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7 Ways Exponential Technology is Leading to Exponential Medicine

Posted by mswayne on November 14, 2018 at 5:25 AM

The healthcare, pharmaceutical, and medical industries are investing heavily in cutting-edge software solutions and smarter machine learning and artificial intelligence technology. The full benefits of this tech revolution may lead to a revolution in disease treatment and extend the healthspan of millions of patients, according to those experts.

According to recent statistics, information technology budgets are increasing across the country, but experts say the healthcare IT spending, in particular, is spiking into double digits. Healthcare spending in big data, for example, is expected to grow 42 percent in 2019, according to Technavio.

These increased tech budgets may be just the spark that ignites a conflagration in healthcare. Here are just a few ways technology will change healthcare.

7. More Personalised Treatments

Currently, treatments are designed to treat not individuals, but massive populations of people for a few reasons. First, this is about as granular as medical research can go. Most of the keys to health -- the genome, for example -- are just starting to be explored and understood. Second, treating groups is economical. Creating a treatment for each person is too expensive.

However, as bioengineers using machine learning and AI discover more about the human genome -- and how to manipulate it -- they will be able to tailor treatments to individuals and do so inexpensively.

From Science Daily: “Scientists have developed a successful method to make truly personalized predictions of future disease outcomes for patients with certain types of chronic blood cancers. Researchers combined extensive genetic and clinical information to The research identified eight different genetic subgroups of the disease and could lead to personalized medicine for patients with these blood cancers.”

6. More Patient Engagement

We are in the initial stages of a massive disruption in medical treatment. The days of doctors, surgeons, and other medical professionals being solely responsible for administering care are starting to fade. In the near future, patients will be able to monitor, assess, and adjust their own treatments with help from machines. They will also have unmatched access to their human medical helpers.

The technology will also help doctors and their office workers connect with patients, according to HealthWorks Collective.

“Search Health Hit says that an AI-powered business phone system for communication will also help improve the patient experience and satisfaction even when patients are at home.” -- HealthWorks Collective.

5. More Opportunities for Mobile Health

With fitness apps and other wearables, AI will be a health professional that is on-duty 24-7. It can monitor fitness, rest, stress, and even sleep. Then, it can offer suggestions and recommendations.

These interactions can happen anywhere at anytime -- at work, at home, at play, and even in the bed.

As an example, a startup called Sweetch, uses AI to help predict, prevent and improve outcomes for people who have diabetes. The startup has recently partnered with WellSpan Health, a healthcare company to provide its mobile health app to the company’s 15,000 employees.

4. Telehealth

With smart speakers with screens, like Amazon’s Echo Show, the doctor will be able to see you anytime. And, with AI using voice assistance and smart speakers, doctors may only be on call for more serious subjects. AI chatbots can handle much of the routine healthcare inquiries and appointments.

But, it’s not just patients who will use smart speakers and smart screens. Doctors will be able to use them to set up appointments, learn new medical techniques on the fly, and reach out to patients and their office colleagues at any time and at any place.

3. Blockchained

Finally, expect the information drowned in the massive bureaucracy that swallows patient data like a tsunami to finally recede. Blockchain technology will soon put the power of their data back into their own hands. People will be able to loan their data to research efforts, sell their data to pharmaceuticals, and offer their personal data across the healthcare enterprise instantly.

Forms and long lines will be a thing of the past,many futurists predict.

2. Cheaper

Healthcare is expensive, pulling needed income from the wallets and pocketbooks of people hoping to get well. Sickness also makes people less productive and drags them out of the workforce.

The money invested in clinical trials for drug and treatment discovery is in the range of tens of billions of dollars each year, a figure that’s growing.

If this continues, health experts set the global cost of healthcare at more than $18 trillion by 2040.

That’s a huge drag on the economy.

These figures don’t take the impact of technology into consideration, however.

Technology may be able to make hospitals more efficient, take the often expensive guesswork out of treatment, and ease the strain on people’s budgets. As technology becomes increasingly cheaper, its impact on healthcare may become exponentially greater.

Scarborough Biotechnology’s Snapshot is one example. It can perform robust genetic analysis for prices that small- to medium-sized biotech firms can afford. This puts genetic breakthroughs in the hands of more researchers.

1. Quicker

Artificial intelligence will soon give doctors advice in seconds on a patient’s conditions. It will be able to immediately serve up treatment recommendations. AI and machine learning tools will be able to provide aid that speeds recovery. When they patient goes home, expect technology to monitor and provide rehabilitation services.

The recovery process for many diseases and operations will be reduced by weeks.

How long will all of this happen? The answers vary. Some say months. Some years. Some say a decade. Most experts say, though, that you don’t have to wait. These things are happening right now. The healthcare revolution has arrived. It’s just not evenly distributed yet.

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