As technology expands in pretty much every aspect of life, the same is true for the medical and health community’s advancements. In fact, the medical field is one that needs to be constantly progressing and evolving in order to stay on top of new health concerns that arise, some more extreme than others. But while the medical field has always been on the forefront of technological advancement, the recent global COVID-19 pandemic placed the technological trends abounding in the medical and health fields into overdrive. Now that the world has been collectively reminded of the instability of global health and wellness, there is pressure on those working in the medical fields to be pushing the boundaries of medical progress at a speed faster than ever before.
We have asked top business professionals in the health and medical community what they anticipate the biggest technology trends for 2022 will be in their field. Their answers provide an enlightening look at the big developments we can all be watching for over the next year or so.
Genomics (Diagnosing and Treating Health Issues With More Accuracy and Precision)
“[Understanding genomics] is important in two different ways: drug discovery and healthcare. Firstly, genetics gives us a whole new route into understanding disease and biology. We have collected a lot of data, which we analyse with algorithms to find new drug targets for use in treating disease. When you consider that 90% of clinical trials fail, the ability to find better drug targets presents an exciting opportunity for more successful, faster drug discovery outcomes. Secondly, genetics is a key part of the differences between individuals in their risk of disease, along with environmental and lifestyle factors. The powerful algorithms that we have developed summarise the genetic contribution to risk of disease for individuals, giving us an opportunity to predict risk by combining genetics with other risk factors.
“Today’s healthcare systems are creaking as costs continue to escalate. Nowadays, healthcare is mostly ‘sick’ care, whereby we wait until people are sick before taking action. It has become clear that to make healthcare sustainable, there needs to be more of a focus on preventing disease. What we’re doing to identify and target those at risk, using so-called genomic prevention, is a key part of this preventative healthcare strategy.”
Professor Sir Peter Donnelly, Founder and CEO of Genomics
Artificial Intelligence (Aiding in Electronic Health Records)
“Currently, artificial intelligence is playing a small role in electronic health records. However, over the next two to three years, this role will increase exponentially. On the clinical side, AI is still getting its ‘sea legs’ and has slower adoption, only due to the refining and training of the AI models. One area where it is being heavily adopted is with patient summarization. This is the concept of organizing the patient’s clinical data in a way that makes it easy for a provider to consume it. They don’t have to manually gather the pertinent information, as it’s fed to the provider right in their workflow. AI will be used to provide curated clinical decision insights at the point of care, serve up critical information that will help clinicians make faster decisions, and automate clinical tasks that have bogged down clinicians today and have led to clinician burnout.
“On the revenue cycle side, AI and RPA (robotic processing automation) are being used today to ensure accurate and timely claims, reducing the workloads on the back-end processes and driving down revenue-cycle administrative costs. The use of these tools, as well as AI bots, will increase significantly and eventually automate the revenue-cycle process, further driving down costs and providing increased revenue to power hospital growth initiatives.”
Paul Black, CEO of Allscripts
Predictive Care (Detecting Issues in Advance)
“I’m excited about the progressing developments of predictive care in the medical discipline. It almost sounds like a science fiction concept that those in the medical fields would one day be able to anticipate which people and types of genetics are more likely to undergo certain ailments. But that day is now. A hybrid of the concept of predictive care is certainly something I remember reading about in comic books as a boy, but now in 2021 and moving even further in 2022 and afterwards, this is our very advanced reality. The future of predictive care is moving towards ever more intelligent methods of detecting deterioration before onset based on a person’s genetics. Not only does predictive care alert potential arising health issues in patients, but it can also relay the likeliness of a certain event should this medicine be administered, or that operation be done. Now doctors can be more certain than ever before about which path is best for their patients for them to enjoy utmost health.”
Michael Hennessy, Founder and CEO of Diathrive
Fusing Artistry and Technology (Combining Engineering and Health)
“No longer do the processes done in the medical field have to be limited to simply “scientific” areas; a stark division does not need to exist between the medical and artistic fields. In 2021 and as we move forward, people are beginning to understand that borders and boundaries between fields can be a lot more fluid than they were previously given credit for. As both an engineer and an artist working in the health and medical discipline, I personally hope to see a shift in the future to more collaboration between fields. I have been able to combine my love of engineering and medicine ever since 1997 when I began the fusion for the sake of developing new hair restoration techniques and instruments. Now not only do I now use robotic hair transplant systems, but the work of creating natural looking hair transplants and scalp micropigmentation involves artistry in order to have satisfied customers. I look forward to further developments between disciplines.”
Jae Pak, Founder of Jae Pak M.D. Medical
Data Security (Keeping Data and Records Confidential)
“Securely protected data has always been of utmost importance in the medical fields due to the potential for both security and confidentiality breaches should confidential information be leaked, so in 2022 I anticipate a continued trend of medical experts wanting to progress towards cemented cybersecurity systems for their records. Unfortunately, health organizations are major targets for criminals hoping to hack into their systems and steal sensitive information for nefarious purposes. We live in an age when data and identification are hot commodities. Now that we have seen heightened ransomware attacks aimed at health organizations during the Covid-19 pandemic, the need for effective cybersecurity is paramount.”
Katie Kiernan, Co-Founder of Nue Life
Alternate Realities (Utilizing Augmented Reality)
“A really cool development making strides in the medical community is alternate reality. Alternate reality refers to the areas of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR). The differences can be summed up easily, although the programs sound quite similar. Virtual reality is fully immersive in the virtual world while augmented reality joins the digital with the physical world, and mixed reality is a fusion of both. Already alternate realities are helping physicians plan out and assess their operations and practices, allowing patients to visualize their internal processes in ways they understand, and providing new methods of learning for medical students.
“As a child I never really believed I would live in a world where altered reality actually exists and is used so widely in everyday life, as I wrote the whole concept off as a science fiction dream. But we are coming to realize today just how useful it is to be technologically advanced in essential fields like the medical discipline. Such ‘science fiction fantasies’ are actually saving lives and taking the whole world into unexplored and exciting areas.”
Judy Nural, President and Founder of MicrodermaMitt
Digital Medicine (Algorithmically Improving Health)
“The improvements in digital medicine are thrilling because they’re really taking the world by storm and inventing new ways to improve the medical field. Digital medicine refers to pretty much any area of health that is technologically based. So it can look like digitally prescribed products and healthcare apps that monitor patients’ health and screening aids (like smart watches for instance) that assess potential health concerns, etc.. The definition is loose but the possibilities are endless! The furtherance of digital medicine will continue to be a popular trend in the years to come. I can only imagine the progress that will be made in a short span of time, as already the medical field is experimenting with vastly impressive developments. Under the face of the open term digital medicine, medical advances are being made in impoverished countries due to access to digital training modules. And surgical holograms are helping surgeons better prepare for risky operations. I personally am excited to keep my eyes on news about what is next to come in digital medicine.”
Payel Gupta, CMO & Co-Founder of Cleared
Telemedicine (Accessing Health Care Digitally)
“Telemedicine came particularly in handy during the global Covid-19 pandemic, as patients were able to meet with medical examiners from a safe distance, receiving care without risk towards themselves and others. Telemedicine aided in reducing the spread of Covid-19 through bringing treatments to patients in isolation or quarantine. But as we move forward from the climax of the pandemic, telemedicine will only continue to grow in essentiality. Telemedicine has presented a convenient and effective method of patient care, so why would we leave it in the past? Doctors are even able to prescribe medicine digitally and patients can order the products straight to their house without ever setting foot in a pharmacy or patient care center. Telemedicine also offers new horizons for mental health, as people are able to meet with mental health professionals over digital platforms. The future is all about convenience and we have discovered a new way of experiencing treatment with digital meeting spaces.”
Anthony Puopolo, CMO of REX MD
According to experts in the medical and health fields, these are the top technological trends for 2022. New developments and changes that carry such weight for the good of humanity are exciting, so be sure to watch for advancements in these areas. As the world continues to expand technologically, be prepared to see the expansions spread into every discipline and area of life. Exciting times are before us!