Amid worries about public health and the outbreak of unanticipated pandemics, both governments and healthcare organizations start turning more attention to improving medical services with the support of modern technologies. Highly applicable to different aspects of the healthcare industry, technological products have significantly changed the way it operates. Here are top 10 noticeable software solutions in healthcare that promise to manage operations of clinical centers effectively and ensure the good performance of examination and treatment.
1. Virtual Healthcare (or Telehealth)
Have you ever felt exhausted from queuing for medical checkups or ongoing treatment of chronic health conditions? If yes, it’s advisable to use telehealth services instead. According to the 2017 research of Parks Associates, 60% of US households using broadband are longing for remote interactions with medical professionals for regular checkups or home-based fitness training.
Indeed, through such communication technologies as video conferencing, wearable devices or fitness trackers, virtual healthcare provides more convenient communications between doctors, nurses and patients. Accordingly, citizens can easily access healthcare services when they don’t feel well enough to leave home. As reported by Visual Capitalist, moreover, 53% of health monitor users frequently share data and status updates with physicians. This helps healthcare specialists to closely follow their patients’ health conditions and offer better wellness plans.
2. AI Applications
Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology is commonly accessible in software solutions in healthcare industry. Its widespread applications range from preliminary diagnosis of several diseases (e.g. stroke or cancer), dosage error reduction to clinical trial participation. Of which, both Machine Learning (ML) and AI are mostly adopted in robot-assisted surgery and virtual nursing assistant, according to Accenture. Inevitably, using AI technology and robots in several types of surgery and treatment will ensure greater precision, minimize infections during surgery, better deal with complications, increase recovery time of sufferers and reduce burdens on surgeons.
Surveyed by Visual Capitalist, healthcare providers also plan to apply AI technology more into improving population health, managing diseases and supporting accurate clinical decisions by basing proper treatments on the collection of health data.
3. Internet of Medical Things (IoMTs)
The potential of IoMTs in healthcare services is of variety. The outstanding use of IoMTs lies on nanomedicine. This medical term involves employing microscopic materials, typically smart pills, ingestible sensors or nanorobots that are delivered to the patients’ body for precise diagnosis and cure. Those sensors can transmit data about the health status of patients to computer systems of practitioners.
Further, IoMTs also extend to different aspects of the healthcare industry. Inbuilt sensors integrated in medical devices such as wheelchairs, wearable health monitors or pregnancy testing kits will help healthcare providers improve patient outcomes, drug management and treatment based on collected data.
4. Electronic Health Records (EHRs)
EHRs are optimal software solutions to store health information of patients. Instead of paper-based data storage, healthcare organizations will move all patient records — including previous diagnosis, treatment plans, medications, testing results and so forth — to an electronic or cloud computing system. With a simple search, physicians and other healthcare providers can chart the treatment history of patients and thus quickly and effectively give sensible recommendations.
5. Testing and Imaging Solutions
The medtech industry has also witnessed advancements in testing and imaging solutions. The use of deep learning, cloud computing and advanced visualization facilitates the collection of high-quality images of human anatomy and heart sounds. Thereby, doctors can precisely analyze the current status of patients’ body, hence decrease health-related risks such as heart attacks, cancers and blockages in blood flow.
6. 3D Printing, hopeful software solutions in healthcare industry
Despite its later debut, 3D printing technology has been increasingly adopted in healthcare facilities. Its primary use is to build a wide range of artificial organs (e.g. artificial bones or prosthesis) from buildable materials (e.g. plastic or stem cells). With the prospect of this technology, various body parts will hopefully be replaceable, for example, skin graft or even hearts.
Its latest breakthrough is polypill which is suitable for those contracting numerous diseases. This polypill can contain different kinds of drugs at once, each of which has a different release time. So it helps reduce medication costs yet still guarantee the treatment quality.
7. Virtual Reality
In the 2017 report of ABI Research, Virtual Reality (VR) services in the medtech industry are estimated to increase from US$8.9 million in 2017 to US$285 million in 2022. VR technology is mostly used in such four healthcare segments as surgery-related applications, therapy, training and medical research.
VR could be common in medical therapies for those suffering acute physical pain and mental disorders. Many healthcare organizations have introduced VR simulations to therapy sessions with therapists or physicians. Immersion in simulated worlds proves effective in supporting patients to manage their anxiety and speed up physical recovery.
In addition, VR devices are highly applicable to medical training. Specifically, this technology builds virtual environments for medicine students and specialists to perform different practices, even multiple times. Besides, VR is applicable in real conferences for improved experience and in helping doctors undergo the life of the elderly or disabled and therefore suggest more proper care.
Surgical training is another application of VR despite its low popularity. Normally, real surgeries are too complicated for VR to simulate accurately. However, many healthcare professionals still believe this issue is solvable in the future, and VR can create realistic simulations for training surgeons.
8. Hospital Management System
Far beyond the improvement of population health, healthcare providers also focus on administering clinical workflows with the adoption of hospital management systems (HMSs). Such software empowers hospitals and clinics to streamline all administrative, financial, medical and legal processes in those institutions with the purpose of promoting end-user experience and diminishing operational costs. Without hospital management systems, healthcare centers may struggle to control enormous workloads.
9. Blood Bank Management System
As a web-based application, blood bank management system could monitor, retrieve, process and analyze the blood-related information stored in the local blood bank. This great system provides a long list of blood cells, inventory and donors, which contributes to ensure the safety and quality of supplied blood bags. Also, it will immediately announce the shortage or scarcity of any blood groups. This unsurprisingly benefits patients who need blood transfusions during surgical procedure.
10. Patient Scheduling Software
Despite the upward trend of virtual healthcare, in-person visits in clinical centers or at the patient’s house are still necessary. To increase the productivity of on-site checkups and diagnosis, patient scheduling software is developed to arrange appointments with patients. Similar to EHRs, some medical scheduling software can incorporate personal data of patients, hence easily reminding them of the following checkup times and improving their satisfaction with provided services.
There is no denying that technologies have transformed medical services and management practices in a positive way. Accordingly, software solutions in healthcare have proved their significance in different aspects of the industry: medical services, clinical operations, training, medical research and so on. Facing the possible deterioration of public health due to new illnesses in the future, the whole world can count on technologies to find optimal solutions for improving the global population’s health.