Custom Healthcare Software: Trends, Types, Development

21 October8 min read
Custom Healthcare Software: Trends, Types, Development

Without further ado, let's start.

Trend 1: Telemedicine

Telemedicine is a tool that makes healthcare more accessible, cost-effective, and enhances patient participation. Since its inception in the late 1950s, developments in telemedicine have led to seniors being able to age in situ. Furthermore, people in remote regions who previously had difficulty contacting a physician can now do so online.

It was during the recent pandemic and mass lockdown events when it was impossible to get into a hospital because of quarantine that this trend became enormous. Technology and software have obviously changed since the 1950s, when this phenomenon was invented in the first place. Grand View Research predicts that the telemedicine market will grow substantially at about 22.4 percent a year through 2028. At this point, physicians and other data providers are interested in software that will transmit a variety of photos, audio, video and messages quickly and in detail, but will also maintain confidentiality in a meaningful way.

Trend 2: Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)

AI itself is really a huge branch of modern computer science. It is used to create intelligent programs and entire machines capable of performing tasks that normally require human intelligence. Depending on need, AI applications include functions such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and language translation.

Artificial intelligence is not just for generating text or drawing pictures. At the moment, this niche is widely used within medical science and patient examinations. 

Common applications include end-to-end drug discovery and development, patient diagnosis, improving doctor-patient communication, remote patient treatment, and transcribing various prescriptions. Not only do modern computer algorithms do all the work most quickly and efficiently, but they are nowhere near as accurate as PhDs in terms of diagnosing any disease or analyzing a looming problem. It is only a matter of time before humans completely replace humans in certain positions in the medical sciences, and this is clearly evident in the trend of AI development.

In the field of patient diagnostics, great strides have already been made in the usage of artificially intelligent systems. Clinical imaging data, for example, has been used to construct classification models to assist clinicians in diagnosing skin cancer, skin lesions, and psoriasis in visually oriented disciplines such as dermatology. Recent research has shown that artificial intelligence systems can classify skin cancers with a level of competence comparable to dermatologists while requiring only a fraction of the time to train the model compared to physicians who spend years in medical school and rely on experience gained from diagnosing patients over decades.

According to the Gartner forecast, about 20%patient interactions will include some form of AI-based software by the end of 2023. AI and ML can be used in the following processes:

  • chronic disease management
  • illness prevention
  • diagnostics
  • assistance in treatment choices
  • care delivery, etc.

Trend 3: Augmented reality(AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR)

The augmentation of the real-world environment through augmented reality (just think of Google Glass). It projects digital information onto the current surroundings to create a representation of the actual world. Virtual reality is a truly immersive experience using a VR glass that completely covers the eyes (hence reality). It blocks out the outside world, creating an immersive experience. The term "mixed reality" refers to the combination of the two. It combines physical and digital things to create an interactive reality.

Augmented reality varies from its most well-known "relative," virtual reality (VR), in that the latter generates a three-dimensional world that totally isolates the user from reality. AR is distinctive in two ways: users do not lose contact with reality, and information is sent to their eyes as quickly as possible. AR's distinguishing characteristics enable it to become a driving force in the future of medicine.

The Future of Healthcare: Augmented Reality

From being one of the most promising digital health technologies at the time, the technology now appears to be at a standstill, waiting for the next breakthrough to propel it forward to yet another step.

AR will have a role in the future of healthcare. Just have a look at our conversation with mixed reality specialist Robert Scoble. But first, let's look at what's currently achievable today.

Examples of successful AR implementations in medicine

This technology has been working for quite some time in the medical field, so the results are not long in coming, especially now that this is only developing stronger. We can already show you successful developments, of which there will only be more in the future: 

  • Google Glass helps moms who are having trouble breastfeeding for the first time. Unexpectedly? It would seem that Google Glass couldn't conquer the world, but at least they've been adapted to do something really useful. The innovative company Small World conducted a two-month study using breastfeeding and Google Glass, achieving automatic results to help young mothers. If they needed help from doctors, they could get it without even letting the baby out of their arms. And the response and quality of doctor-patient communication improved.
  • Patients are better at describing their symptoms of illness if they use AR. This is quite difficult when it comes to describing symptoms. And the difficulty comes not only from the patient, who can't find his words, but also from the physician, who is trying to figure out what's wrong. People can either overreact to their problems, which may not really be significant, or downplay them altogether. If you take some narrow areas of medicine like ophthalmology, augmented reality really works perfectly there. For example, there is now a special app that is designed for patients with central vision loss. Using these apps, doctors can show an entire simulation of the vision of a patient suffering from a particular condition. If patients can experience the long-term health effects of their lifestyle, it can motivate people to make positive changes.
  • Nurses find veins easier with AR. Medical technology company AccuVein is using AR technology to make life easier for inexperienced nurses. According to research, about 40 percent of intravenous injections fail to reach a vein the first time. These rates are severely worsened if we take children and the elderly into account. The company's development helps nurses draw blood more accurately, using a handheld scanner that projects onto the skin to show nurses and doctors where the veins are on patients' bodies. This scanner has been used on more than ten million patients and overall performance has improved by more than 3 times. Technology like this can help medical professionals improve their skills.

AR, VR, and MR are other technologies that find their use in healthcare. The market for extended reality in medicine will reach $11.14 billion by 2025, according to BIS research. ER is already used for some surgeries and medical training. There is also big potential in using VR for the treatment of mental health illnesses like PTSD and dementia.

Trend 4: Internet of Medical Things

IoMT, also known as IoT in healthcare, employs automation, sensors, and machine intelligence, similar to general-purpose IoT devices, to lessen reliance on human interaction during regular medical procedures and daily monitoring activities. IoMT eliminates the need for needless trips to doctors' offices and hospitals by providing patients and providers with improved access to patient medical information. It also saves money for patients and providers.

Frost & Sullivan forecasted in 2017 that the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) market will increase at a 26.2% annual pace to $72 billion by 2021. Today, that estimate appears to be rather low. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated trends in telemedicine and telehealth, while quarantine and orders not to leave the house have increased IoMT exponentially. Telehealth and telemedicine will continue to alter healthcare as we know it as the IoMT industry expands, enabling more complete and accurate diagnosis, more timely care, and cost savings for consumers and providers alike.

Smart hearing aids, smartwatches, bio patches, continuous blood sugar monitoring systems, and other smart healthcare devices are also gaining popularity. They are beneficial for people with chronic diseases like diabetes. Experts expect that the global market of IoT medical devices will reach $94.2 billion by 2026. 

Trend 5: Chatbots

And the last trend is chatbots. It looks like bots have conquered all the possible fields, including healthcare, and almost reached world domination. The ongoing development of AI and NLP allows chatbots to complete more and more difficult tasks. According to BIS's report, chatbots in the healthcare market will hit $498.1 million by 2029.

Medical chatbots allow patients, insurance companies, and healthcare professionals to effortlessly engage with one another. These bots also make relevant healthcare information available to the right stakeholders at the right time.

Chatbots aid the healthcare industry by automating all of the repetitive and low-level operations that a representative would perform. Allowing a chatbot to undertake simple, boring activities frees up healthcare personnel' time to focus on more difficult duties and provide better care.

What are the benefits of healthcare chatbots?

In fact, the benefits are really enormous, but we should point out only the main ones: 

  • They are available literally around the clock. Doctors are extremely essential, and they make every effort to be present at all times and to provide adequate attention to each patient. However, doctors are frequently on a tight schedule, and being available for every patient is often impossible. Healthcare Chatbots are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and are personally committed to aiding you during your rehabilitation. While physicians save many lives, this chatbot may assist you by reminding you about your medications, providing medical information, giving you recommendations, and monitoring your general well-being.
  • Instantly provides crucial information. Emergency situations are not uncommon in the healthcare business. And time is of the essence in dealing with them. Healthcare chatbots give useful information immediately, which is especially crucial in situations when every second counts. For example, if a patient comes in with an attack, the doctor may rapidly access the patient's information, such as past records, other ailments, allergies, check-ups, and so on, via a bot.
  • Establishes rapport with patients and offers support. Assume your patient is researching a symptom on your website but isn't sure where to go to learn about the remedy or how to schedule an appointment with you. They will be dissatisfied with your website. However, a healthcare chatbot can assist to change that. When a patient enters your website, your chatbot will greet them, walk them through the symptoms, anticipate various diagnoses, and give them the option of making an appointment with you immediately. They also collect information from users by asking them questions, which is saved for future reference and to tailor the patient's experience. This is how chatbots establish trust with your patients.

Innowise Group has created healthcare solutions for 15 years for medical schools, medical device manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, and digital health startups from North America and Europe. Learn more about working with Innowise on your medical project here.