromising the security of the individuals, blockchain has remained in the discussion. It has the potential to address the operability challenges present in the healthcare industry. But, what is blockchain, what are its underlying fundamentals, why blockchain, and what are its advantages?
Today’s blog will help in understanding every aspect of blockchain and its impact on the healthcare industry. So let’s get started!
What is Blockchain?
Blockchain is a P2P or peer-to-peer distributed or decentralized ledger technology. It stores a chain of data called blocks of information. These blocks are chained together by cryptographic signatures. These signatures are called hash that is stored in the shared ledger and backed by a connected processes network - node. These nodes reserve a copy of the complete chain and get continually updated by synchronization. Though, to include blockchain in the process it’s necessary to hire a developer who has prior experience and knowledge about its architecture and can work with the components efficiently as blockchain is a designed pattern that consists of three major constituents - a distributed network, a shared ledger, and all the digital transactions.
a. Distributed Network
As discussed before, blockchain is built on peer-to-peer networks. While having no central point of storage, it makes the information on the network less vulnerable to being lost or exploited.
Unlike the traditional client-server model that has a centralized storage point or controlling party, all the information in the blockchain network is constantly recorded and transferred to the participants of the network that are also known as nodes or peers. These peers also own several identical copies of the information. That’s why blockchain is seen as a huge improvement to centralized models and is considered the future of data storage and ownership.
b. Shared Ledger
Each authorized participant in the network records the transactions into the shared ledger. If they want to add any transaction, it is important to run algorithms that evaluate and verify the transactions. If the majority of members agree to the transaction’s validity, a new transaction gets added to the shared ledger. The changes done in the shared ledger is reflected in minutes or even seconds in the copies of the blockchain. Once the transaction is added, there’s no way to modify or delete it. Also, as the copy is shared in the form of a ledger to each member, no single member can alter data.
c. Digital Transaction
Transactions are information i.e. data transmission to one block. During the process of data transmission, each node acts as a central point to generate and digitally sign the transaction. As the nodes connect each other in the network, each of them has to verify the transaction independently for its conflicts, validity, and compliance. Only after the transaction passes the verification, the information is added into the shared ledger. The major element that makes digital transactions successful is cryptographic hashing that encrypts the data for security.
Why Blockchain technology in healthcare?
It has happened so often that the patient remains unable to gather all of their previous medical records in one format from one place swiftly or sometimes cannot even collect the required information at all. Unfortunately, in most cases, the information of critical patients remains scattered across several different institutions of healthcare that too in different formats. Besides, the data management systems along with the security regulations also vary in different institutions making it difficult to trace and fix mistakes.
But, what can blockchain do?
A blockchain is a system used for storing and sharing information with security and transparency. Every block in the chain is an independent unit of its own and a dependent link among the collective chain that creates a network controlled by participants rather than a third party.
As blockchains are managed by network nodes instead of central authority, they are decentralized that prevents one entity from having complete control over the network. With the incorporation of blockchain, the need for a central administrator will be removed by cryptography. Healthcare providers will be able to promote data management processes beyond perception. It will help in collecting, analyzing, sharing, and securing medical records. It will provide the access to healthcare workers for retrieving health records with the cryptographic keys provided by patients from anywhere without creating any privacy or security problems.
Advantages of Healthcare Blockchain
Although applications of blockchain in the healthcare industry are inceptive, some early solutions have shown the possibility of reduced healthcare costs, improved access to information among different stakeholders, and streamlining the entire business process. So, keeping aside the buzz, let’s see the real advantages of blockchain in healthcare.
1. Master Patient Indexes
The master patient index helps in the identification of patients across separate administrative systems. It is often created within the EHR or electronic health record system. As these EHRs have different vendors, there are several irregularities of MPIs. In many cases, the data of a patient between these healthcare systems become mismatched. However, with the nature of decentralization in Blockchain, it possesses the ability to solve the issue. In the blockchain-based MPIs, the data will be hashed to the ledger and content will remain unique as only the authorized nodes of the data can make changes to the hashes while all parties with access can only check the related information.
2. Single, elongated patient records
Blockchain technology is potent to transform health care by placing patients at the center of the system while increasing the security and privacy of health records. It provides a new model for health information exchange by forming electronic elongated patient records secured and efficient. Additionally, the fact that the data is copied among all the nodes of the blockchain network creates an atmosphere of clarity and transparency that enables healthcare providers and patients to know how their data is handled by whom, how, and when. It can also help healthcare from potential frauds, data losses, or security attacks.
3. Supply Chain Management
Supply chain management in healthcare is a challenging aspect. With scattered settings for ordering drugs, medical supplies, and critical resources, there’s an inherent risk of compromising the supply chain that might impact patient safety. Indulgence of blockchain technology in the transactions can tap into the complete process of medicine or drug products movement. As all the transactions will be recorded onto the shared ledger with every block recording and maintaining every transaction, it will become easy to verify the vendor, distributor, and origin of the drug within a matter of seconds. It will also enable healthcare physicians and officials to check the authenticity of the supplier’s credentials.
4. Claims Justification
Currently, the insurance claim processes face difficulties like lack of transparency i.e. most customers don’t even know how insurance works; human errors and inefficiencies i.e. insurances are full of confusion along with human errors that create inefficiencies that lead to the increased cost to customers; higher frauds in claims. But, blockchain technology can simplify and enhance recordkeeping, payment processing, claims registration, contract management, and closure with its immutable ledger.
Interoperability is the capability of distinct healthcare information technology to interpret, exchange, and use data. Due to the privacy issues, the alphanumeric code to identify a patient has been revoked that caused problems in gathering the required record of the patient. Enforcing measurement standards for industry-wide interoperability is also a challenge in interoperability. With blockchain in healthcare interoperability, data can be shared in real-time on the trusted network and provides access to the patient’s record in a secured manner. Moreover, with the pri