It’s an exciting and challenging time to be in healthcare. From new legislation to the broad consumerization of care, large-scale changes are underway that will fundamentally alter the way healthcare organizations, providers and patients interact.
As we examine the evolution of technologies like healthcare analytics, IoT, telemedicine and data security, we are also looking to the future to see the new disruptive technologies poised to have significant impact.
The PwC Health Research Institute’s annual report identifies eight disruptive technologies expected to have an impact on the health industry, from 3-D printing to robots and drones. Here are the three trends we’ll be watching as the next generation of disruptors in the health industry:
- Artificial Intelligence (AI): When you think of AI in healthcare, IBM Watson might be the first thing to come to mind. But to have a disruptive impact in healthcare, AI doesn’t need to be wide-reaching like Watson: Solutions like chatbots to help patients schedule follow-up visits or take care of billing will have a direct impact on how healthcare is accessed and can streamline processes for patients and providers.
- Blockchain: While the concept of using blockchain in healthcare may not be new, its actual implementation is still on the horizon and is bound to disrupt the industry. Health systems are already beginning to work with blockchain to secure medical records and make updates quickly. With increased focus from hackers on hospitals and health systems, we’re expecting to see blockchain used to better secure personal information and medical records for consumers.
- Virtual Reality: There’s a unique opportunity for virtual reality in the health space, where 3-D simulations can be used in medical schools for activities like training aspiring clinicians in real-world scenarios. From emergency situations to role-playing patient interactions, virtual reality can help new clinicians be better prepared for anything and everything that may come their way.
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