Healthcare is changing—and changing rapidly. While technology continues to digitally transform almost every aspect of our daily lives, healthcare has lagged behind slightly, despite the vast potential to incorporate the digital experience into the industry.
Digital transformation in healthcare has been rapidly accelerated by a global pandemic and new ways to interact with doctors. So, what are the digital health trends in 2021 that tech companies can capitalize on?
Digital health trends in 2021
Digital transformation is steadily gaining ground in almost all aspects of healthcare, from points of contact with patients to enhanced operations. Here are some of the trends to watch out for.
Wearable health devices
With the introduction of devices such as wearable watches that track health indicators such as heart rate and sleep quality, wearable health devices are on the rise. A report from Jabil on digital health trends in 2021 found that 41% of healthcare technology companies are developing wearable devices.
Not only are wearable devices making a splash, but smart technology is being incorporated too. One example of this is personalized smart inhalers which can deliver the precise medication level needed to individual users.
Technology is not just improving diagnostics and healthcare delivery for patients. It’s also revolutionizing the way healthcare companies operate. Big data is a key part of this trend and it’s changing the way companies store and manage customer data.
Big data is reducing errors and ensuring faster delivery of vital diagnostics and treatment delivery to patients. Not only that, but from an operational standpoint, it’s helping organizations to get smarter and more precise when it comes to resource management and allocation such as staffing.
While still in its infancy, virtual reality is making a speedy entrance into healthcare digital transformation. Although its original applications were mainly used in gaming, virtual reality is now helping healthcare companies with things like alternative pain relief methods and mental health treatments.
AI in healthcare
Similarly, artificial intelligence has been on trend watchlists for some time now. But its application in healthcare has been slow. As that changes, healthcare organizations are leveraging AI for applications in areas such as diagnostics.
For example, Kheiron Medical Technologies has developed technology to enhance the precision and timeliness of breast cancer diagnoses using big data and AI to standardize breast positioning and imaging.
Benefits of digital health trends
It’s clear that advanced technology is making itself known in healthcare, but why should tech companies, or healthcare companies for that matter, be paying attention? When pitching digital transformation to healthcare organizations, they need to know what the benefits will be for their business and their patients.
A huge proportion of patients are repeat customers. They may suffer from chronic conditions or illnesses and, as a result, require frequent check-ups and treatments. Digital trends in healthcare such as wearable monitoring devices help to catch issues early on and advance the level of preventative care provided to patients.
Not only is this good news for patients, but it has the potential to save organizations and the industry as a whole billions of dollars every year. In fact, one piece of research suggested that digital transformation in healthcare could save the industry up to $7 billion per year in the US by reducing time spent in clinics and hospitals.
Better resource allocation
Big data and analytics enable companies to mine their data and identify trends in operations. This enables them to uncover many sources of efficiency improvement and operational savings, as well as better experiences for patients.
Leveraging big data to develop detailed forecasting can streamline operations and ensure healthcare organizations are properly supplied and staffed at all times.
Patients want on-demand healthcare. In a practical sense, this means the development of apps and virtual reality experiences that give patients access to the right information and expertise when they need it. Telemedicine is a great example of this, but on-demand healthcare goes way beyond video calls with doctors and practitioners.
For example, Talkcircle has developed an app for online therapy, reducing wait times for patients to access the mental health professionals they need.
Personalized healthcare experiences have many benefits, including preventative medicine and a faster, more precise interaction with various healthcare providers. One application of leveraging technology to develop personalized healthcare is 3D printing. When it comes to things like prosthetics, implants, and joint replacement surgeries, tech trends such as 3D printing are rapidly personalizing the experience, producing better results for all.
Getting on board with digital healthcare trends
Whether you’re developing B2C technology for direct use by patients or productivity software specifically designed for healthcare companies, creating a digital platform that showcases your technology and business in the best light possible is essential.
Check out our previous projects to see how VeryCreatives has enabled tech companies to bring their product to market with as much impact as possible.