The tremendous growth in technology is now influencing hospitals at a rapidly growing pace as the hospitals in the United States and the rest of the world are becoming more “intelligent” and “smart.”

The technological revolution has found its way into healthcare facilities and it is redefining the facilities in the healthcare industry in a way that is incorporating more and more of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning. Online technologies like cloud computing are finding its ways into the lives of patients and people who have chronical illnesses allowing doctors and other medical professionals make more informed decisions and timely decisions making them more productive and efficient. Technologist and scientist perceive that by the year 2020 the medical facilities like hospitals will become truly smart on a large scale.  

Technologies that will Transform the Healthcare industry

Some of the technologies associated with a number of aspects of our lives are leading the way in the revolution that is taking place in our medical facilities helping doctors and researchers better understand diseases and help will the administration of hospitals and associated medical and healthcare facilities. 

Technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data – the fourth industrial revolution is going to transform the medical landscape forever affecting the lives of all of us. The IoT has already become mainstream and generating data at a rate much faster than ever before with data being in much greater detail. The world data volume is expected to grow by 40% a year and it will grow to about 50% by the year 2020. Perhaps, the biggest drawback is that the healthcare costs for patients are getting out of hands. The healthcare costs are going to rise 4.2 percent a year from $7.1 trillion starting in 2015 to 8.7 trillion in just about five years by the end of 2020. It is something that makes it completely infeasible for many countries that are struggling with economic challenges.

It has been recommended by medical and administrative experts that healthcare providers must work in collaboration with healthcare system partners to bring the prices of healthcare products and services down. If the medical technologies are to play an important role in our lives then a review of the way it is provided and managed has to be seriously considered.

Two Technological Innovations Transforming the Healthcare

There are certain technologies that are emerging and transforming the way the healthcare industry works. Some of those technologies are mentioned below.

Blockchain Technology

The blockchain is a shared and immutable piece of recorded data that is stored on a peer to peer network. Each peer has its own identical copy of this data and it cannot be altered without a unanimous consensus of the hosts that share the data. The blockchain data is stored on a distributed ledger. The blockchain is considered to be the next “Google” according to some experts and it is being hailed as one of the biggest technological innovation made by mankind that is not limited only to the realm of healthcare.

The blockchain technology is equally benefiting to medical researchers and practitioners allowing traditional data silos to be bridged for more secure and efficient use over networks dramatically increasing IT and organizational efficiencies and streamline patient’s access to medical data. The blockchain is seen as the single most innovative and the biggest breakthrough in the data security and patient privacy during the data exchange process over a network. The blockchain provides transparency not only between the patient and the doctor but in several different ways it enhances the visibility of data between different healthcare providers.  

Genomics and Big Data based precision medication and Drug Development

The human genome project led to the discovery of 1800 diseases and 2000 genetic tests have been developed for human conditions. Genomics heavily relies on digital technologies and AI as computers and robots play a crucial role in the scaling of genomics sequencing and enablement of gene editing. The genomics has its major impacts on oncology and to some extent in the non-oncology indications have explored targeted approaches. This is leading to great breakthroughs in cancer genomics.

The technology including the information technology will play a pivotal role in creating the healthcare systems of the future and transform the environments of healthcare and medical treatments in new and interesting ways.   

Cite this article as:
Murtaza Aftab, "Hospitals in the United States are Deploying Smart Technologies," in Medicalopedia, July 20, 2019, [Permalink: https://www.medicalopedia.org/7623/hospitals-in-the-united-states-are-deploying-smart-technologies/].