Digital technologies have brought a new wave of innovation to healthcare, transforming the ways in which patients access medical services, professionals deliver care and organisations operate. From telemedicine to electronic records and smart hospitals to robotics, digitalisation is reshaping the landscape of healthcare, promising improved efficiency, enhanced patient outcomes and greater accessibility.
Telemedicine expands healthcare horizons
The use of telecoms technology to provide remote medical services has emerged as one of the most significant advancements in healthcare. Through video consultations and remote monitoring, patients can connect with healthcare providers regardless of their geographical location.
Telemedicine reduces barriers to healthcare access, especially for patients in rural areas or those with limited mobility. It enables timely interventions, early diagnosis and follow-up care, leading to improved patient outcomes and a more efficient use of resources.
Remote monitoring empowers patients
The proliferation of wearable devices, such as fitness trackers and smartwatches, has empowered individuals to monitor their own health and well-being. These devices collect and transmit valuable data, including heart rate, sleep patterns and physical activity levels. Remote monitoring technology allows healthcare professionals to track patients’ vital signs, chronic conditions, and post-operative recovery.
Such continuous monitoring enables early intervention, prevents complications and encourages proactive healthcare management. Furthermore, wearable devices promote patient engagement, encouraging individuals to take ownership of their well-being and adopt a healthier lifestyle.
Continuous monitoring devices are a major benefit for people living with conditions such as diabetes in that they can send emergency alerts if the patient’s glucose levels fall within dangerous levels. Furthermore, more advanced devices can automatically administer insulin at appropriate intervals.
According to GlobalData, the continuous glucose monitor market is growing rapidly.
Streamlining data management with electronic health records
Gone are the days of paper-based medical records. Electronic health records (EHRs) have digitised patient data, enabling seamless information sharing among healthcare providers. EHRs consolidate medical histories, test results and treatment plans, providing a comprehensive overview of a patient’s health.
This real-time access to patient data enhances care coordination, reduces medical errors and supports evidence-based decision-making. EHRs also facilitate medical research and population health analysis by aggregating data.
According to GlobalData, there are more than 600 EHR system companies, with more additions each year. It is estimated that EHR systems will reach a global market value of $54.9 billion by the end of 2028.
Unlocking insights with artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) and big data analytics have the potential to revolutionise healthcare delivery. AI algorithms can analyse vast amounts of patient data – including medical images, genomic information and clinical notes – to identify patterns and make accurate predictions. AI-powered diagnostic tools can help detect diseases early, improving survival rates and reducing healthcare costs.
Moreover, big data analytics can uncover population health trends, identify disease outbreaks and optimise the allocation of resources. These data-driven insights enhance healthcare decision-making, drive preventive measures and support personalised treatment plans.
While oncology has been the primary focus of precision and personalised medicine, many other areas will also benefit, such as autoimmune, neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases, as well as mental health.
Smart hospitals and robotics
Smart hospitals use innovative technology to improve the quality of patient care, while reducing costs. Examples of intelligent treatments include AI, robotics, 3D printing, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).
Smart hospitals are integrating digital and physical assets in a way that ties together clinical and business workflows, enabling seamless integration across technology to deliver healthcare. These hospitals allow healthcare providers to spend more time focusing on patient care by helping to complete or simplify routine tasks.
According to GlobalData, the medical robot market, which is an important aspect of smart hospitals, will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12%. In 2020, the market reached $4.7 billion and it is set to reach $14.5 billion in 2030.
Care robots are still quite new and in the early stage of development, but due to the ageing population, staff shortages and the cost efficiency of robotics, this segment is set to increase from 1% of the total medical robotics market in 2020 to 28% by 2030. However, surgical robots will continue to dominate.
Medical device manufacturers cannot afford to fall behind as the healthcare industry embraces digitalisation. Alleima works with medical device equipment manufacturers to design and deliver customised medical wire and wire-based components, ultra-thin tubes and nitinol instruments, which can be used in smart devices such as continuous glucose monitors and pacemakers, as well as neurostimulation and surgical devices, including catheters and guidewires and not the least – surgical robots.
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