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Six Healthcare Trends To Watch In 2018

Digital transformation is set to overhaul the global healthcare industry. As we move into 2018, here are some emerging healthcare trends that will talk about how personalized medicine and value based care will be adopted in the healthcare ecosystem

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"    Precision Medicine
In cancer, there are misspellings or mutations in important genes that drive the cell to grow out of control and eventually move around the body. Different patients have different misspellings and hence do not benefit from same treatment. Because of the differences across patients the conventional one-size-fits-all treatment paradigms has low response rate. Further, precious time is lost while physicians progress through successive standard therapies with no guidance on which will prove efficacious. This is where Precision medicine will offer the promise of averting unnecessary treatment, minimizing drug adverse events, and maximizing overall safety to ultimately maximize the efficacy and efficiency of the healthcare system. The rapid identification of the most beneficial personalized therapy would transform the patient experience.

"    Real Time Monitoring
Non-invasive monitoring approaches will enable in collecting patient data longitudinally across multiple time points. This is enabled by various sensors to track patient vital signs 24x7 through wearable devices, complemented by blood and saliva monitoring techniques. This data availability opens up opportunities to improving healthcare - predict onset, identify right treatments and track treatment impact.

"    Real Time Personalization
A Cancer characteristic in a patient is not static. It changes with time due to treatment pressures and other reasons. Hence the treatment strategy for a patient will need to evolve with time. With the ability to monitor impact of treatment on a disease -analogous to software world this will create the opportunity to debug why a treatment is not working and to learn and course-correct. This real time personalization will create an updated paradigm based on real time personalization.

"    Use of Big Data
With the rise of the Internet of (Medical) Things (IoMT), mobile and wearable devices being increasingly connected, working together to create a cohesive medical report accessible anywhere by your health care provider will surface. This data can be used to identify the risk factors and provide preventative treatment to the patients. It can be pooled and studied collectively to predict health care trends for entire cultures and countries. Together, volume, variety, validity, velocity, volatility, and variability of data will produce the ultimate challenges of Big Data to apply in practices such as precision medicine, among others. However, the visualization of clear and concise clinical action that provides value to the patient, physician, and healthcare system will emerge as an effective solution.

"    Artificial Intelligence

Big data aggregated provides opportunity to learn from past and predict the future. Some clinical questions are better suited to use of artificial intelligence techniques because of available datasets. Early disease diagnosis and automated interpretation of images and other reports are few applications where AI will add value. Further, AI will help healthcare practitioners in mining of the data to identify risk factors for providing efficacious clinical treatment.

"    Mobility and cloud
Mobility and cloud access is and will help patients and doctors interact better and real-time. Globally, majority of doctors already use smartphones and medical app and access drug info on smart phones on a regular basis. Hospitals, insurance companies, and doctor's offices are now storing patient medical records in the cloud, with patients able to access test results online 24/7.Now, mobile devices perform ECGs, DIY blood tests, or serve as a thermometer, for 'anytime, anywhere' users. Going forward, with increasing automation, patients can enter their health results/ check-up into mobile patient portals as well as provide[the said] information to doctors - right and fast.

Overall, with rise of digital technology adoption by the healthcare ecosystem, the overall clinical care delivery for patient empowerment will be more streamlined and thereby improve the way healthcare facilities function as well.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Tags assigned to this article:
healthcare Year End 2017 opinion Digital Transformation

Taher Abbasi

The author is COO & Co-Founder of Cellworks Research India

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