Healthcare Technology – Industry Trends and Solutions
The complexities in financing and delivering health services around the world have changed only slightly over the past few years and are likely to continue into 2022. But how can companies in the industry counter them? Technology in healthcare today is one of the most important and constantly changing directions for the development of this niche. Aging populations, the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases and comorbidities, the development of costly clinical innovations have increased patient awareness. At the same time, their expectations grew, and the persistent economics drove the rising demand for health services and the associated costs except for some regions. These are just a few of the key factors and trends affecting the global health sector. The following provides more details on healthcare technology trends affecting the industry in 2022 and highlights issues for stakeholders to consider.
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The Current State of the Market
The development of innovative methods is necessary both from a clinical and an economic point of view. Today, robotic surgery, 3D printing, implantable devices, and other innovations based on digital solutions and modern technology in healthcare demonstrate the colossal potential for improving results and reducing costs. In addition, new approaches to R&D, big data technologies, and analytics open new opportunities for innovations. However, it’s difficult for stakeholders to take advantage of them due to the need to reduce costs.
9 Biggest Technological Advancements for Healthcare in the Last Decade
In modern medicine, breakthroughs occur constantly, because in addition to coronavirus diseases, there are enough problems that have existed for years. But for various reasons, every new technology in the medical field often goes unnoticed outside a narrow circle, even when it comes to innovations that are understandable to a non-specialist, and is possible to be “touched by hand”.
Ebola Virus Vaccine
Pharmaceuticals in the world become a driver of scientific research. Therefore, biotechnology remains the most important technology in the healthcare industry in terms of absolute and relative costs. Solutions in this niche account for 70% of all investments in the medical field – more than 1 trillion USD. A huge part of this money goes to research and development.
Prenatal diagnosis of chromosomal abnormalities
This is a screening study that helps to determine the most common fetal chromosomal abnormalities that lead to malformations, psychomotor retardation, and social maladjustment of the child. The analysis is carried out on a sample of the woman’s blood, starting from the 10th week of pregnancy, which helps to avoid invasive procedures (amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling, cordocentesis) associated with risks for her and the baby. The test is possible both for singleton pregnancies and for twins.
The bionic eye is a special device that helps blind patients compensate for their disabilities. The principle of operation of this device is based on the implantation of an artificial retina into the damaged eyeball, which allows doctors to activate the work of the remaining neuroreceptors.
Molecular diagnostics and genome analysis
Molecular diagnostics involves the analysis of a patient’s biomarkers – primarily their genetic codes and ways how cells reflect genes. These tests provide information that can be useful in developing the most effective treatment or predicting the most appropriate drug for a particular patient. Molecular diagnostics often require genome sequencing.
Molecular imaging plays an important role in drug discovery, helping to capture biological processes at the molecular and cellular levels. It provides an opportunity to better understand protein structures, cell functions, and molecular processes in living organisms. Because it provides a better understanding of healthy and diseased body tissues, it can be used in precision medicine, particularly in the treatment of cancer.
This healthcare technology will take some time for the development of bionic limbs to look and feel like they are “native”. However, progress has been made towards this goal. Some prostheses can recognize not only muscle movements but also very weak signals from nerve endings. This allows patients to control their arms or legs literally with the help of thought, as well as make complex synchronized movements with a healthy limb. Other advances in modern prosthetics include bionic lenses for restoring nature vision.
HIV treatment improvement
HIV treatment has come a long way since the disease appeared in the 1980’s. Initially, the treatment consisted of a single regimen, which was ineffective due to a large number of drugs taken and their serious side effects. Monotherapy (single drug treatment) also allowed HIV to mutate into a form that eventually stopped responding to individual drugs. In other words, the disease was becoming immune to the available treatments. HIV drugs and treatments continued to be improved during the first two decades of the 21st century. In 2017 and 2019, two-component drugs were released – “Juluka” and “Dovato”. This healthcare technology advances can reduce the toxicity of ARV therapy and the cost of treatment.
Targeted therapy for cancer treatment
Traditional chemotherapy and radiation affect all actively dividing cells, both cancerous and healthy, causing a new set of problems. At the same time, targeted drugs have a specific “goal”, so they act on the body more sparingly and cause fewer side effects. New targeted therapy works in one of two ways:
preventing the spread of cancer by blocking cells involved in tumor growth;
identifying and destroying only cancer cells (this type of treatment is suitable for older patients as opposed to more toxic chemotherapy).
One of the best technologies in the healthcare industry in the 21st century are low-invasive surgery methods. Laparoscopy is performed through one or more small incisions with the help of small tubes (they contain tiny cameras) and surgical instruments. Here are some advantages of laparoscopic surgery compared to traditional surgery:
shorter recovery period;
scars are smaller than with conventional surgery.
Medicine progresses every day. That’s why more and more new digital trends are able to transform the treatment of fatal diseases into standard operations, which any doctor is able to cope with anywhere in the world. Therefore, the healthcare technology industry is one of the most progressive areas.