What is health-tech and how is it transforming the healthcare industry?
Health-tech is an abbreviation for healthcare technology which, in turn, refers to any tools or devices designed to aid the productivity of healthcare professionals. In this article, we will look at how health-tech is transforming the healthcare industry for the individual health professionals that play such a vital role in delivering care, our hospitals that continue to invest in the best possible equipment, and the patients who are more likely to have better outcomes when their treatment is support by the best technology available.
Health-tech can help boost surgery success rates, gather more precise data, give new insights to doctors, reduce the required amount of skilled time and effort, and improve overall healthcare quality.
Some common health-tech examples include biosensors, optical sensors, pulse oximeters, SPO2 sensors, and various other types of wearable tech.
Health-tech tools are gradually becoming integrated into every step of the healthcare experience to ensure two key factors;
- Service efficiency
- Quality of healthcare
Tech can also save valuable man-hours of skilled health workers by assisting in procedures like remote patient monitoring, monitoring hypertension, chronic surveillance of abnormal heart failure, and automated data gathering through sensors, etc.
The health-tech supply chain
According to the International Trade Administration’s 2016 report, the global healthcare device manufacturing industry consists of over 27,000 companies, employing over a million people. Since then, the pandemic has introduced the world to a first-of-its-kind demand spike for healthcare tech resources. Moreover, due to international lockdowns, the healthcare technology supply has largely shifted over to a more professional and proficient online marketplace to enable hospitals to meet their growing technological needs on a timely and predictable basis.
The industry is not highly concentrated as no single firm is dominant in the market. It’s composed of various small businesses, usually specialising in niche-based technological development. Across the world, these niche companies continue to develop new products to meet demands, from Medical StartUps such as Oxford Nanopore Technologies to companies such as Sensoronics in the US which has specialised in Medical Oxygen Sensors for over 20 years.
In 2017, the main activity sectors in the health technology industry were;
– Diagnostic devices, (MRI and tomography, etc.)
– Prostheses, such as pacemakers and hearing aids,
– Dental products,
– Orthopedic products,
– And different types of medical sensors.
Let’s briefly look at the key positive features of these devices to ascertain how health-tech is transforming healthcare
Let’s look at an example from cardiology.
Some wearable healthcare tech devices can provide valuable information on the patient’s heart rhythm and behaviour. Moreover, they can regularly generate reliable data about a patient’s blood glucose level, breathing rate, and blood pressure. This information can be automatically logged-into electronic records as well, bringing doctors a whole new level of retrospective insight into a patient’s condition.
Application in Clinical Trials
Through wearable fitness devices, investigators in clinical trials can have access to in-depth information like the amount of sleep a person has had, their physical activity, and heart rate values at different times, as the data is collected passively throughout the day.
Health-tech may be the future of healthcare
Patient-centred preventive care is where these healthcare devices really shine. There are various types of sensors to gather all sorts of medical information including blood oxygen levels, blood pressure, and heart rate, etc.
It takes healthcare on step further
Healthcare has always been about putting the patient first. Without question, health-tech is transforming the healthcare industry by providing an essential boost of efficiency that tailors every part of the experience to the patient’s wellbeing.
It trims the unneeded fat from the traditional healthcare scene, which is weighed down by wait times, sky-high costs, and limited skilled hours of healthcare workers. All of these areas are being directly addressed and improved through tech-infused healthcare.