Top Technology Trends in the Post-COVID-19 World
Although the healthcare industry was already undergoing a massive transformation due to advancements in healthcare technology, the momentum has picked up after the COVID-19 pandemic. The following healthcare technology trends are helping the industry prepare for a world after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Telemedicine has been a potent tool in ensuring continuity of medical services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual care platforms, using digital monitoring and video conferencing, have been used across the world to increase healthcare access. When human interactions were forced to be limited, telemedicine enabled doctors to assist at an early stage and even help patients with chronic diseases manage their condition.
Below are some examples:
- In the UAE, the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) launched a virtual doctor chatbot to assess potential COVID-19 cases.
- In Canada, video consultation rose from and estimated 1,000 visits per day in February to 14 000 per day by mid-May.
Artificial Intelligence has facilitated rapid diagnosis and risk prediction of COVID-19. It enables fast diagnoses and reduces the chances of error to a great extent.
For example, China is using a cloud-based AI-assisted CT service for the detection of COVID-19 pneumonia cases. It is capable of processing CT images in seconds, speeding up the diagnostic process substantially.
Sonavi Labs’ Feelix is an AI-powered digital stethoscope and software which can diagnose respiratory conditions.
The Coronavirus crisis put immense pressure on healthcare organizations and workers. Since the pandemic outbreak, they have been overwhelmed by the volume of patients and the lack of protective gear, such as PPE kits, gloves, face masks, eye protection, etc. There also has been a shortage of respirators, ventilators, and other life-saving equipment. 3-D printing can help address this issue.
For instance, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York City, has a 3D printing laboratory running six printers that could be used in times of need for printing ventilators and supplies such as nasal swabs, N95 masks, etc.
Big data is a new trend set to transform the healthcare industry in the coming years. The pandemic has brought new big data-driven practices of infectious disease surveillance. In the Middle East especially, there is a huge demand for big data to track patients, the spread of the epidemic, and make important COVID-19 related decisions. Big data is a potent tool for swift identification of public health risks and emergency preparedness, which is exactly what the world needs to combat the virus.
As the coronavirus continues to be a threat to humanity, healthcare technology will empower the world to beat this invisible enemy. The search for innovations is still on, and what new developments emerge out of all the efforts will be surely important for everyone to know.