Healthcare is one of the areas where new technologies are actively in use. The treatment of individual diseases, progress towards diagnosis and the development of formulations of effective drugs depend on the introduction of certain innovations. We propose to consider the trends that will become relevant for the healthcare industry in 2019.
Increasing the number of startups
Medicine is a promising area in the context of the practical application of new technologies. According to analyst Steve Kraus, vertically integrated companies will be the most successful in the coming year. By this term, a specialist means medical enterprises that specialize in providing assistance to patients in certain conditions. For example, it may be medical services related to the treatment of diabetes or various types of allergies.
Companies that specialize in palliative care are supported and popular among the population. Due to the fact that this service sector is developing, including the efforts of patients, it opens up new opportunities for quality care for the most difficult of them. In addition, these companies deal with the problem as a whole. This provides meaningful results in her research.
Despite the fact that in 2018 the exchange market was almost closed for companies that are engaged in the new technologies in the medical industry, 2019 will prepare the basis for relatively favorable conditions. The initial public offering of shares in 2019 will be held in a more active mode. This primarily concerns the financial giants of the medical industry, whose income exceeds the mark of $100 million. There are Grand Rounds Health, Flatiron Health, Welltok and Health Catalyst among them.
Apple and Amazon are also active in developing their technology in the healthcare segment. If they are able to find a good direction for the application of their developments in the near future, the public offering market will continue to develop more dynamically than originally expected.
Strong investor caution
According to Kraus, an increasing number of companies that were previously focused on unusually ambitious achievements are now returning to the market with much more modest plans. This is not about failures or bankruptcy, but about a sound ability to adjust their investments.
Despite the potential prospects of many startups, investors should understand the fact that not all medical enterprises are destined to develop to a very large scale. It is not pessimism that is implied, but a real assessment of one’s own strengths and prospects. In addition to the possibility for the implementation of successful ideas and technologies, this area is moving and many other (often - poorly predictable) factors. They should not be discounted.
The development of cloud services
Sustainable development is awaited by those technologies that contribute to the convenient processing and storage of medical information. It is predicted that cloud services will be used as the primary storage platform. They have sufficient flexibility for convenient use. According to Frost&Sullivan, until 2022, the volume of the global market for medical cloud services will increase annually by 24%.
Another forecast is related to the fact that the development of programs aimed at digital monitoring of medical data of patients is expected. This segment has the potential to attract such giant investors as: Samsung, Apple, Google.
Medical companies do not want to independently process large data sets. They want these tasks to be redistributed. The American corporation Microsoft is working to improve not only the basic infrastructure of cloud systems, but also additional sub-services. Back in 2017, this company released a new set of services that make it possible to significantly speed up the data and project management process. This also applies to medical information.
The development of remote interaction between doctors and patients
Information technologies and means of modern communication have made a significant variety in the list of ways of interaction between patients and doctors. For example, the sphere of consultation and even some areas of therapy is undergoing a new round due to digital technologies.
The direction of remote patronage is developing. If the medical institution and the patient are in the same city, then this service may even provide for the “SOS” function for leaving the medical team when the patient's condition has deteriorated sharply.
As for remote consultations, they have been developing in the field of psychology and psychotherapy for several years. For a specialist, this option makes it possible not to be limited to the geography of his settlement or village, offering his own services to people anywhere in the world. The main thing is that there is no language barrier. If we talk about the benefits of the client, the Internet and remote counseling give him more opportunities to find a specialist. This may be especially relevant when the services of a person with a narrow professional specialization are required.
The trend of remote interaction between a doctor or medical institution and a patient is not new. However, over time, it will increase.
More active placement by doctors of their own content
A specialist can be clearly seen in the modern world from the author's content that he places. These can be the personal websites of doctors and their blogs on the websites of clinics, articles in professional web-publications, their own video channels with small videos. If we are talking about a specialist working in private medical practice, his income depends not only on good reviews, but also on high-quality advertising. Content produced by a doctor can serve as an effective advertisement of his professionalism. Many experts have already managed to understand it. Following their example, are also trying to more actively present their level of expertise on the Internet.
The development of mobile applications related to health topics
Despite the fact that the market for mobile applications related to health, is very extensive, it has room to develop. Not all IT products are of high quality. A striking example can be given with applications for weight loss. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School conducted a curious experiment. They compared three dozen applications for weight loss with traditional methods of losing weight, which showed effectiveness. It turned out that less than 25% of scientifically proven effective strategies are included in 28 of the 30 applications studied. Thus, scientists were able to prove the fact that the vast majority of applications of this kind are ineffective.
A wide variety of applications for weight loss really does not speak about their quality. The market requires truly effective IT products that are based on real scientific evidence.
A clear trend that is brewing in the industry of health-related applications is the need for only truly worthwhile products to remain on the market. Some of the concerns of doctors are applications that track health-related data. The accuracy of such data is often in doubt.
As for the so-called diagnostic applications, the harm from them is much more ambitious than good. A prime example is applications for the diagnosis of skin cancer and other diseases. The man reads that he has not identified skin cancer, and calms down. As a result, he does not notice the information in a small font, where it is written that the data are for reference only, and he should consult a doctor for a more accurate examination. As a result, the disease in the initial stages may be missed.
The additional risk of using such technologies is related to the fact that some people are becoming paranoid about their own health. Those indicators to which they had previously not paid attention, become the object of increased interest and take away a sense of psychological comfort.
These trends clearly indicate that in the near future the segment of health-related IT applications will be transformed. Developers will receive a request for better software development of products that are based on real medical research. The most important priority will be the level of application benefits from the application. Useless "entertainment" applications are unlikely to be long in demand if they are related to the subject of health.
In summary …
The healthcare industry was one of the first to show technical progress and the development of information technology. The year 2019 will not be an exception and will not shake this general trend. Among the popular trends of the industry in the coming year will be:
- The emergence of a large number of new startups.
- The increase in the dynamics of the stock market (the trend is directly dependent on large players with large capitals). Changing investment policy - investors become more cautious and no longer count on quick and rapid success.
- Sustainable development of cloud services aimed at efficient storage of medical information, as well as its processing.
- The development of remote interaction in the doctor-patient relationship in the consultation and patronage segment.
- More active posting on the Web of specialized content that allows doctors to demonstrate their level of expertise.
- Changes in the market for mobile applications related to health - a request will be formed for really useful and applied products based on objective research.
These will be the basic trends of the healthcare industry in 2019.