Working in healthcare, you probably already understand the financial pressure placed on this industry due to increasing costs every year.
In 2018 alone, the US government predicted that health-related costs will grow by 5.5%, up from the $3.6 trillion we spent in 2017. These increases are attributed to an aging population and a higher prevalence of chronic disease among Americans everywhere.
It isn’t just the state of our health that is leading to an increase in healthcare costs.
It’s also the shift from a fee-for-service healthcare model to one that is value-based which, in and on itself, will likely lead to cost increases.
But when we also consider the ever-evolving demands from customers interested in inter-connected health experiences, we are bound to see costs rise dramatically before they are stabilized.
And all this, in a context in which the U.S. will soon reach 20% of GDP, way more than any other country in the world.
Against this backdrop, it should come as no surprise that according to a recent survey, 400 C-level healthcare executives from around the world believe that digital transformation is the primary factor that will redefine the delivery of care in our country and, hopefully, control costs.
In fact, many technological advances, albeit in the early stages of the digital transformation, are already redefining healthcare business models.
One such technology is what the industry has now labeled as ‘medical device software’.
The term originated in the early 1980s, but the term has only become popular among industry insiders over the last five years.
And here’s the simple reality: medical device software solutions on the market today are currently responsible for performing specific tasks that we never deemed possible in the past.
Additionally, various modern medical devices now include wireless communication technologies and have become integral components of a new technological wave known as the internet of things (IoT).
IoT protocols allow for medical devices to be operated from anywhere. They also allow for previously inert objects — smart watches, insulin pens, connected inhalers or even ingestible sensors to “come to life” via complex software solutions, which provide patients and doctors alike with critical insights around someone’s medical conditions.
Just think of the ECG app for the Apple Watch Series 4 — a perfect example of IoT, where a physical device leverages a complex software to record users’ heartbeat and then check for atrial fibrillation and heart irregularities.
Or the Omron’s HeartGuide smartwatch that allows users to take their blood pressure on the go and then use a mobile app to check on their health, get alerted if their blood pressure is too high or too low, and get insights into how to control their blood pressure.
These — and many other similar examples — point to a new trend.
We’re witnessing the democratization of healthcare, which is primarily driven by the rise in popularity of interconnected technologies that operated on top of existing medical devices.
Let’s look at medical device software solutions in more details.
How The Healthcare Industry Is Adapting To Meet Modern Patient Needs
Nowadays, patients are becoming more and more demanding when it comes to their health experience. This includes their interactions with doctors, treatment options, medical recovery and even day to day management of chronic conditions.
Consumer demands and the launch of various medical treatment options coming from tech companies versus industry insiders has definitely taken the healthcare sector by surprise.
And that is a good thing! Competition — especially in the healthcare space — can only lead to more amazing and innovative innovations that will ultimately positively impact all our lives.
In light of this, the healthcare industry must now invest in new technologies and interconnected experiences that will allow them to remain competitive and relevant in the years to come. At the center of many of these innovations we find the medical device software.
Here are some specific examples:
How Physicians Benefit From Medical Advice Software
Medical device software is redefining how physicians operate when it comes to identifying, treating and managing conditions.
With various devices becoming extremely popular in recent times, many physicians now have access to data analytics that can help them make sense of patients’ symptoms.
Or, even better, some patients are proactively visiting doctors after they’ve already used consumer-oriented solutions that provided them with insights and a recommendation to visit their primary physician.
For example, according to a recent press release, the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center has teamed up with Imaware, a at-home testing platform for chronic illness and disease. The company sends patients a home kit, which allows them to collect blood in a small vial and send it back to Imaware for testing. After the lab analyze the blood samples, patients receive a digital report on their well being which can be printed or forwarded to their primary physician.
But the most important aspect of solutions like Imaware is that the final blood testing report is designed in such a way that ordinary people can understand.
The blood test results are fed into their software solution, which then interprets the data collected and “translates” it into simple recommendations.
This is very similar, in many ways, to how ancestry solutions like 23andme provide automated reports informing users if they are at risk of specific conditions to their genetic profile.
The ability of medical device software to transfer data is one of the key features of medical devices, according to Orthogonal. When health data is shared among health professionals, one of the biggest challenges in today’s healthcare system, various experts can make more informed decisions about a patient’s wellbeing and detect life threatening conditions sooner.
Medical device software also allows professionals to receive real-time data that can help identify whether patients’ symptoms are stable, or have worsened over time, which can help to dictate the planned treatment.
As digital innovations continue to become more prevalent in the healthcare space, medical device software should definitely stay at the forefront of our minds.
Not only can medical device software solutions increase patient satisfaction levels and professional efficiency, but they can also help reduce costs for uninsured and underinsured patients.
The advancement of this remarkable technology in such a short period of time shows both its current applications and its future potential. Medical device software should also be considered as a candidate for transmitting valuable patient data across multiple platforms in a seamless and secure way.
Read Full Article Here – Why Medical Device Software Is The Future of Healthcare