For decades, we have imagined space-aged technologies to improve our future lives. And until now, imagination has moved at a faster pace than technology.

But for the first time in history, technology is finally catching up with imagination.

With new technologies in place and on the horizon, it’s easy to get excited for the future of healthcare IT.

Some of these new medical technologies are in use and some are in the late stages of development and testing. With all this forward motion, one thing is certain. A hospital visit in 2017 will be drastically different than in previous years. And that’s something to get excited about.

MarketsandMarkets projects that the North American health IT market will reach $104 billion by 2020.

Here are some of the technologies that are leading the charge:

1. Robot Nurse

Robots may never fully replace human nurses, but this one excels at lending a hand. RIBA the robot nurse was built to help lift patients in and out of bed. RIBA is large yet unassuming, and she can easily lift patients that weigh up to 176 pounds. You may not see this technology in US hospitals for some time, but RIBA is making waves in Japan.

2. Remote Patient Monitoring Devices

Current trends in healthcare are taking expensive monitoring devices down a notch. As remote monitoring becomes more important, many things improve. Doctors have access to a broader array of accurate information and patients gain control over their health. This technology brings about positive change in almost every area, but there is one caveat. Everyone is concerned about privacy.

With a greater reliance on mobile devices, sensitive information is more susceptible to exposure. This is where cyber security comes in.

Mobile device manufacturers must choose EHNAC accredited hosting partners that comply with HIPAA regulations. For everyone’s safety, we must treat mobile security with the same importance as we do with network infrastructures and EHRs.

3. Lightbulbs That Disinfect and Kill Bacteria

With this technological advancement, hospital robots aid the cleaning staff instead of nurses. Xenex’s Xenon containing light bulb kills 99.9% of bacteria in less than five minutes. These powerful lamps can destroy Ebola on any dry surface in just two minutes.

4. Spectral Computed Tomography

It’s about time computed tomography saw an upgrade. Spectral CT acquires images at two energy levels and differentiates various bodily elements based on material density or atomic numbers. You’ll see these differences on the image as varying shades of gray or color. Its main purpose and benefit is that it adds depth to the traditional way of CT scanning. Three manufacturers have pioneered this technology and each has its own individual take.

5. Ingestible Origami Robots

They may look like candy, but these devices may one day save your life. And as you dig deeper to learn more, this tiny technology just gets more interesting. These controllable robotic devices are small enough to fit inside a capsule, but they unfold and become larger after they are swallowed. Although ingestible origami robots aren’t in use just yet, they are part of the fast-growing field of robotic surgery. We can expect to see many more developments in this field within the coming months and years.

6. 3D Printing

3D printing has changed so many industries, but in the medical field, it is saving lives. With 3D printing, surgeons can get a close look at internal organs before they even pick up the scalpel. And this is exactly what happened in the case of Mia Gonzalaz whose doctor used a 3D printout of her heart to help visualize her upcoming surgery.

7. Google Glass

Google Glass is currently in use in at least five hospitals in the nation. Indiana University Heath Methodist Hospital was the first to use this technology to remove a tumor. Surgeons used voice commands to view patient information and imaging without diverting their eyes from surgery.

Now more than ever, possibly due to the Affordable Care Act’s payment models, hospitals are seeking new ways to minimize costs while improving quality of care.

For IT professionals in the healthcare industry, this opens an opportunity to apply new and creative solutions to age-old problems. As we’re seeing, new these technologies will indicate major changes in how we work and develop products.

Share this article

Lindsay Olsen is a content specialist at KEO Marketing where she writes widely on the topics of medical technology and healthcare IT. You can connect with her on Twitter or send her a quick email.

Facebook Comments