The level of empowerment that a patient now enjoys through technological innovations in the healthcare sector is simply unimaginable.
This is startups that are using technology to deliver their services are mushrooming all around the globe. In fact, the global healthcare industry will be valued at $7.1 trillion by 2020 with digital technology in the driver’s seat. In the present the impact of digital health is already evident – people are managing chronic illnesses better, the possibility of self-diagnose is higher, and caregivers are delivering their services in a more accessible and efficient way.
And this has only been possible through cutting edge startups that have radically changed the entire industry. Let us look at the areas where startups have turned problems into opportunities.
1. Mobile health to counter lack of accessibility
With the adoption of smartphones on a large scale, many startups have utilized this platform for their offerings. From services like e-visits, e prescribing to remote monitoring, mobile health has made our everyday lives so much easier.
Not just that, things like visiting a pharmacy to get your medicines are no longer necessary. With apps like PharmEasy, you can simply order your medicines online by uploading your prescription and have them delivered at your doorstep in very little time.
2. Predictive analysis
Big data has taken the world by storm in multiple domains including healthcare. The data collected from patients can help companies to identify signs of illness, patient behaviour, and risk factors. Startups are also using big data to create personalized plans through predictive analysis.
To facilitate data sharing, Health Verity was founded in 2014 to act as a marketplace for data providers and data buyers. One can find and license data from a wide range of data providers here.
3. Internet of Things (IoT)
The internet of things or rather the internet of medical things (IoMT) – in the context of the healthcare industry – is increasingly being used by startups to diagnose and monitor conditions. With devices like heart rate monitors, there is an effort to lower costs and enhance efficiency.
A startup from Germany Insulin Angel uses IoMT for their offering of a proximity and temperature device that tells the user if their medication is about to reach a critical temperature. It can also notify the user if the user forgets to take their medication.
4. 3D printing
Costs of prosthetics can be very high, so it is at times beyond the reach of some people. This is where 3D printing comes in – you get prosthetics at a cheaper rate.
Another big advantage that 3D printing can offer is a personalized pill to treat all the conditions a person is suffering from. It uses a number of drug layers in one pill to achieve this. Imagine taking one pill for your cold, hypertension, and diabetes, a massive turnaround from the current situation where you have to consume multiple medicines.
Robots are more accurate and precise than humans. With the adoption of robotics, especially in the surgical domain of healthcare, the chances of errors in the healthcare sector have come down.
In the future, robots are expected to examine patients remotely thus giving more time to medical professionals if required. It is deemed as a solution to tackle the shortage of healthcare professionals.
6. Artificial Intelligence
In cases like sexual problems, many people don’t approach professionals who can help them treat it due to the stigma attached to such problems. This can cause them to suppress the condition, which in turn can reduce the quality of their life.
With artificial intelligence, chatbots are being developed to diagnose a problem based on symptoms and prescribe medications accordingly. This can come handy in situations where the person isn’t comfortable sharing his/her problems with a doctor in person.
As healthcare startups continue to carve a path through the current problems of the healthcare problems, the benefits are there for both companies and patients.