As the year 2020 begins in full force and we are at the start of a new decade, emerging developments in the technology field are predicted to make a large impact in healthcare. From artificial intelligence, to 5G capabilities, to robotics, these new technologies will begin to shape how work is done in the healthcare industry and improve the efficiency by which physicians can provide care.

Artificial intelligence (AI) offers new and more effective ways to identify, diagnose, and treat patients. The use of AI could save billions in the healthcare industry and could enhance patient care by improving the precision of processes. With growing demand and increasing challenges that treating a larger number of patients incurs, AI can alleviate some of the strains on healthcare workers. In addition to increasing productivity, AI will assist with regulating the use of algorithms in healthcare. AI can aid in the detection of certain diseases, automation of different processes and operations, help on the administrative side of hospitals, and more. These emerging technologies should significantly improve patient care (Marr, 2019).

Another technological improvement to look forward to in healthcare is 5G capability. This development can help improve care that people in rural areas get by increasing processing speed from which telemedicine is derived. Processing speed is important because it allows doctors to remotely and reliably monitor patients (Marr, 2019). The increase of 5G capabilities will allow AI to spread into many different areas and therefore, more people will be helped and it will improve patient care around the world (Marr, 2019).

Along with AI and 5G capabilities, another big trend of 2020 healthcare technology is robotics. In healthcare, robots are used in many different ways, from helping doctors examine and treat patients in rural areas via telemedicine, to giving assistance to surgeons in the operating room. Robot-assisted surgery is predicted to save “$40 billion” this year (Park, 2020). The room for growth of robotics in healthcare is significant and can lead to cutting costs in hospitals by automating many processes. In the future, physicians expect to see about “25 percent of their work being automated” (Park, 2020). Since such a large portion of physicians’ workflow could be overtaken by AI, “more than 30 percent of physicians say that they are planning to take classes in AI” (Park, 2020).

Developing technologies that will continue to enhance the healthcare field create a changing landscape for not only patients, but healthcare workers as well. New technology generates solutions while also creating new problems. The largest problem that stems from new technology is the training that it requires. As more and more of the healthcare field becomes automated, healthcare workers must work to acquire technological skills that were not needed in the past. Technology is always developing and therefore, healthcare workers have to continuously learn so that they can treat patients in the most efficient, effective ways.

The evolution of technology creates promising solutions to challenges that the healthcare field is facing. Artificial intelligence, increased 5G capabilities, and robotics are just a few of the technological advances to look forward to in 2020.

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Resources:

Marr, B. (21 November 2019). The 9 biggest technology trend that will transform medicine and healthcare in 2020. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2019/11/01/the-9-biggest-technology-trends-that-will-transform-medicine-and-healthcare-in-2020/#478072de72cd

Park, A. (10 January 2020). Physicians see 25% of their work being automated in the future, survey finds. Becker’s Hospital Review. Retrieved from https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/artificial-intelligence/physicians-see-25-of-their-work-being-automated-in-the-future-survey-finds.html

Park, A (15 January 2020). Top 10 AI applications for healthcare in 2020: Accenture report. Becker’s Hospital Review. Retrieved from https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/artificial-intelligence/top-10-ai-applications-for-healthcare-in-2020-accenture-report.html

Photo: https://columbiasurgery.org/news/2019/03/19/robotic-surgery-safe-breast-cancer-patients