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Introduction

The healthcare industry is in the midst of a digital revolution that is fuelled by rise of smart medical devices, learnings from global COVID-19 pandemic and commoditisation of IT hardware. The impact is felt in every aspect of healthcare, from prevention to treatment to recovery. Much of this is driven by the phenomenal growth of medical data 

Approximately 30% of the world’s data output is produced by the healthcare industry. And it is growing at a CAGR of 36%, which is faster than the financial industry, media & entertainment sector, and the industrial sector. 

“Healthcare technology will, one day very soon, literally touch us all on a daily basis.”
– Greg Wiederrecht (Managing Director, Global Investment Banking, Healthcare Group at RBC Capital Markets)

The rise of wearables has boosted customer compliance and enhanced data collection. The newest developments will do more than just collect data; they’ll also offer advice and administer care. Technology is rapidly personalising healthcare on a large scale.

Digital Trends in the Healthcare Sector

Telemedicine 

The convenience of telemedicine (more attuned to busy schedule, lack of travel, etc.) for nonemergency medical visits is contributing to its adoption among patients and doctor, alike. 

AI-based Medical Triage

When medical emergencies strike, doctors are often uncertain of the right course of treatment needed by patients. AI-based medical triage can easily classify the severity of the emergency as well as provide decision support needed to save lives. 

Longitudinal Patient Records 

The ability to access comprehensive record of a patient across their entire life and spanning different bouts of ailment and different courses of treatment from different doctors is an idealised scenario. This benefits not the patient, in terms of personalised care, but also population at large. Longitudinal Patient Records can be used by pharmaceutical companies to research new drugs, public healthcare providers to predict epidemics, etc. 

Federated Machine Learning 

Federated machine learning allows AI researchers to train AI models across multiple datasets spread over different geographies, without sharing any data. This is gaining importance as it allows AI research while preserving medical privacy. 

Health Chatbots 

Medical chatbots are enhancing client interactions, delivering vital information instantly, and streamlining internal workflow (automatic appointment booking, crucial data changes, etc.). Additionally, patients can receive immediate feedback about the most frequently asked questions, which lightens the load on the medical personnel. 

Digital healthcare technologies have already demonstrated their potential and effectiveness in real-world scenarios. They are put into practice to create a win-win-win situation for patients, payers and providers.

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