When talking about ‘digitization,’ there’s a great deal that comes to mind these days: Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, and Machine Learning, just to name a few. With so many innovations and developments taking place, it’s hard to keep track.
So what are the most vital trends in Healthcare and Life Sciences in Germany this year? Based on our research, a market overview, our experts’ points of view, as well as on reports from Coliquio and HealthDataSpace, two large medical communities in German-speaking countries, we’ve put together a list of the ‘hottest’ eHealth topics in Germany’s Digital Healthcare World.
1. Remote treatment: telemedicine will become a reality
Germany is about to lift a ban on distance treatment. This should happen by May 2018 (in time for the German Annual Medical Convention), meaning that location-independent treatment is going to become a natural part of healthcare quite soon.
2. Patient Data from Wearables to make a leap forward
Admittedly, this trend is not new. For years, calories have been tracked, steps counted and heart rates measured. But has all this data been accurate? Not really. That’s what’s going to change in 2018. Wearables are stepping out of the wellness arena and becoming devices used in clinical trials and remote monitoring of patients.
3. Blockchain becomes a disruptive technology
When thinking of blockchain, healthcare is not the first thing that pops into your mind, is it? Initially, blockchain was designed to store transaction data in a secure, traceable and forgery-proof way. In the healthcare industry, one could apply blockchain to things like increased interoperability of health data, improved cybersecurity, result-oriented treatment and reimbursement models, as well as the possibility for patients to make their anonymized health data available for research and receive appropriate benefits in return.
4. Control Rooms to improve hospital care
Hospitals, without any doubt, can be rather hectic. According to the Cleveland Clinic, 44% of cardiac arrests are not even detected in time just because doctors miss the signals from patients. To counteract this development, hospitals are now using a new digital option: monitoring data from medical devices and high-definition cameras.
Will chatbots replace doctors one day? Chatbots are becoming increasingly important in the digital healthcare sector, providing 24/7 digital support to patients using pre-designed answers. A chatbot cannot offer a diagnosis, but it will be there with you, by your side, reminding you to rest and take medicine. Like the world’s most caring digital wonder-nanny you never had!
6. Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality glasses are no longer just for computer games. Experts see potential applications in the treatment of psychological and neurological diseases such as anxiety disorders, as well as the treatment of strokes or phantom pain.
7. Big Data, Deep & Machine Learning
The great advances in the field of Artificial Intelligence in recent years could lead to fewer cases of misdiagnosis. Intelligent algorithms are now able to compare millions of cases in just a few minutes and/or match image and text databases with existing diagnoses. Based on the treatment data from previous patients, physicians can find the right treatment plan and therapy for new patients more quickly.
Any trends we’ve missed out on? Please, go ahead and tell us what you think!