The potential of web development in healthcare is multifaceted – from virtual reality technologies in surgery to electronic medical archives in the blockchain, from preventive medicine to cancer diagnostics.
According to some recent research, the global digital health market in 2026 will show an average annual growth of 28.5%, making digitalization in healthcare attractive for venture capital investment.
Below, we will overview what trends will determine the development of Digital Health in the following years.
1. Digitalization of medical infrastructure
Maintaining an electronic patient card in conjunction with the electronic circulation of prescriptions, creating access points to specialized medical applications, and monitoring databases of diseases and methods of therapy based on Big Data are hot spots on the agenda of many medical software developers.
The main advantages of maintaining electronic databases include:
- Possibility of parallel treatment of a patient by doctors of different profiles;
- Acceleration and reduction in the cost of medical care.
Virtual and augmented reality are talked about from every angle, however, in medicine, technology has special prospects.
First of all, virtual reality can significantly simplify the process of training doctors and improve their professionalism. Medical students can operate in 3D with more immersion in the process than theoretically studying the intricacies of operations. There is also an opportunity to learn from medical professionals.
However, this is not the only application of new technology in this area. Following a stroke, severe trauma, or psychological distress, VR can be used to speed up recovery, as it can create a more pleasant environment for the patient, and increase involvement in the recovery process. Virtual and augmented reality has already proved its effectiveness in helping to treat children with cerebral palsy and other serious illnesses.
This is reminiscent of films about the distant future with robotic surgeons, only with the difference that it is almost here. Of course, not quite in the form that in the films …
Nowadays, robotics is actively used in the creation of prostheses, exoskeletons, diagnostic services and many others in one form or another. Less obvious ways to use robots include so-called “companion robots” to help fight loneliness, depression and other psychological disorders, and nurse robots to help doctors during operations and patients in hospitals.
4. Medical Sensors In the Chain Of the Internet of Things (IoT)
Through miniaturization, customization and digital signal processing, sensors are penetrating various areas of healthcare. Compact sensors are entering the market, allowing the patient to diagnose independently.
In the future, IoT will involve seamless integration with health monitoring systems, the diagnosis process, and therapy prescription.
5. Remote Monitoring Of the Patient’s Condition
Remote monitoring tools include a mobile device and an analysis module, allowing you to monitor patients with chronic diseases (diabetes, oncological and cardiovascular diseases, sleep apnea, degenerative diseases of the nervous system) outside the hospital room.
6. AI in Telemedicine
Operational diagnostics, rare disease analytics, drug selection, development and molecular search using digital libraries are just some of the AI applications. In combination with innovations in sensor technology, AI allows for remote examination of the patient.
However, contrary to the expectations of futurologists, the goal is not to replace the medical staff with a digital doctor, but to support medical expertise in the choice of treatments.
7. 3D Printers
Many people are already familiar with the concept of 3D printing. The emergence of biocompatible medical materials for 3D printing portends great prospects for the development of this innovative direction. In 2019, the market was estimated at $650 million, which may seem insignificant but provides ample development opportunities.
Note that the use of 3D implants, surgical models for training, organ prototypes, etc. can reduce the costs of companies and simplify the training of medical personnel.
For example, splints used for fractures can be 3D printed at a fairly low cost, at a high speed, and of fairly good quality. For developing countries, this technology can be a real lifesaver, as the population is more prone to injury in such countries, and access to even simple medical devices is extremely limited, which opens up a huge market for medical 3D printing companies.
This is just one aspect of the application of the technology. At the same time, one should not forget that it will also be in demand in developed markets.