Medtech is becoming a trendy buzzword that might interest you, especially if you're trying to break into the industry with an app or website that is med-centric.
As is the case in many spaces, the medtech field is undergoing a lot of digital transformation and it’s important to keep up with these shifts. Perhaps they will justify an app or website idea you already have or give you a new idea for an app or website that aligns with current trends.
What is medtech?
Medtech, short for “medical technology,” covers any technology used by medical professionals that can be used in a care setting – from patient-centered wellness to surgical procedures and beyond.
Medtech trends to watch out for in 2019
The medtech industry affects a lot of people – doctors, patients, and students – so it’s important to look at the trends from multiple points of view. Let’s dive in and analyze the 10 most disruptive medtech trends to know in 2019.
Click below to read more about any of the 10 following medtech trends to watch out for in 2019:
- Wearable technology
- Data privacy
- AI and healthcare
- Robotic process automation
- Voice assistant applications
- Personalized health insurance
- 3D printing
- Doctors making house calls
1. Wearable technology
Health and fitness apps aren’t new, but they are forecast to continue growing in popularity throughout 2019 and beyond. The component that is new this year pertaining to wearable technologies is the adoption rates of doctors using them to monitor patients. There are apps to monitor infants’ temperatures, check for cardiac irregularities, analyze electrolytes in sweat, as well as many others; these apps interact with smartphones to give doctors and patients an overview of their health.
According to a report from Accenture, 91% of healthcare providers say that monitoring patients via wearable technologies will be a part of their wellness and prevention initiatives.
Wearable technologies for health conditions are in demand so much that the FDA launched a pre-certification program for medtech wearable programs to speed up the time it takes to get them to the marketplace.
Remote patient monitoring and virtual doctor appointments through video conferencing software is booming in the medtech space. With a doctor being a video call away, many patients are more proactive about receiving care from the comfort of their homes. This is also a more affordable way to receive care for non-emergency conditions.
Telemedicine also means that fewer patients stay overnight in hospitals since doctors can monitor their patients through video calls and smartphones. This leads to great patient care at a more affordable rate than an overnight stay at a hospital.
3. Data privacy
Even though so many components of healthcare are going mobile, it’s crucial to keep data privacy and HIPAA regulations in mind. HIPAA laws mandate that patient health records are kept private. With the digital age consuming us, this is even more of a hot issue. While many aspects of healthcare are going mobile, there still need to be security measures in place to ensure you don’t suffer through a data breach.
Penalties for violating HIPAA laws can range anywhere from 100 to 1.5 million dollars, so this is not a matter to take lightly. If you want to create a medtech app or website and make sure you are HIPAA-compliant, make sure that you find an web or app development partner who specializes in medtech. Security features like voice or facial recognition are a great start to ensure that your app or website doesn’t get hacked.
4. AI and healthcare
Now that so much patient information is available in the Cloud, medical professionals are able to use data to get a better understanding of diagnostic trends and data driven solutions. Artificial intelligence can help doctors diagnose issues earlier, leading to better patient care.
AI in terms of medicine will help scientists analyze more data about pharmaceuticals they are testing faster and more efficiently leading to a quicker market turnaround time. AI will also be able to help staff become more efficient and take over burdensome tasks like scheduling changes, data entry, coding, and more.
According to research, by 2021, AI in healthcare is predicted to grow to 6.6 billion dollars.
TIP: Read five ways how artificial intelligence is being used in healthcare in 2019!
5. Robotic process automation
As robotics in healthcare continue to advance, the implementation of robotic process automation (RPA) will be especially helpful for surgical tactics that are prone to errors. The addition of robotics assists with bringing precision to surgery among other tasks that can be made easier with automation.
6. Voice assistant applications
Voice assistant applications are becoming more prevalent in healthcare. HIPAA-compliant chatbots will be taking over some workflow tasks, such as online appointment scheduling, calling in scripts, fielding patient calls, transcribing medical records, and more. This frees up time for doctors to focus more on patient care and doing less “busy work.”
7. Personalized health insurance
Health insurance policies often fail to meet patients’ needs. To fix this issue, health insurance companies are looking for new ways to cater to existing patients while attracting new ones. Recently, some insurance companies are offering personalized plans based on lifestyle and data-driven factors.
8. 3D printing
The 3D printing market is set to hit 1.7 billion dollars by the end of 2022. Some common ways that 3D printing is currently being implemented is the creation of implants, development of surgical instruments, and advancement for medical students to work on skill-building in regards to 3D printing.
9. Doctors making house calls
On-demand apps are bringing a resurgence of house calls. People are used to getting what they want when and wherever they want it. Immediacy is key, so it’s unsurprising that healthcare and medicine is going the same route.
When you’re sick, you likely don’t feel like leaving the house to visit a doctor. From a physician’s standpoint, creating a schedule where you aren’t stuck in-office all day allows for more physical flexibility as well.
A house-call app that’s currently on the market is Luna. Luna connects patients with physical therapists who can come to a patient’s house to provide them with the treatment they need. Apps like this help patients follow through with their treatment protocol from home since they eliminate the need for in-office visits. An added bonus to house calls is the cost savings for both patients and physicians.
When analyzing mectech trends, it’s important to not just understand how trends will affect doctors and patients, it’s also important to look at new trends in the way that medical students (future doctors) are affected.
Smartphones are being welcome in med school classrooms thanks to their learning benefits for students. Using smartphones in the classrooms allows students to experience the technology that they’ll need to get used to as a doctor in their respective fields.
Takeaways for the future of medtech
Wearable technology, telemedicine, data acquisition, robotics, and advancements in artificial intelligence are the top areas to keep an eye on as medtech continues to be a growing industry. In addition, voice assistants, 3D printing technology, and on-demand nature of “I need it now” will help the medical sphere become more patient-centered.
Want to learn more about other artificial intelligence trends? Read on to see 11 applications of AI in 2019!