Over the last few years, the tech industry has brought many emerging technologies to the marketplace. These new technologies are now making their way into other business sectors, including healthcare.
Within the healthcare industry, technology such as blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) are starting to be used to enhance and transform the patient experience. Both technologies, while still very new, show much promise. Moreover, the effects of blockchain and AI could be felt very soon by providers and patients, especially in Federally Qualified Health Centers where 25 million patients receive care. So, what new tech trends will be affecting Federally Qualified Health Centers this year and beyond?
New Emerging Tech That Will Revolutionize the Healthcare Industry
Blockchain has gotten a lot of press recently due to its connection to Bitcoin. Blockchain technology allows nontraditional currencies to be tracked, associating individual wallets with transactions. The technology provides a time stamp and transaction data to log, which then forms a chain. The chain is cryptographically signed, lending an added layer of security to these emerging currency platforms.
While blockchain is primarily specific to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, the technology itself can support any record-keeping or ledger-based activity that requires a high degree of integrity without the possibility of manipulation. For the healthcare community, blockchain can improve the accuracy and security of electronic health records. This improvement in record keeping could prevent medical errors and strengthen HIPPA compliance for Federally Qualified Health Centers.
Artificial Intelligence for Diagnostics
AI utilizes machine learning and data mining to spot trends in large data sets. Not only can AI find data patterns, it can also predict the most probable future outcomes. In healthcare, AI’s influence as a diagnostic tool is set to take off in 2018.
Currently, AI is functioning within in the healthcare industry for “natural language processing and robotic automation.” However, in the coming year, we may see AI adding “value in areas such as cancer diagnostics, pathology, and imaging.” With AI’s ability to spot patterns in data through machine learning and data mining, AI will be able to find abnormalities that might have otherwise been missed by a human eye, allowing for early detection.
Furthermore, Mark Michalski, executive director at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Center for Clinical Data Science in Boston states that “by the end of next year, I think around half of leading healthcare systems will have adopted some form of AI within their diagnostic groups.”
Telemedicine technology has been around for many years, but in 2018 the industry may see telehealth concepts turned into practical applications. Per Tim Mulvaney, UHC Solutions’ CEO/President, “as reimbursements improve for telehealth; you will begin to see that piece evolve to becoming a reality.” Moreover, several healthcare organizations are conducting trials to incorporate Amazon devices such as Alexa and Echo into telehealth solutions. Currently, Alexa can deliver first aid information to users. This capability could be grown to include scheduling doctors’ appointments and virtual house calls (with Echo Show’s video offerings).
Looking Toward the Future
For 2018 and beyond, the intersection of tech and healthcare will continue to grow and evolve. With this tech evolution, the patient and provider experience will change. For Federally Qualified Health Centers, it is essential to stay on top of current tech trends.
If your Federally Qualified Health Center needs support in implementing these new technologies, it is time to turn to the experts at UHC Solutions. We are the premier providers of executive talent for the healthcare industry. Contact a healthcare recruitment specialist today to learn more!