By Vijayashree Natarajan, SVP- Head of Technology, Omega Healthcare Management Services
Over the last year, the healthcare system has been robust and digital use has skyrocketed. Despite the many challenges that the healthcare sector faces, we witnessed phenomenal changes and developments, specifically in the health IT Sector. There is a constant evolution of technology to make processes more efficient and enhance patient experiences and outcomes.
It has become the need of the hour for healthcare service providers to invest in technological processes and systems. Technology will continue to revolutionize healthcare services and facilities, allowing professionals to develop more cost-effective and preventive solutions for their patients.
The healthcare industry is likely to witness manifold innovations in 2022. Here are the top emerging trends in health IT for 2022:
1. Telemedicine and patient monitoring: Telehealth and patient monitoring are one of the top trends that we will witness in 2022. Covid-19 forced healthcare professionals to deliver care to patients, from the remotest corners of the world. Given the circumstances, healthcare institutions are rampantly utilizing remote patient monitoring services, helping them offer timely and quality care to patients. We are already witnessing a tremendous rise in telehealth adoption, and this trend will continue.
2. Internet of Medical Things: The adoption of the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) is also transforming public health significantly. It has created a foundation for tech-enabled healthcare, increasing service efficiencies. This technology can alter the healthcare industry by bringing services to individuals who do not have access to full-time facilities.
3. Blockchain technology: Another emerging trend in health IT is blockchain. Blockchain is likely to be the next big thing in the healthcare space. Not only does it help in offering real-time solutions but also in storing patient data. Blockchain makes it easier to share information between patients and healthcare professionals and provides valuable insights about a patient’s healthcare journey too.
4. Big Data: Greater the adoption of healthcare technology, the more the volume of data available. With data becoming a significant aspect of the industry, the scope for innovation is also growing exponentially. Big data can significantly minimize healthcare costs and enhance the quality of care. By aggregating data from multiple platforms big data-enabled data mining gives an insight to the healthcare professionals into the condition of the patient leading to better outcomes. Every major healthcare project necessitates the use of big data. From an operations perspective, big data can provide well-analyzed information on the business such as staffing requirements, financials, or other administrative work, helping management make informed decisions with
5. Cybersecurity mesh: The Covid-19 outbreak presented a myriad of possibilities for hackers to attack businesses. With the increased cyber-attacks, it is evident that businesses need to up their game and invest in an architecture that would prevent such attacks. The need of the hour is to invest in a cybersecurity mesh that would secure their systems. It is prevalent in organizations that adopt a zero-trust network philosophy, where any device is by default not trusted to access the broader network. Such a network quickly adapts to the security trends and threats, swiftly modifying the accessibility needs to avert any breach. Often a soft target for hackers and cybercriminals, the healthcare industry can be expected to adopt cybersecurity mesh more rampantly in 2022.
6. Health Informatics: Health informatics is also seeing a steady boost. Thanks to big data and artificial intelligence, health informatics is also pioneering the current technological change in this industry while improving patient care. One of the integral aspects of quality healthcare is patient-centric care, facilitated by health informatics. Today, technological advancements like these, are taking the healthcare industry forward by leaps and bounds.
With 2,930 deals, global digital health investments hit a record value of $57.2 billion in funding in 2021. The pandemic has paved the way for more robust healthcare systems, providing enhanced value-based care. Technology will continue to transform the healthcare industry as more and more people make conscious efforts in their care, spiralling on-demand care. Organizations need to take the much-needed calculated risks, trust and invest in disruptive technologies and thus let go of legacy systems and processes.