The extremely rapid development of the digital healthcare industry and related technological, educational, work, and mental transformations in healthcare and medicine will determine how one of the main areas of our economy, which significantly affects our life and health, will change soon.

In this brief overview, we want to point out 5 key trends that determine how digital healthcare will affect the future of the medical profession.

No doctor will be able to work without the use of advanced technologies

As diagnostic tools become more compact and, as a rule, connected through the Network, and patients have access to them. It is evident that new digital technologies will play a central role in almost any medical specialty. They are so important to the practice of doctors that they cannot function without them.

It is estimated that by 2025 about 40% of the adult population of the United States will use wearable devices, and this situation is similar for other developed countries. As they increasingly include a health-tracking function, patients will inevitably bring data from such devices to medical institutions. Doctors will need to be able to get acquainted with these devices and interpret their indications. Thus we can conclude that particular specialties will be in high demand soon. For instance, you can find a job as a medical physicist or junior medical physicist, whose tasks are to ensure the functioning of complex and expensive equipment and the correctness of research and therapy.

With the help of technology, doctors will be able to get closer to their patients

Even despite the dependence on technology in the future of medical professions, the human factor will play the same role, if not more. This is because these technologies will eliminate repetitive components of work and subsequently free up valuable time for medical workers.

Speech recognition and natural language processing technologies can significantly “clear” the working day from routine tasks of filling out documentation. As such advanced technologies take over routine functions, they will allow doctors to communicate more with patients. Thus, doctors will have to show more empathy and compassion when dealing with sick people; their lack of such skills will be even more noticeable than today.

Automation does not mean replacing doctors

Today, the question often arises whether advanced technologies and automation in medicine will not completely capture the medical profession. Such concerns may make experts skeptical about the introduction of new technologies. After all, we regularly hear the news that Google’s DeepMind algorithm can outrun radiologists in detecting cancers on medical images or how the software quickly and non-invasively diagnoses the type of tumor and its location. But even in such a specialty as radiology, where automation will cope with most repetitive and data-based components, human participation will still be required, since it is better prepared to solve creative tasks.

Patients will take part in the restructuring of healthcare

No matter how important technologies are for the future of individual medical specialties, patient participation will also be of great importance for their formation in the coming years. As technology changes healthcare, it also allows patients to express their opinions as they become more active in managing their health.

As end users of digital healthcare tools and new treatment approaches, they can provide valuable feedback for more effective implementation of such solutions. No hospital will soon be able to function and work without the introduction of a system of interaction with patients. Thus, the future of medical specialties will require doctors to involve patients in an equal partnership.

Telemedicine will become common in the healthcare system

In a post-pandemic world, it is generally agreed that we should not return to the old ways of providing medical care. It is clear that new technologies provide better clinical outcomes and help reduce health inequalities. Survey results show that the demand for telemedicine services has increased dramatically, while more and more people positively assess the quality of such services.

Many young doctors and medical professionals hope that after the pandemic, these advances in medical technology will be adopted permanently.

Telemedicine can become a convincing alternative to traditional treatment and prevention of acute and chronic diseases, as well as improve clinical results. In the industrialized world, telemedicine is likely to continue to move medical care from the hospital or clinic to the home.

Conclusion

The future of healthcare is being shaped before our eyes with the development of digital medical technologies, such as artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, 3D printing, robotics, and nanotechnology. Doctors should familiarize themselves with the latest developments to be able to manage technologies and not vice versa.

Image by Edward Jenner from Pexels


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