With each passing year, the healthcare industry is developing multifold by embracing the latest innovation and technology. Looking back, 2017 was an eventful year for the medical sector given the most recent innovations that have been introduced and affordable healthcare becoming more popular among healthcare companies. Big data analytics and blockchain technology have become more prominent and widely accepted than ever in this sector over the last year. We are all excited to see what 2018 will bring into to the healthcare industry, but before that let us take a quick look at the top trends and innovations that have dominated the healthcare sector through 2017:
Blockchain moves from theory to practice
The buzz around blockchain in healthcare started doing the rounds by the end of 2016. However, there was a lot of skepticism surrounding its feasibility. But after a number of workshops and demos carried out across various healthcare companies, blockchain has slowly made a place for itself in the healthcare industry. Today, healthcare companies possess a large directory of a database that contains patients’ vital information. With the help of blockchain, players in the medical industry can ensure that patient data is securely maintained and accessible to authorized personnel only as per their requirements.
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Going online and telehealth
With the rising popularity of the internet and related technology among people especially the millennials, a new channel for healthcare sector players to reach their customer have been created. Many players have already started to provide medical consultation online to their patients, eliminating the barriers of long waiting queues that they would otherwise have to go through for conventional consultation. According to the American Telemedicine Association, ‘The number of Americans receiving virtual medical care is expected to double in the coming years.’ In addition to making access to medical care simpler, telehealth services also help patients to get healthcare advice from the doctors during the course of the treatment or even after being discharged.
The growing popularity of wearables
Today, people can easily keep track of their health status without regular medical checkups, thanks to wearable technology. 2017 saw a boom in the sale of smartwatches that help people track their health status in real-time. They not only help people to keep tabs on their health regularly but also help to avoid in-person doctor visits and check-ups.
Big data is becoming bigger
Big data is without a doubt making our lives simpler and more convenient. Big data in healthcare not only helps to cut down on excess overhead costs but also helps to predict epidemics, avoid preventable death, and cure diseases by analyzing various patterns from the available data. This technology also makes it easier for doctors to understand the patient’s past health records and prescribe the most appropriate treatment. 2017 has witnessed more and more players in healthcare becoming open to big data, and this trend is expected to continue in the flowing years as well.
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