The healthcare industry has been rapidly changing, and several trends are surfacing in 2017.

At Seamgen, we’ve worked on a few connected health products before, and we like to think we’ve become adept at spotting current healthcare trends.

We’ll be looking at telehealth, the future of the Affordable Care Act, and machine learning.

TeleHealth

telehealth

TeleHealth aims to enhance patient-provider relationships through the use of virtual technology.

With legislative changes, financial shifts, and an aging population, the need for remote care is rising.

According to the American Telemedicine Association

“The number of Americans receiving virtual medical care is forecast to double, from 15 million in 2016 to 30 million in 2017.”

There are four applicable ways TeleHealth assists patients:

  1. Live-video: A real-time service where patients are able to interact with their provider via video and audio. Can be used for consultant or diagnostic services.
  2. Stored data: Pre-recorded videos that are collected from past medical examinations or visits. Records of health history can be used to evaluate progress.
  3. Remote Patient Monitoring: Providers can track and monitor their patient’s health at a remote location via data transferring services.
  4. Mobile Health: Mobile devices offer patients and providers many different services. These include education, health updates, and disease outbreak notifications.

The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics reports that:

“Most ER wait times last nearly an hour — and the cost of an expensive ER visit more often falls on a consumer who hasn’t met their deductible, the appeal for the convenience and affordability of telehealth will grow stronger.”

With extended wait times and expenses stacking up, the need for TeleHealth is definitely a rising trend to keep an eye on.

Future of Affordable Care Act

trump

Former President Barack Obama passed the Affordable Care Act with the goal of making healthcare more accessible for Americans.

This law also focused on improving health information technology (HIT) by adopting new electronic health record technology and technology-enabled quality-improvement strategies in health centers.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius states,

“Effective use of technology and data can improve the quality of care and make our health care system more efficient,”

However, the future of the Affordable Care Act remains uncertain as President Donald Trump plans to repeal and replace the law.

Though he has yet to release his official plans, Donald Trump has made his future healthcare goals clear.

    1. Coverage for everyone
    2. Block grants for Medicaid
    3. Protect people with pre-existing conditions

These are his plans for the new healthcare program to replace ACA, however, nothing is confirmed.

Healthcare Cloud & Deep Learning

As of early 2017, the FDA approved its first machine learning technology to be used in a clinical setting.  The data for this technology is stored in cloud-based programs, to help organize and improve the workflow in healthcare centers.

Arterys, a healthcare technology company, had its medical imaging platform approved to help doctors identify heart problems.

Furthermore, Arterys’ Cardio DL is a program that runs on learning algorithms to recognize and identify potential health problems.

Data collected from both of these platforms is then uploaded and shared on a cloud-based program accessible to physicians.

Fabien Beckers, one of the founders of Arterys, states:

“This is a huge deal – it’s the first time this new way of imaging has been cleared for clinical application. It’s about truly helping clinical workflow to move into the cloud and deep learning and do something pretty substantial. It opens the seals, and sets a precedent for what can be done.”

At Seamgen, we also wrote a recent article about IBM Watson, and how AI is the future of healthcare services.

Thanks for Reading!

These are only a few of the upcoming healthcare technology trends of 2017. As technology advances and political policies are passed, you can expect many more changes to the healthcare industry.

We hope you enjoyed this read, and be sure to check out our other posts for the latest technology trends.  Below are a few similar posts to this one, focusing on changes in healthcare tech.

IBM Watson is Revolutionizing Medicine with AI

Connected Health is Changing How We Collect Data

We’ve also compiled a huge list of 25 new connected health devices that we know you’ll love!