As technology, the devices we use everyday, and business models continuously change, the demand for technological solutions has skyrocketed. In the healthcare industry specifically, mobile apps have begun to permeate our lives, thanks largely to the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, now that more and more people have adopted fitness, nutrition, and health monitoring apps, the healthcare industry is seeing explosive growth in this area. All sorts of organizations, including insurance agencies, hospitals and care centers, medical professionals, and even stakeholders are looking to healthcare application development to improve business operations and smooth out problem areas.
Enthusiasm for mobile and wearable devices has brought new attention to healthcare application development. What’s more, developers are capitalizing on opportunities in patient management, Electronic Medical Records (EMR), online consultations, appointment booking, health monitoring, and much more.
Based on what we’ve seen in the healthcare application development world, these are the trends we predict will have the most impact on healthcare in 2022.
Perhaps the most substantial healthcare app trend for 2022 is telemedicine. The basic technology behind telemedicine has been around for a while, but thanks to the influence of COVID-19, it is now experiencing a peak that may be long-lasting.
In addition, there are still many areas of the world where there is cellphone network access, but poor access to medical facilities. This is true even in some of the most developed countries. For example, 33% of Canadian patients “sometimes, rarely, or never get an answer from their doctor on the same day.” In the same vein, by some estimates the US will need an additional 275,000 nurses by 2030 to meet healthcare needs. Telemedicine is an ideal technology to fill this service gap by providing patients with immediate medical advice. What’s more, it makes healthcare more affordable.
And while telemedicine makes healthcare more convenient and less expensive for patients, it’s also a lucrative move for businesses: according to Fortune Business Insights, the global telemedicine market is expected to reach $266.8 billion by 2026.
Healthcare apps with wearable technology and IoT integration have become extremely popular. This is no doubt due to the way they help prevent various health concerns and help maintain good overall health. These apps can also track and monitor physical activities like exercise.
Healthcare apps like these can help patients connect with their medical practitioners directly and instantly. Additionally, wearable devices with IoT connectivity can even monitor patients’ health on behalf of their caregivers. This allows them to offer assistance anytime, anywhere.
Wearables and IoT represent a massive opportunity for healthcare organizations and healthcare application developers alike. According to BusinessWire, the global wearable technology market is expected to reach $118.16 billion by 2028.
There are many reasons someone may be unable to return to a medical facility as frequently as they need to. This is especially true for elderly patients or those with chronic illness. In situations like these, remote patient management (RPM) is a critically valuable tool. Now, patients can keep track of their health data on a daily basis. The information is recorded in a database system, and can then be monitored and analyzed by their physician.
This system allows for the management of patient data without the need for any human interaction. This saves on time and space, both of which are a premium in a hospital setting. In environments like this, equipment is busy, and testing even the most fundamental health markers can take some time. For these reasons, RPM has become a hot trend in the world of healthcare application development.
A key advantage to cloud computing is that it offers secure access, storage, and management of massive amounts of data. This means its implementation in the healthcare industry was an inevitability, where maintaining and protecting sensitive patient data is essential. Accordingly, the global healthcare cloud computing market is projected to reach $89.4 billion by 2027. That represents a CAGR of 17.8% from $39.4 billion in 2022.
Patients with access to cloud-based healthcare apps can retrieve, view, and save their data safely, with ease, from anywhere. As a result, doctors and patients can take full advantage of cloud-based apps to keep abreast of treatments and real-time health updates. What’s more, these apps encourage patient participation, which is essential for ideal treatment effectiveness.
Furthermore, cloud-based apps and services provide healthcare organizations with quick, easy, and global access to patients’ EMRs, insurance plans, billing information, and even research data.
Healthcare organizations must tackle the herculean task of combining hospital records with all the data related to each patients’ health and medical bills. When it comes to finding a solution to this undertaking, nothing compares to the analytic prowess of big data.
Implementing and integrating big data in healthcare application development has a profound impact on healthcare organizations. For instance, big data analysis can help with resource management, EMR management, and predictive analysis. Overall, with the aid of big data, healthcare providers can offer more patient-focused services.
Speaking of processing immense amounts of data, artificial intelligence (AI) is set to make a big impact in healthcare. As a matter of fact, according to Precedence Research, AI in healthcare is expected to hit around $187.95 billion by 2030. That’s a CAGR of 37% from 2022 to 2030.
Healthcare application developers are already leveraging the power of AI to process the large amounts of data inherent to the healthcare industry, and draw conclusions from it. AI’s uses also now include facilitating and analyzing medical images like CT scans, tailoring treatments, and creating new medications.
Moreover, AI has the ability to make medical facility workflows more efficient. For instance, AI excels at automating routine paperwork and scheduling, activities often filled with human error. Additionally, AI predicts patient inflows and makes staffing corrections accordingly.
Perhaps the most apparent use of AI in the healthcare industry is coupled with the previously discussed telemedicine: chatbots. With the aid of AI, modern chatbots can act as virtual nurse consultants, make appointments, find nearby clinics, and access information regarding medication, symptoms, and medical tasks.
In a nutshell, blockchain technology manages databases made up of chains of data blocks. Each block contains information about the previous block in the chain. This chain of information makes it virtually hack-proof. Blockchain is most well-known as the technology behind cryptocurrency, but there are many more applications for it. Thanks to its decentralized nature, blockchain is ideal for the management of large amounts of data, no matter the business.
When it comes to the healthcare industry, blockchain has the potential to solve a variety of issues. In fact, the implementation of blockchain could save the healthcare industry as much as $100 billion by 2025 alone. This is because healthcare application development that utilizes blockchain technology can make better health predictions and diagnoses, provide excellent treatment at a sustainable cost, and significantly lowers the number of medical errors made in the analysis of EMR data.
EMRs, in general, benefit greatly from the implementation of blockchain. This technology makes patient data more secure, decentralized, and at a substantially lower risk of data fraud. Additionally, blockchain can establish the secure exchange of this sensitive and confidential data between a patient and their doctor.
Today, “augmented reality” (AR) and “virtual reality” (VR) have become household terms. As with many leading-edge technologies, both are most well known in the entertainment and gaming industries. And while this technology has certainly seen success there, AR and VR have much more to offer.
For example, both AR and VR can be invaluable in medicine, especially when it comes to helping patients with visual impairments, depression, cancer, and even autism. What’s more, the technology helps medical students to study, demonstrates procedures for patients, and aids in the analysis of medical scan images. AR and VR also have advantages for healthcare organizations. Specifically, AR and VR tech are ideal for:
According to Medi-Tech Insights, AR and VR represent an incredible opportunity in the healthcare industry, as the AR and VR healthcare market, valued at $1.5 billion in 2020, is expected to reach $5 billion by 2025.
Finally, the best healthcare apps for both doctors and patients offer holistic clinical solutions. This covers a broad range of features, but often includes the ability to schedule appointments, receive answers to common health questions, exchange information between doctors and patients, and much more.
Furthermore, the best apps offer patients the ability to receive e-prescriptions from their healthcare providers. This in turn saves time and facilitates good communication. Mobile payment systems are another feature that are among the top trends in this area. Mobile payment offers a seamless transaction experience, even under emergency circumstances, no matter the time of day.
A holistic approach to healthcare application development, one in which patients can get reminders of appointments, pay bills online, and connect with medical staff, is a leading trend for 2022.
Today, healthcare application development services are in the middle of a massive paradigm shift. Healthcare mobile apps are becoming the new normal, and digital health is a priority. Mobile solutions for healthcare allow patients and doctors to communicate more efficiently and effectively, while also achieving better medical outcomes. Mobile health is the next step in improving overall efficiency, communication, and quality of care.
Today’s app developers should focus their attention on the needs and wants of both regular people and healthcare professionals to produce the best product. The technological trends we’ve discussed here can serve to make these apps even more powerful and useful for patients and healthcare organizations alike.