2021 healthcare IT trends you should know about

January 22nd, 2021
2021 healthcare IT trends you should know about

With 2020 behind us and COVID-19 vaccine distribution under way, 2021 may prove to be the year in which New York and the Tri-State Area are revitalized, both in economic and in public health terms.

Undoubtedly, we want a return to certain parts of our way of life. We want to watch movies in movie theaters, dine in restaurants, work out with our buddies at the gym, and fly to our desired vacation spots. We’ll be able to go back to these things in part because of IT advancements in the healthcare industry.

Let’s take a look at this year’s healthcare IT trends we can all be excited about.

Artificial intelligence (AI) for containing contagion

COVID-19 has accelerated our use of AI to prevent the spread of current and future pandemics, as well as improve our treatment of virus-borne diseases.

Detecting pandemics

Applications such as BlueDot can gather information from over 100,000 media sources globally to predict the onset of outbreaks. The data points BlueDot scans include regional and global climate conditions, animal and insect populations, and flight itineraries worldwide, among others.

Thermal screening

New thermal screening systems can measure the temperatures of individuals in crowds. AI can quickly parse through data to precisely point out those who have a fever, one of the telltale signs of COVID-19 and other infectious viral-borne diseases.

Vaccine development

When the immune system detects a foreign object, such as a virus, it does not necessarily profile the entire virus. Rather, it commits to “memory” identifiable components such as unique protein fragments found on the surface of the virus.

Machine learning-powered programs expedite the discovery of fragments so that these may be used in vaccines. Essentially, these vaccines will introduce into the body the protein fragments that trigger the strongest immune response. When a virus infects someone, their immune system quickly recognizes the virus’ protein fragments and eliminates the threat before it gets the chance to replicate and overwhelm the body.

Artificial intelligence (AI) for containing contagion

Telehealth services allow patients to consult with their doctors and receive care without having to go to the hospital and risk exposing themselves to the novel coronavirus and other pathogens. Because of this, such services are growing and are projected to grow even after the pandemic is over.

Telemedicine providers normally use apps that enable patients to book virtual appointments, communicate with their caregivers via chat or video call, transfer files such as photos or electronic medical records, and receive electronic prescriptions.

More advanced apps can integrate with data stores of electronic health records and sync with wearable health monitoring devices like blood glucose monitors. This means that telemedicine can deliver preemptive or preventive healthcare as well as alert caregivers of emergency situations as soon as they happen.

Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)

The surge in telehealth adoption goes hand in hand with the increased adoption of IoMT devices. These are Internet of Things (IoT) devices, but built for delivering healthcare.

Essentially, IoT devices collect, analyze, and transmit data to a centralized location, such as a remote user’s computer. Smart IoT devices, in particular, can actually communicate with one another and/or respond to external stimuli without prompts from a user.

These characteristics of IoT devices also define IoMT devices. Wearables and implants monitor and transmit health indicators such as blood pressure. Some are even designed to recognize if the wearer has suffered a sudden fall. As previously mentioned, these devices allow for remote patient monitoring and can call for ambulatory services during emergencies. Additionally, connected stationary diagnostic devices, such as X-ray machines and MRI scanners, wirelessly add patient data to electronic health records.

Beyond these, new medical technologies are being based on IoMT. For example, a unified drug delivery system (iDDS) for automatic seizure control could detect when an epileptic episode transpires and automatically deliver the required dosage. If proven to be viable, this innovation can be adopted for many different ailments that require on-time delivery of medication.

Thinking about improving the care you provide your patients?

IT is undoubtedly key to delivering the best health outcomes for your patients. You need reliable IT systems, be it for quick and accurate diagnostics, real-time patient monitoring, or managing sensitive patient data. You need systems that enable users to quickly collect and analyze data to make informed medical decisions, do not suffer interoperability issues, and are secure against cyberattacks and data loss. Schedule a free consultation to discover how Healthy IT can meet all of your IT needs.