The future of healthcare is already upon us, with technology meant to improve the patient experience and create efficiencies for nurses. Get to know four areas of technology that could shift the professional healthcare experience as we know it.
Introducing: The Internet of Medical Things
#Trending technology in healthcare
While the Internet of Things has been a topic of conversation for a while, the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) is poised to transform the way doctors and patients share information. With devices that can monitor patient health at the biological level, issues can be identified earlier so both caregivers and doctors can intervene and diagnose more accurately.
IoMT by the numbers:
• Today there are 3.7 million connected medical devices in use.
• 10% of medical devices are enabled with wifi.
• By 2021, the IoMT market will reach $136.8 billion worldwide.
24/7 contact with telehealth
Many healthcare providers already offer telehealth services, like virtual doctor appointments, online patient portals and customer service chat bots. Telehealth encompasses all digital communication technologies (email, texting, mobile apps, chat bots and video) and has been shown to increase accessibility of care and reduce hospital visits, mortality rates and more. This trend will only keep growing.
Telehealth by the numbers:
• More than 50% of U.S. hospitals currently have a telehealth program.
• A 2016 survey found that 94-99% of patients were “very satisfied” with telehealth.
• 60% of millennials support the use of telehealth to replace in-office visits.
Say hello to voice and AI
As a society, we’re pretty familiar with voice-enabled devices in our homes, but soon we might have this kind of technology in hospitals and doctor’s offices. Plus, the devices already in our homes will be able to communicate with healthcare providers. This technology could make managing chronic care easier, with medication reminders, daily logs and more. In hospitals it could make it easier for patients to ask the daily menu or request nurse care.
Voice and AI by the numbers:
• By 2020 it’s estimated that 75% of Americans will own a smart speaker.
• Northwell Health has tested an Alexa skill that gives ER and urgent care wait times based on zip code.
• Libertana Home Health uses voice technology to help elderly patients remember medications and scheduled activities.
More technology means higher security
Follow these four tips to keep information secure: Technology is moving the healthcare industry forward in ways that could improve communication, experience and outcomes. But the more patient data is collected and shared, the more the industry must protect it. As technology advances, rules, regulations and processes must, too.
Follow these four tips to keep information secure:
1) Don’t sidestep company firewalls.
2) Never sell or share your login credentials.
3) Alert IT immediately to suspicious emails.
4) Be sure devices with patient data are encrypted.
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