Among the industries that have seen immense potential to add value from the incorporation of cutting-edge technologies, few have done so better than the healthcare sector. In fact, the telehealth industry—a combination of telecommunications technology and healthcare processes—has already demonstrated disruptive capabilities in the healthcare market in recent years.
A recent MarketsandMarkets report indicated that the telehealth industry is already worth $2.78 billion today. But by 2021, that figure is expected to climb to a staggering $9.35 billion.
So what types of technologies are transforming healthcare and empowering patients and caregivers today? Here are crucial examples of technologies that are driving telehealth today and into the future.
Real-time Communications: Video chat has empowered healthcare practitioners to drastically alter how they provide treatment. Patients without the ability to get to an office can still have collaborative and robust consultations with an entire team of doctors—even if they’re all in different locations.
3D printing: Connected medicals devices have been enabling remote patient monitoring for years already, but 3D printing is about to revolutionize the notion of what a connected medical device can actually be. 3D printing has already shown to be a viable way to replace lost limbs, and organs are next. The difference with these synthetic parts is that they will make it easier to embed connectivity and monitoring technology than it was to do so in organic body parts.
Secure Messaging: Healthcare administrators, medical practitioners and patients must be able to communicate quickly and clearly. But security cannot be lost in the process. A failure to meet privacy standards may result in a data breech, regulatory fines and more. Secure messaging—whether in the form of an encrypted texting app or Virtual Private Network—is crucial for ensuring that the expedience of telehealth doesn’t sacrifice compliance standards.
Nanotechnology: While commercially viable nanotech might seem like science fiction today, the fact is that major players in the tech sector have already been working on nanotechnology for healthcare for years. Google X, for instance, is working on nanoparticles that will be released into the body through a pill, with the ability to detect cancer in its early stages. With so many potential applications for ongoing internal remote monitoring and proactive care, nanotech is certain to carve out a role in telehealth in the coming years.
Customizable development platforms: Because there are so many different digital tools driving telehealth today, development platforms have become a crucial component for seamless integration of new applications. Rather than procuring solutions from a variety of sources, constantly renewing licenses and struggling to find interoperability, investing in a development platform allows for the greatest ease of use, freedom and interoperability.
Here's a use case featuring the Vital Link Surgery Status notification app built by Mutare on Zang Cloud. To learn more about how your healthcare organization can take advantage of emerging tech to further your telehealth initiatives, click here.