The health system is prone to cyber-attacks and other forms of cyber mischief just like any other industry so, naturally, leaders in the health industry are doing whatever they can to adequately respond to all the challenges put before them.With that in mind, we can safely say that they are looking for a new opportunity with each coming year as modern technology advances rapidly.

With Google, Amazon, and Apple finding their way into healthcare, these leaders are expressing some optimism about future healthcare tech such as telehealth services but still have to invest to defend against cyber-attacks.

According to a recent survey, telehealth and cybersecurity are among three top areas of health IT for 2019 as these IT technologies, along with artificial intelligence,machine learning, and the rise of chatbots will have the most impact on healthcare in the years to come.

Digital Health Spendings Will Cross $25 Billion

Digital health solutions will continue to go far beyond the traditional healthcare system, especially in 2019, and these solutions will significantly empower individuals to better care and manage their own health. It’s expected that digital health spendings will cross $25 billion globally by the end of the next year.

There’s a good reason for digital health tech catering to out-of-hospital settings as the aging population and chronic health conditions are main drivers for digital health solutions such as mHealth applications, PERS, telehealth platforms, and RPM devices.

Healthcare delivery models will continue to expand way beyond physical medicine due to favorable reimbursement policies towards clinically relevant digital health applications. Therefore, these new models will include prescription management,nutrition, dentistry, digital wellness therapies, and behavioral health. When we take all this into consideration, here are the four most important healthtech solutions that will set the terrain for 2019.

Cybersecurity

As the world relies more and more on technology to keep turning, cybercriminals and hackersare also stepping up their game. Lately, there has been an increasing number of attacks on the healthcare industry. It’s no wonder that healthcare leaders are already making plans to spend more on cybersecurity in 2019 since almost the entire healthcare system has already gone digital.

Cybersecurity investments should protect both technology and staff, focusing on areas such as dual authentication, intruder detection software, and firewalls as these are the most important areas that guard against any attempt of breaching of protected health information.

The prioritization of cybersecurity, as well as financial investment, have been trends for quite some time now, but despite this, many healthcare leaders are still not convinced enough or confident enough about IT business continuity and recovery plans due to constant attacks and breaches.

It turns out that employee and staff education is the greatest cybersecurity challenge as this is the greatest point of weakness. As healthcare systems continue to be digitalized, cybersecurity is surely a necessary innovation to protect the investment.

AI for Healthcare Keeps Growing

The growth of AI in the healthcare space is more than evident. Non-clinical and clinical use cases continue to increase as so many healthcare organizations realized how useful AI can be for healthcare. In fact, operationalizing artificial intelligence platforms with chatbots across carefully selected healthcare workflows will see a significant increase in productivity.

More specifically, the best use of AI with a chatbot in healthcare isin the risk analytics application, drug discovery, and imaging diagnostic. With all this in mind, it’s absolutely safe to say that AI supported with chatbots will be one of the main technologies that will change the healthcare industry for the better in 2019.

When we add the fact that AI chatbot platforms such as SnatchBot.me allow users to build customized chatbots supported by AI to better suit their sophisticated and special needs, it’s more than clear that AI will continue to grow in the field of healthcare, upgrading and enhancing healthcare systems to better take care of people who depend on them.

Telehealth

When it comes to telehealth in the healthcare industry of today, much of it depends on patient payments and internal funding as well as on commercial and government reimbursement. It’s exactly the lack of reimbursement that is blocking the path to adopting greater telehealth services and technology systems. Telehealth involves the use of virtual technology and telecommunication to deliver healthcare outside traditional physical medicine and healthcare facilities.

It only requires access to telecommunications and is the most basic and essential element of eHealth. It’s an excellent and purposeful way of using the latest and most innovative communication and information technologies to provide the most advanced and efficient healthcare to patients.

The best examples of telehealth are virtual home healthcare, where elderly and chronically ill patients may receive the necessary medical guidance without leaving the comfort of their home, or professional medical guidance provided by healthcare workers in remote fields. Virtual follow-ups and ease of patient triage and integration with the clinical workflow are top features when it comes to telehealth systems.

Big Data Will Shift to Specialized Small Data

Before 2019 ends, almost half of all healthcare organizations will have had their resources invested in analyzing, sharing and accessing real-time evidence for use across their organizations. It’s no secret that the healthcare industry is becoming more and more comfortable with data management workflows.

So,naturally, healthcare providers are relying on specialty-specific analytics solutions to improve their efficiency in self-care program attribution, billing discrepancy, clinical trial eligibility, treatment variability, and drug utilization.

The primary goals of leveraging the far advanced analytics capabilities for healthcare payers will include operational automation by procedures, physicians, payers,and patients as well as identifying the best treatment pathways with the best outcomes and the lowest costs and, finally, population health management.

Cite this article as:
Editorial Staff, "Healthcare Tech That We Can Expect to See in Hospitals in 2019," in Medicalopedia, December 21, 2018, [Permalink: https://www.medicalopedia.org/7112/healthcare-tech-that-we-can-expect-to-see-in-hospitals-in-2019/].