2018 is poised to be a big YEAR for health tech. But which trend is about to take over? Here are five big healthcare technology trends to watch in the new year.

Healthcare technology is set to revolutionize the industry over the coming decade. The writing is on the wall as major players like Apple and Microsoft are investing heavily in healthcare tech.

In fact, nearly a dozen large tech companies in the United States cut $2.7 billion in healthcare-related deals in 2017. Five years ago, this investment figure was just $277 million.

Technology has the ability to solve many issues in the healthcare field, from records management to follow-on care. Read on to learn the top 5 healthcare technology trends to watch in 2018.

1. Continuous Health Monitoring

2018 is the year in which software applications on smartphones and watches are widely deployed for health monitoring. For example, Stanford University is running a study tracking irregular heartbeats using an app on the Apple Watch.

The possibilities for health monitoring are endless. There are numerous initiatives underway to monitor sleep patterns. Other projects monitor health vitals and trigger digital warnings when a risk threshold is crossed.

As part of the Apple Heart Study, when an irregular heartbeat is detected, patients are notified and offered professional consultation services through live video. Expect doctors and hospitals to maximize their data mining efforts in 2018 using mobile apps.

2. Blockchain Technology in Health Care

Bitcoin and its blockchain technology dominated the news last year. The cryptocurrency craze spurred major companies across the globe to see how blockchain could work for them.

The concept behind blockchain is an untraceable and encrypted ledger that protects financial transactions. It is easy to see how this technology is applicable to the medical field.

In 2018, look for companies to deploy blockchain solutions for protecting healthcare records and data.

3. Digital Tech to Improve Follow-On Care

The healthcare provider can only do so much to secure a positive patient outcome. Some of the responsibility inevitably falls to the patient.

Microsoft is investing significant time and resources in this step of the healthcare process. For instance, the software company is developing an app that notifies doctors that patient prescriptions have been filled.

Another beta project involves a virtual healthcare assistant that interprets consultations between a doctor and patient. This way, patients can refer back to the software app for a summary of the doctor’s findings and treatment options.

4. Cloud Application Services

Health care providers are rapidly turning to cloud-based storage solutions. Look for health organizations to use the cloud for storage and backup of medical data.

In a recent survey, 25 percent of healthcare executives plan to invest in cloud application services next year. These efforts are certain to make health care providers more efficient and reduce cost.

5. Telehealth

Mobile and video technology improvements are making communication easier than ever before. This spurred the establishment of telehealth arrangements, which utilizes virtual options to break down physical and geological barriers.

Now a patient can consult virtually with a cancer specialist, without driving several hours. In California, online visits to the doctor have increased roughly 30 percent since 2015.

Healthcare Technology Trends – Wrapping It Up

Clearly, there are some exciting technological advancements in the healthcare industry. Providers are sure to benefit from blockchain technology and cloud application services on the administrative side.

In addition, mobile technology brings doctors and patients closer than ever before. For more information on healthcare technology trends, please contact us.

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