What it means for doctors, patients, marketers and the entire industry
In our latest infographic, we’re checking in on current health technology trends. There’s so much happening in this industry today that warrants keeping a close eye on the biggest players in the Big Tech race for domination in the healthcare technology sphere.
Take a look at what we’ve uncovered!
As the cost of global healthcare continues to climb, predicted to reach $8.7 trillion by 2020, and a shortage of medical professionals remains a major issue in the face of an increasing need for healthcare, Big Tech is looking for better ways to help more patients more quickly. Although telemedicine has been available in some areas for many years already, innovations in medical industry technology continue to expand the possibilities for both aging populations and chronically ill patients everywhere.
Why are Tech Companies Investing in Healthcare Technology?
There are several big players in the healthcare tech arena, solving healthcare problems in various ways. They’re clearly seeing an opportunity here to create novel answers to perplexing issues, but there are other reasons for the sudden interest in the healthcare sector, including these:
- It’s an industry currently worth $3 trillion dollars
- By 2060, there are projected to be 98.2 million people aged 65 or older in the U.S., making up 23.6 percent of the population
- Diabetes is on the rise, 642 million people may be affected by 2040
- Medical costs in 2018 are projected to increase by 5.3 percent
New technology in healthcare will help the industry become more accessible and affordable, not to mention profitable. This is also a chance to help patients who are often forced to choose between medical care and other household costs and solve complex medical problems that demand complex technical answers.
The Rise of Wearable Tech
The impact of technology in healthcare cannot be underestimated. The use of wearable tech is increasing, helping doctors better monitor their patients and empowering patients to take better control over their own health, since they don’t need to wait for a medical appointment to have data on basic metrics like heart rate, oxygen levels and blood pressure.
Wearable tech is also expected to:
- Drop hospital costs by up to 16 percent over the next five years
- Save the healthcare system $200 billion over the next 25 years by allowing remote patient monitoring
- Make healthcare more convenient, with over 80 percent of consumers reporting this as a vital benefit
Technology and Healthcare Mash-Up: The Most Valuable Players
Some of the biggest tech companies in the market are getting involved with different projects in the healthcare sector.
Be sure to watch these movers and shakers over the next few years:
- Invested in cancer detection startup Grail
- Creating an independent healthcare company for employees with partners Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan
- Testing Amazon Echo as a home healthcare tool
- Improving the distribution of medical supplies
Alphabet (Google’s parent company)
- Acquired app developer Senosis Health, which uses smartphone sensors to monitor health trends
- Research arm Verily Life Sciences builds tools that can be used to translate health information into actionable plans
- Ultimate goal is to tackle age-related disease
- Purchased Beddit, a company that monitors and tracks users’ sleep habits and quality
- Created Apple ResearchKit to improve the efficiency of health research
- Its health app is designed to be a central repository for health-related data
- Focused on consumer healthcare product development
- Attempting to revolutionize healthcare with artificial intelligence-backed Watson Health Technology
- Created IBM Cloud for healthcare provider billing solutions
Emerging Trends in Medical Technology
Some of the tools that are coming out of the marriage of tech and healthcare were unimaginable just a decade or so ago. Not only will these new developments help patients, they’re helping doctors, too. For example, augmented reality is providing medical students more ways to learn about the human body without the use of cadavers. This allows more students more opportunities to try out medical techniques and learn procedures both inside and outside the classroom.
Health technology is already moving into the Cloud, but in 2018 it’s estimated that 65 percent of patient interactions with medical facilities will be on their mobile devices. Doctors are firmly committed to technological integration, too, with 80 percent of them reporting the use of smartphones and medical apps. A full 72 percent already access drug information on their smartphones on a regular basis.
The Impact of Technology in Healthcare: Benefits for Patients, Doctors and Tech Companies
Adding technology to medicine has already had widespread impacts.
Not only does it allow medical professionals to pull up patient records ahead of appointments, reducing errors that could be attributed to omitted information, it makes medicine more accessible and convenient for patients. Surgeons can take advantage of tools like robotic arms that are far more steady than a human’s could ever be and medical students can practice difficult procedures without risking a real human’s life.
Take a look at our healthcare technology infographic for more information on just how much influence the collision of technology and medicine will have in the very near future. You may be surprised by some of the data we’ve collected, whether you’re a patient, provider or you specialize in medical marketing or advertising.