Technology has continued to advance and its uses continue to spread and rise exponentially across industries. The Healthcare Analytics Summit is a good place to get current information on all the new technologies in healthcare and how they can be applied to your practice or career. Below we discuss some of the ways (both small and big) that technology is being used in the healthcare industry as well as the future of technology and technological advancements and what it means for patient care and the practise of medicine.

 

Administrative Services

Technology helps simplify patient onboarding at hospitals and care providers through biometrics and voice-enabled self-service kiosks.

Patient Monitoring / Elder Care

With advanced technology now easier to access, patients can have connected home systems commoditize video monitoring and in many cases, this allows elderly people or patients in need of constant monitoring to stay home rather than assisted living.

 

Prescription Drug Administration

Wearables and sensors monitor and give reminders to take your prescription drugs, in case you lose track. There are also apps that help you do this by giving daily reminders and with the apps you call also track your drug intake, nutrition, etc.

 

Nursing

Connected devices, sensors and cameras will increase nursing productivity and on-call availability.

Telemedicine

This is one of the major advances as it helps facilitate long distance Physician-Patient Interaction. With telemedicine patients can have access to remote diagnostics, unified doctor-patient communications commoditize telemedicine and improved physicians’ productivity

 

First Response and Urgent Care

Locational services, mapping, and secure data exchange improve response time, preparedness and save lives.

 

Wellness and Preventative Care

More than ever, wearable and connected devices will help individuals and patients support healthy lifestyle choices and this leads to preventive care and overall better population health.

Digital therapeutics

This kind of treatment relies on behavioral and lifestyle changes usually spurred by a collection of digital impetuses. Because of the digital nature of the methodology, data can be collected and analyzed as both a progress report and a preventative measure. Many refer to it as“Software as drugs”. Digital therapeutics offers inventive, revolutionary treatments to today’s most taxing conditions and diseases

 

OR – Surgery

Invasive procedures will be enabled and enhanced by video technologies, AI and machine learning

 

More Advanced Advances in
Technology in the Healthcare Industry

 

Heart in a Box: Warm Blood Perfusion System

This is a device that is expected to revolutionize heart transplants in the healthcare industry. Heart disease and heart problems is one of the leading causes of death in the United States and also one of the leading causes of hospital readmission. Heart transplants happen a lot but it faces a problem of there being more demand than there is supply. More than 5000 cardiac transplants occur each year around the world, although it is estimated that up to 50,000 people are candidates for transplantation . This critical organ shortage means that healthcare providers must strictly evaluate who should receive a heart transplant and many people are left without an opportunity to get one. For many years, surgeons in the United States have preserved organs in a cold solution and transported in coolers to the receiving patient in need.  But this process can cause damage to the heart and in some cases render it unusable. This has led to the development of a Warm Blood Perfusion System. Survival among cardiac transplant recipients has improved as a result of improvements in treatments that suppress the immune system and prevent infection.

 

3D Printed Drugs

This sounds like an invention that can exist only in a  fictional movie but 3D printed drugs is something that can and will exist in the real world very soon. 3D printing has been around for many years; predominantly been used in manufacturing. This type of printing, also called stereolithography, can create almost any object by fusing different materials, layer by layer, to form a physical version of a digital 3D image. Over the past 15 years, 3D printing has expanded into the healthcare industry, where it’s used to create custom prosthetics and dental implants. Now, there may be an opportunity to use it for personalized healthcare as well.

 

In Silico Clinical Trials (Organs on a chip) (Black mirror)


The process of clinical trials is long and tedious. Clinical trials in their current form take many years to complete and testing a single compound can cost more than $2B due the complexities of our FDA. The process of testing is long and the process of getting it approved is just as long, tedious, and expensive.

A process of drug development involves various stages:
• in Vitro/Cell-based studies
• in Vivo/Animal Model studies
• Phase 1 trials
• Phase 2 trials
• Phase 3 trials
• Approval
• Phase 4 trials


Each of these steps requires the company to:

pay to write the clinical trial protocol,
pay to get the IRB approval,
pay doctors to treat patients with your experimental formulation,
pay to have statisticians set up randomization and blinding,
pay to recruit patients to the trial,
pay clinical trial coordinators at each clinical site to counsel the patients, monitor the treatment, record results,
pay any toxicity and imaging work (i.e., x-rays) related to the trial,
pay the patients to come back at each follow-up date,
pay the regulatory folks to audit clinical trial sites,
pay for statistical analysis and regulatory submission, etc.


With technological advancements, there is hope that these processes can be cut down and less resources and manpower will be needed to carry out standardized clinical trials.