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4 Healthcare Tech Trends to Watch

26 May 2015 by Jessica Hall

Are you wary of hearing about how technology is changing the landscape of every industry in the world? Then you are only human. And when it comes to healthcare, the trend is no different.

Healthcare organizations are finding ways to educate, diagnose and treat patients through innovative virtual methods. As the needs and expectations of the healthcare consumer are changing at an unprecedented rate, there are four main healthcare tech trends to watch.

1. The Fast Adoption of Telehealth

With the digital age of consumers comes a new set of expectations, including transparency, interaction and convenience. In fact, the patient monitoring market will exceed $5 billion by 2020 as a result of double-digit growth over the next five years in the telehealth market, predicts an iData Research survey. Whether it is the use of physician-to-patient consultations via email and Skype or the ability to conduct cardiac monitoring of ICU’s, organizations are satisfying their patients’ need to be informed, evaluated and validated at all times.

2. Utilizing Patient Portals and Social Media

Where previous generations took more passive roles as consumers of healthcare, today’s patient looks to online sources and social media for information-related health issues. Healthcare organizations must address this autonomous behavior and meet patients where they are clicking. According to the 2014 Market Insights survey by National Research Corporation, 45.6% of respondents searched for health information via social media.

3. The Use of Analytics and Cloud Solutions

Any healthcare organization can benefit from the high-speed processing of cloud services, offering analytics, interactive systems, high-security data storage and patient monitoring all streamlined through a third-party provider.

4. Mobile Health is Going Mainstream

In a world that The Economist is calling “The Planet of the Smartphones,” it is crucial that healthcare organizations find their way into the market of more than 50,000 existing apps designed for patient healthcare. A typical patient will only spend 1% of his or her life in a doctor’s office or healthcare facility. In contrast, 80% of the U.S. adult population will have a smartphone in their pockets by 2020. Pew Internet Project’s research related to health and health care found 31% of cell phone owners, and 52% of smartphone owners, have used their phone to look up health or medical information.

All healthcare organizations should plan for change in patient expectations and expedite the implementation of digital strategies to satisfy their patients’ current needs if they haven’t already. For the IT professional, that healthcare tech transition begins here.

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