As healthcare technology continue to rapidly advance, it is important for executives to be aware of those that will make running a healthcare organization more efficient and impactful. Though many technology advances have bells and whistles, those that can make patient satisfaction and cost savings a priority are the most important to the future of an organization.
Here are five of the most promising healthcare technologies that will make your healthcare organization in step with the future:
1. Blockchain to make interoperability a reality. Using blockchain technology to solve interoperability problems between healthcare organizations seems like the solution that the industry has dreamed of for years. Blockchain can create decentralized record systems with multiple locations that can be shared with multiple stakeholders in the healthcare system. Instead of a single, client-server database, healthcare data including both clinical and financial data would be available in an independent, transparent database.
An analysis by Deloitte Consulting LLP states, though blockchain technology could share data in a secure system, while centering patients’ communications needs, the healthcare industry is at least a decade away from implementing blockchain in a widespread, meaningful way.
“This will be most effective if a specific set of standardized data were to be stored directly on the blockchain for immediate, permissioned access, supplemented by off-chain data links when necessary, the Deloitte team states, identifying demographics (gender, date of birth, other data), medical history (immunizations, procedures), and services rendered (vital signs, services performed, and other data) as preliminary data that could be on a blockchain.
2. Artificial intelligence (AI) to help scale precision oncology. As part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) precision oncology program, which primarily supports stage 4 cancer patients who have exhausted other treatment options, the VA is applying AI to help interpret cancer data in the treatment of veteran patients.
The VA treats 3.5% of the nation's cancer patients—the largest group of cancer patients within any one healthcare group—with many veterans from rural areas where it has traditionally been difficult to deliver cutting-edge medical breakthroughs.
Using IBM Watson for Genomics, VA oncologists use this technology to support precision oncology care for more than 3,000 veterans with cancer.