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Clinicians Require Innovative Tools: Tech Trends in 2021

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  • by Anastasiia Mikula
  • Updated on February 12, 2021
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    15-16 minutes
digital healthcare

Due to the fast-spreading of Covid-19 all over the world, no industry felt the need for technological boosting more as healthcare did. Medical facilities have intensively started to implement software platforms and extend their functionality as the number of people who needed medical treatment has risen rapidly. Despite the workload, clinics are obliged to provide a highly qualified treatment, monitor the patients` state, record, manage and keep their data private. These amounts of information can not be processed and checked manually, so clinics began to integrate the innovative tools. 

During the pandemic period, the existing digital tools and applications began to transform and extend their functionality. We would like to highlight the top technological trends that have become already widespread in the healthcare industry and are expected to continue integrating medical organizations.

Technology trends in the healthcare industry 

These tech trends are not widely implemented in medical facilities but all of them are a must due to the current situation. The healthcare industry has changed a lot and it will never be the same. It is high time to think of integrating modern digital tools in the hospitals to provide highly qualified diagnostics and treatment.

Telehealth experience instead of an in-person visit

Due to the pandemic situation, most hospitals aim to organize treatment afar and provide long-distance care. As there are still many cases that put people at a high risk of being infected, healthcare facilities felt the need to implement more personal tech to enforce people to care about their health more properly. Thus, medical establishments integrate or expand virtual care programs.

At the beginning of the pandemic, only 24% of all hospitals provided telehealth programs.

Therefore, healthcare organizations started to expand their virtual care assistance to provide highly qualified treatment for all remote patients. During the quarantine, remote patients can get psychological help, infection consultation, constant monitoring, etc. Healthcare facilities have to be sure of the provider’s service quality to make the remote treatment effective and easy for patients of all ages. A telehealth visit has to be as similar as possible to an in-person visit.

Temporary surgery and hospital rooms

Reaching perfect purity in healthcare organizations is the top priority. Covid-19 has changed the attitude of the state of sanitary in most hospitals as it has become an urgent need to protect clinicians and patients. Thus, medical facilities have introduced advanced ways of keeping hygiene. Among the most popular, we would like to mark temporary surgery and hospital rooms made with the help of plastic or glass walls. Moreover, healthcare organizations are equipped with thermal cameras and check-in for each visitor to avoid queues and clustering before people enter the hospital. In addition, healthcare facilities set autonomous robots that radiate ultraviolet rays to clean the building and hospital rooms. It is a great implementation as due to a vast number of patients, these robots really fasten the process of cleaning. We also would like to mention RFID tech that helps to monitor the hygiene habits of staff, scan the body temperature thanks to the special wristbands or other wearable devices.

Artificial Intelligence to boost treatment efficiency 

The use of AI tech can create $150 billion in annual savings for the U.S. healthcare economy by 2026.

Accenture report

In order to cope with a large number of patients and lack of clinicians, healthcare organizations are to implement AI tech to automate some processes but keep their accuracy. AI technology provides the ability to make some treatment processes touch-free like sending data to EHR with the use of natural language processing. AI apps are supposed to be virtual assistants that serve as medication reminders, symptom checkers, disease detectors, and therapists. In addition, AI-powered chatbots provide care recommendations and symptom checkings like a real pocket doctor or even a group of doctors. 

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EHR custom solution
Check our long-read on EMR and EHR custom solutions and why these tools are a must for clinics today.

AR and VR technology for virtual education

AR and VR technologies are widely used for medical training for doctors and nurses. The virtual educational course lets future or current doctors get into stressful situations that are not likely to happen in life, at least often. This makes the students more experienced and ready for any circumstances. Due to the frequent cases of pneumonia, VR was also used for analyzing the lung scans that have shown the percentage of damage of a particular patient. 

What is more, VR tech creates virtual activities for different interests, and chat rooms have got a new role. VR helps to gather elder people in groups for communication as they are forced to stay at their homes due to pandemic as adults are at a higher risk of infection.

Data Analytics and interoperability

As we all know, data analytics is used for tracking and analyzing the EHR of each patient with real-time updates of information. This technology is relevant as never before as people are being vaccinated all over the world. It is only the inception of the vaccinating wave and it will continue for a long time. There should be one single database with the people who have been vaccinated. This information will be required mostly for traveling or moving to another country, at work, universities, schools, hospitals, etc. So data interoperability is needed to connect all patients` EHR and make them accessible from any location.

Digital tools for mental healthcare

Along with physical health, quarantine forced people to care more about their mental health. Everyone has experienced being locked at home for an uncertain period of time with no offline meetings, shopping, traveling, etc. It even sounds a little bit depressing and extremely boring. Moreover, Covid-19 has a wide specter of side effects, and depression is not an exception. A particular number of people, who have been infected by Covid-19, experience depression and suicidal thoughts. Thanks to modern technology, these people can start mental disease treatment without leaving their homes. We would like to mention the most widespread technologies that help people to cope with their depression and other mental diseases today. 

Telepsychiatry

This technology is a must for the current pandemic situation. Due to quarantine limitations, not all psychiatrists are available for in-person visits because of the high level of occupancy. One more reason is the huge number of people who want to visit their doctors so the queue is really long and you have to wait for several weeks or even months. Telepsychiatry is a new level of mental healthcare that has the same standards and quality of treatment but it is a more convenient way to visit doctors. You can easily talk to your doctor via smartphone, tablet, or laptop to continue your treatment and in case of emergency because not all patients can wait for several weeks to have a consultation. Moreover, telepsychiatry doesn’t seem to be so scary as it could seem when a patient has to visit a hospital, so the treatment can be more effective and convenient.

Artificial Intelligence

AI tech aims to collect valuable patients’ data to make predictions of their future diagnosis. For example, Nashville Vanderbilt University provided a survey for 5000 patients among those who tried to harm themselves. Using this data and AI tech, they predicted whether the patient was going to make one more suicide attempt with the percentage of probability. It is a real innovation in mental healthcare that can even save people’s lives by predictions.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or TMS is a great replacement for ECT (electroshock therapy) as, besides ECT’s positive impact on mental health, this treatment could even be harmful and had a wide range of side effects. TMS is the treatment with the electromagnet that influences particular parts of the brain and eliminates depressive thoughts and moods. 

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According to statistics, about 30% of patients who were treated with TMS, are in remission now.

Smartphone apps

The choice of mobile medical apps is huge but not all mental health apps are reliable and checked. It is better to choose the reviewed and certified mobile applications by governmental associations. Of course, applications can not replace professional treatment but they can be good additions like meditations, reminders of taking pillows, or other psychological practices. 

Remote monitoring 

Remote monitoring is a rather widespread technology among medical facilities, especially during the pandemic. Performing of patient state monitoring is possible only with the use of wearables like bracelets, rings, etc. The process is simple, due to IoT technology these wearables track a patient’s pulse, heart rate, blood pressure and send data to personal electronic records that are located in the hospital and can be monitored by doctors. Constant health state monitoring helps to predict deterioration and prevent critical situations by the quick reaction. 

spire health tage

Speech Analysis

This innovative technology makes it possible to detect mental diseases by analyzing the patient’s speech with the help of AI and machine learning. This technology is not implemented into convenient applications and used in a limited area. However, the perspective is great as the diagnosis can become accurate and imply the suitable treatment for any illness like depression, bipolar disorder, etc. 

Popular software medical solutions

Here are the top three digital platforms that are implemented in clinics with the aim of providing highly qualified treatment. These platforms help to reach excellent remote monitoring and treatment for patients with different diagnoses.


Playback Health
Playback Health is a multi-functional cloud-based HIPAA medical system that provides the video record of patients` visits to hospitals. With the use of this platform, patients can listen to their diagnosis and treatment details one more time as medical information usually sounds complex. It contains not the full video but some important parts that include information about patients’ procedures, drugs, diagnostic data, etc. This platform has a mobile version that makes it accessible for all patients without leaving their houses. Personal accounts contain all possible vital information about treatment, doctors, their responsibilities and can be easily shared with relatives, other providers that require this data, or anyone the patients want as all these options are completely free for users. Besides private information doctors and nurses can add images or videos where they describe the treatment instructions, homecare recommendations and leave comments about hospital caring and its progress. Thus, the application reduces the number of repeated calls, messages, or visits to hospitals. Playback Health tool uses the new HL7 standards for exchanging healthcare data electronically. 
Spire Health Tag
Recently Spire company has released a health tag – a wearable device that provides remote monitoring of patients. A health tag is a small device that users put on their clothes. It tracks the steps, heart rate, sleep hours, and respiration. It works with the use of AI technology that catches and analyzes biosignals. Consequently, this data is sent to the hospital database and patient`s mobile app to alert about first signs of illness. The most fascinating thing about the Spire health tag is that this device doesn’t need to be charged as it can work for 1.5 years. 
EASE apps
EASE or Electronic Access to Surgical Events is a brand new application that is similar to Snapchat. Sometimes the surgery can last for hours, and this application helps to keep families aware of what is going on at the moment. Doctors make and send HIPAA-compliant text messages or images that disappear as the end-user opens them. This innovative tool aims to decrease anxiety for people who wait for an operation result and show them the progress during the surgery. As the content is private, after opening the message within 60 sec all photos, text, and videos are deleted from messenger and server to protect the patient’s privacy. One more thing about privacy is every patient gets a special barcode that should be scanned to send the message to the actual end-user or group of users( relatives). This app is completely free for patients but demands a fee from clinics that implement it. It is also vital to train nurses and doctors to use the application correctly to avoid harmful situations.  

Here is a video guide on how the EASE app actually works.

Innovative tools for healthcare during the pandemic

We covered the top tech innovations that were born and developed during the pandemic. Covid-19 forced many physicians to think of more progressive and efficient digital tools that will help to cope with the huge number of infected people.

3D-printed swabs designed with AI

What can sound more innovative than 3D swabs to detect Covid-19 in the safest way? 3D-printed swabs became a revolutionary step in healthcare during the pandemic produced by a small company named Axial3D. This way of getting tested is available on the territory of the United States due to high demand and a huge number of infected people. The company CEO insisted that 3D-printed swabs are better than traditional swabs. 

Monitoring social distancing

Based on ultra-wideband or UWB technology, Locilabs engineering company has launched a social distancing system that works via watches or badges. The essence is monitoring the distance between patients and other people within 10 cm and defining how long they have been contacting. Thus, the data is sent to the cloud and analyzed to identify whether the patients are at risk of being infected. 

Detecting COVID-19 via a smartphone app

Remember the first Covid test results when people had to wait for several days to figure out if they are infected? Things changed and it is not about quick Covid-19 tests. SDG Group has developed a mobile app Docdot that detects the early stages of coronavirus and helps to prevent serious health impacts. How can it possibly work? With the use of photoplethysmography, a smartphone camera scans and records the state of blood pressure and blood vessels. Thus, the application converts this data into test results that are considered to be as accurate as simple Covid-19 test results. Additionally, the app checks and records heart rate and oxygen saturation in blood then send this data to hospitals. Thus, doctors can track sick people’s states and know the accurate statistics of infected patients. 

Ventilating through the cloud

Due to the wide use of ventilation devices, there was a need of improving their mobility and data management. One of the San Diego ventilation device manufacturers innovated the work of these devices. This company released a cloud-based system that gathers data about blood state from ventilation devices and sends it to hospital databases. This information shows the real-time patient state and prevents the serious effect by the quick reaction to any changes and alerting the hospital about them. This pandemic forced even the healthcare industry to go virtual, and as we see modern technologies really make the treatment more effective.

Providing a safe environment for clinicians

Along with the innovative treatment of patients, we should not forget that despite the number of infected patients, clinicians also need a safe and convenient environment for their hard work. Most doctors and nurses are wearing respirators 24/7 but not all of them are really protecting. A team of professors from Southampton created and designed the innovative and convenient respirators that cleans the oxygen as much as is possible with the use of a special filter that is connected to the battery. Along with excellent filtering, there was a need in designing comfortable and no very expensive breathing masks to make them affordable for any medical facility. 

We offer you to check out the latest reports about medical innovative technologies and predictions of their development for the next several years.

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How to choose an outsource team of developers?

Due to all technologies, we decide above, we can see how fast the world of technology changes and adapts to new circumstances. The pandemic situation and quick raise of people who need medical treatment have boosted the healthcare industry a lot. 

Several years ago EHR or electronic health records were supposed to be innovative tools that simplify the patients’ and doctors’ experience. Now, these medical tools require technological updates and new implementation. Where and how to update the medical tools? Initially, your medical platform should be properly analyzed due to recent technological updates to define the perspective of changes and adding new functions to it. 

Today hospitals need a higher level of safety, the possibility to provide remote treatment or monitoring, and of course able to do quick Covid-19 tests. For expanding the existing software platform we recommend finding a reliable outsource team of developers, and we would like to tell why this is the best variant. Outsourcing has a specter of positive factors that makes the development process easier and highly qualified. Among the main beneficial sides are:

  • you pay for the actual time spent for the development;
  • the choice of software development company is wide and up to you so you can research the company portfolio, clients` feedback, developers, and their experience before hiring;
  • the development process will start as soon as possible as your team will not be occupied by other projects that let the developer primarily focus on your solution.

FAQ

Among the technologies that digitally transformed the healthcare industry are:

  • AR\VR;
  • IoT;
  • 3D Printing;
  • Artificial Intelligence;
  • Teletreatment.

Initially, clinics needed software to cope with amounts of work and patients data as it should be accurately managed and recorded. Today digital medical platforms are directed on providing full remote treatment for people who are not in critical situations. These systems and modern technologies also help to prevent health deterioration and react quickly to any changes in patient state.

To summarize

Medical software, like any other type of software, requires constant upgrading. However, the healthcare industry demands quick reactions and changes. It is important to define what kind of software your medical facility needs or what improvements your existing platform requires to keep up with the development of the latest technologies. GBKSOFT software development company has 9+ years of experience in building custom solutions considering all client’s goals and expectations. Check out our award in healthcare software development. We know that right setting the solution requirements and priorities define the further plan and process of the development that lead to a successful ending up.

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Medical software upgrade
Does your medical software platform require qualified technological upgrade?
Anastasiia Mikula Due to my Master`s Degree in journalism, I focus on the details while doing the research on the topic. My particular curiosity is about the latest mobile app developments that start in 2015 that make life easier and save much time to spend it more productive. I am an expert in reviewing and consulting web projects related to web applications, especially if they are connected with wearables.

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