The healthcare industry keeps adopting technical advancements to improve patient care and make treatment personalized, ensuring more efficient and successful outcomes. We have seen many technological breakthroughs that transformed patient care with telemedicine, robotic process automation, remote patient monitoring, and others.
This article lists current and upcoming healthcare technology trends and popular medical digital solutions that will evolve in 2024.
Top 14 healthcare technology trends in 2024
Keep reading to learn how to transform your healthcare facility digitally and what to expect in the industry.
1. Telemedicine and virtual health
Telemedicine helps medical facilities handle a range of challenges they face in patient care and internal process management. The USA and Europe are two leading sectors where demand for telehealth pushes medical facilities to implement digital health solutions being supported by governments. It is primarily caused by the rising prevalence of chronic disease worldwide and effective solutions to help people detect disease at an early stage and manage the illness course.
The primary goal of adopting telehealth solutions is to provide patients with high-quality treatment, ensuring their satisfaction and easier access to medical services. Healthcare units also capitalize on using virtual health systems to manage their patients effectively and partially remotely, to control the patient data and its security, and to manage staff, treatment, and medication plans.
Find out more about how we developed an MVP enclosure and firmware for the TCC electronic nurse device. This medical solution helps patients measure and manage their health vitals and get a therapy plan based on their health data.
With this technology evolving, telemedicine apps have become reliable tools to provide quality care and remote patient management. Nevertheless, the telehealth system must comply with various legal and healthcare requirements, which we will discuss further.
Complying with regulations
To become compliant and accessible for patient treatment, telehealth solutions must meet the requirements of IEC 62304, MDR, DiGa, HIPAA, etc., and regulations based on the location where telehealth solutions will be used. It contains helpful resources and guidelines for healthcare providers and engineering teams, like Lemberg Solutions, that create medical products.
2. New AI applications and concerns of the medical community
Artificial intelligence has found various uses and applications in the healthcare industry, such as CT image analysis, hospital process automation, symptom checker chatbots, and patient virtual assistants. Let's look closer at these medical solutions and the benefits they provide.
Computed tomography scan analysis
CT scans with integrated AI algorithms can make this procedure much faster and more efficient. AI technology allows the scanning and processing of thousands of patient medical images at once, reducing the probability of wrong diagnoses and detecting ailments at an early stage. It saves time for radiologists to investigate more complex scenarios so that they can focus on patient care.
Machine learning in biopharma and medtech
Machine learning has many applications in healthcare, and we would like to take a closer look at some of them. It is used for drug research and development as ML performs profound investigations of drug targets and their efficiency for specific ailments. It helps outline drug safety, including molecular and chemical structures.
Also, machine learning is used for clinical trials, assisting in selecting patients that correspond to all medical requirements and preventing health threats. Moreover, technology speeds up this process by analyzing volumes of patient data to find candidates, guaranteeing successful outcomes.
Robotics to automate hospital workflows
Robotic process automation is a current technology trend in healthcare that is being widely implemented to automate daily tasks and internal processes, reducing the workload of medical workers.
Medical robots can have different purposes and functions. For instance, it can be a hygiene-control robot that maintains the cleanliness in chambers, cabinets, and hallways, or a robot for staff management, inventory management automation, autonomous vehicles for patients, etc.
3. IoMT (Internet of Medical Things)
The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) is a breakthrough tech trend in healthcare that will keep gaining momentum in 2024 and is projected to grow to over 110 billion by 2024 compared to 90.69 billion in 2023.
This technology helps healthcare facilities unite all their hospital management systems, patient and hospital mobile apps, EHR and EMR platforms, wearables, and other integrated technologies into a single network. It provides the ability to store and structure health data properly, constantly monitor and analyze updates, and easily share PHI between different entities within this network.
Namely, IoMT assists medical facilities with patient health information management, eliminating the risk of data loss, mixing up, and unauthorized access and decreasing the probability of human errors in health records.
Wearables and mobile apps in medical practice
In recent years, wearable medical devices and remote patient monitoring and treatment have become indispensable in hospitals. 86% of adults in the US consider wearables as effective tools to reach their goals in wellness and fitness. Smartwatches, bracelets, rings, and other types with integrated biosensors are used for round-the-clock patient health condition monitoring (blood pressure, heart rate, blood oxygen, and other vital signs).
Medical wearables are connected and transfer data to a medical facility's patient information management system. It allows for tracking the disease course and alerts about emergent cases. Healthcare smart gadgets are beneficial for patients with chronic diseases that must be monitored and updated daily.
4. Precision medicine advancements
Precision medicine is a relatively new tech trend in healthcare that entails a personalized approach to patient treatment. It advances typical lab and other medical investigations like blood tests, CT, X-rays, and genetic tests. Precision medicine considers the patient's lifestyle, living environment, genes, and other peculiarities to pick the most effective and suitable treatment plan.
Precision or personalized medicine has two primary directions - targeted drug therapy for destroying cancer cells and immunotherapy that helps the immune system fight cancer. Thanks to deep analysis of patients' genetic profiles and specific characteristics, physicians can offer efficient treatment that takes less time to overcome the disease.
5. 3D printing in healthcare
Owing to the demand for 3D printing development in the healthcare sector, this technology global market is expected to grow 1.1 times in 2024 compared to the previous year.
3D printing produces medical tools and devices like dental implants, surgical instruments, and prostheses. Nevertheless, this technology trend in healthcare will keep evolving in the following year, providing the capability to create transplant organs using patient biological tissue. It will help thousands of people to get their transplantation without years of waiting and ailment deterioration.
We will also see 3D printing as an emerging tech trend and growing capability in the pharmaceutical area.
6. AR and VR for education and diagnosis
AR and VR technologies entered the healthcare industry a while ago, transforming how physicians study and treat patients. Virtual reality allows future practitioners to get hands-on experience and improve their skills in simulated and potentially real surgery and physical therapy cases, which they used to learn in theory.
Also, VR is helpful for complex surgery rehearsal, preventing potential health risks in real-life scenarios. Augmented reality advanced the patient`s CT or 3D medical image analysis and diagnosis by precisely detecting the major causes of the disease.
7. Robotic surgery
Robotic surgery will keep growing in healthcare as a tech trend in 2024, demanding minimal engagement of physicians. Indeed, this technology will only partially replace real doctors as particular processes cannot be automated and require human intervention. However, these tools are beneficial during operations, especially for complex cases.
Robotic surgery is actively used in many procedures, including inguinal hernia repair, proctectomy, reflux surgery, ventral hernia repair, colectomy, and cholecystectomy. In 2024, more healthcare organizations will start using robotic surgery for clinical trials and surgery procedures.
8. Digital therapeutics
Digital therapeutics (DTx) is software similar to virtual assistants, aiming to manage health conditions, help with treatment, and prevent disease deterioration. Depending on its primary use, this medical solution can be integrated with different functions and technologies.
DTx can be used as an autonomous treatment if it mainly collects and stores health vitals data. Also, they can be accommodating in combination with other medical devices, medications, and physical therapy. The main peculiarity and challenge in increasing the usage of digital therapeutics is its clinical evidence nature, which is complex to differ from non-compliant healthcare digital solutions.
9. Remote patient monitoring
Remote patient monitoring has remained a healthcare trend since 2020, when Covid-19 hit the world. Combined with wearable technology, such a platform allows hospitals to manage their patients remotely but still effectively 24/7. Tracking vital health signs helps collect, store, and structure patient information appropriately and securely.
Remote patient monitoring eliminates the need for in-person doctor appointments if your health conditions are not urgent. This is an excellent option for older people, especially during the pandemic.
Thanks to IoT-connected wearable devices to a centralized patient management system, health vitals like blood pressure, temperature, glucose metering, blood oxygen, etc., can be monitored by your physician without you leaving the house.
10. Symptom checker chatbots
Symptom checker chatbots are AI-powered virtual assistants providing patients with round-the-clock and instant answers to define their diagnosis and connect with the hospital.
Symptom checker chatbots are integrated with vast volumes of information about various ailments. They can educate people about their symptoms and diseases more deeply, detect some illnesses in the early stage, whether physical or mental and prevent people from self-treatment, which can be more harmful than helpful for their health.
It is also an excellent way for medical facilities to reduce staff workload and extra costs, as these chatbots can partially replace humans and engage them, depending on the detected or potential patient illness. Nevertheless, symptom checker chatbots can define your precise diagnosis, and you should schedule a doctor's appointment if the symptoms do not go away.
11. Interoperability and data sharing among healthcare entities
Interoperability is a set of standards approved by HIMSS that provides the ability to exchange patient health information between different medical software systems as well as healthcare organizations. Implementing and following interoperability requirements like HL7, FHIR, HIPAA, GDPR, and others helps healthcare facilities create a single network where all patient records are digitally stored and easily accessed by authorized entities.
There are four primary levels of interoperability - technical, syntactic, semantic, and organizational. Each defines what kind of medical information certain entities exchange and receive, whether unprocessed data for storing and further processing by physicians or interpreted medical information that provides physicians with valuable insights.
The primary interoperability option is to connect software, wearable, and other technologies within one hospital and join hospitals, pharmacies, labs, physicians, and other entities into a single ecosystem.
First, it reduces the probability of human errors or loss of patient health information (PHI), as all authorized systems and entities have access to the same records. Additionally, physicians access the whole history of the patient's diagnosis and can adjust the treatment plan based on PHI, making data-driven and efficient medical decisions.
12. Genomic data analytics
Genomic data analytics keeps revolutionizing the industry as a new healthcare technology, particularly in clinical research, diagnosing, early anomaly detection, and drug investigation.
Genomic data analytics helps collect patient data from internal and external sources to analyze further genetic profiles, patterns, correlations, and precise diagnosing. This tech advancement accelerates traditional research practice, making it possible to process and analyze large volumes of data using advanced analytics algorithms. This approach helps detect anomalies or the first disease signs at an early stage and adjust the treatment, improving patient outcomes.
13. Nanotechnology in medicine
Nanomedicine is a relatively new healthcare technology trend with considerable growth potential in 2024. Nanosensors are integrated into disease diagnostic gadgets to detect precise and unobtrusive symptoms to start treatment in the early ailment stage and get positive outcomes.
Also, nanotechnology is expected to evolve and help practitioners regenerate or repair biological tissues and organs, making treatment more efficient for severe stages.
Nanotechnology has also shown significant results in cancer research, providing the ability to investigate the nature of cancer blood cells. We hope to see more tech nanotech advancements in diagnosis, treatment, drug delivery, and ailment investigation.
14. Population health management
Population health management is a healthcare trend that has only started evolving. Its primary purpose is to identify and divide populations in certain groups by similar needs and features to manage their health and well-being more effectively and individually.
This trend is mainly caused by the massive difference in susceptibility and courses of illnesses among various groups of individuals. Moreover, it allows the investigation of specific ailments and educates the population on disease prevention and early detection.
Population health management consists of six primary components:
- Care integration - ensures the connection of a group of individuals with the required healthcare providers to get positive treatment outcomes.
- Care coordination - helps unite all medical facilities and systems into a single ecosystem with a detailed medical history of each patient within a group.
- Teamwork - provides comprehensive all-in-one treatment plans for populations.
- Patient engagement - enables people to get more educated on their health and treatment plan and be more active about their health, including preventive care.
- Data analytics and health IT - emphasize the importance of collecting and storing patient health information for data-driven medical decisions.
- Value-based care management - allows patients to pay due to the medical service quality, not volume, including additional options like meals, housing, etc.
Which healthcare IT trends are no longer relevant?
There are no healthcare technologies that can be left behind. However, some of them become less functional and less used. Among such tech solutions are standalone electronic health records (EHR) systems, as this feature can be integrated into the more scalable healthcare system that follows interoperability rules.
Nevertheless, medical software and hardware solutions require secure and compliant development, following all healthcare regulations, data security laws, and regulatory requirements. So, there are no obsolete healthcare IT trends; the change is more about the approach to creating, implementing, and using healthcare solutions, emphasizing the importance of strict medical data protection.
Future of healthcare technology
The industry is projected to evolve in 2024, expecting over $6 billion more investment in the development of the global healthcare tech market.
One of the future technology trends in healthcare we will see in 2024 is micro-hospitals. There are already several functioning hospitals of this type in some US states, but this number is expected to scale up in 2024.
Micro-hospitals are small medical facilities that simultaneously accept 8-10 patients. Patients can be urgently observed and get the required medical assistance 24/7. Micro-hospital is a great solution for areas that lack neighborhood hospitals. A vast range of medical services is provided at such a hospital, including emergency medical care, lab investigations, labor and delivery, primary care, and others.
Another emerging healthcare trend is a patient-centric approach, educating and engaging patients more in their disease course and treatment plan. It provides patients with access to their comprehensive medical history and allows them to set up medical care at home, individual care plans with preventive care or medical intervention in the early ailment stage, and other options.
Healthcare technologies will keep evolving, providing the industry with new advancements, capabilities of medical devices, and healthcare software solutions.
Healthcare product development requires a specific and professional approach from your tech partner. It has to be industry-certified to ensure your medical device or system can be used for medical purposes and prescribed to patients as treatment. Your technical partner has to be ISO 13485 certified, like at Lemberg Solutions, ensuring a secure and quality software development process and IEC 62304 certification for your medical products.
If you have a medical solution in mind or want to innovate an existing product, feel free to schedule a consultation with our experts and learn more about our medical software development services. We will help you choose your medical device's best hardware components and architecture. Our team will audit your current solution to optimize and improve its performance, considering industry requirements, data security regulations, and your ongoing business goals.