Which ehealth and mhealth trends will you put in place this year? We have gathered the most important digital health trends that are worth considering for implementation.
The eHealth and mHealth Trends 2019 include wearables, virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, chatbots and blockchain. Some of these digital health trends are really picking up speed this year and others will only be ready for the market in the coming years. Therefore, it is worth following the development of all trends.
eHealth Trend 1: Wearables and the Internet of Medical Things
The Internet of Things is fundamentally changing healthcare. Among other things, wearables and telemedicine contribute to the efficient tracking of patients, staff and stocks, the better treatment of chronic diseases, the monitoring of critical medical devices such as ECGs, the optimisation of drug prescriptions and the measurement of vital signs such as skin temperature, glucose levels and blood pressure.
With the Smart Pill, the first FDA-approved drug to regulate dosage and monitor internal reactions was launched in 2017. And Google and Novartis developed a contact lens that monitors a diabetic’s glucose level by analyzing his tears, sending the values to an insulin pump and alerting patients.
eHealth Trends 2 and 3: Blockchain, Augmented & Virtual Reality
While blockchain still has few use cases, AR and VR are already closer to practical application in healthcare. Virtual Reality is used, for example, in pain management and Augmented Reality is used in surgical planning, imaging and complex diagnostics. In the course of 2019, the blockchain could evolve from a perceived hype to an early commercial application. Companies such as Change Healthcare, Hashed Health and Guardtime will continue to expand their already commercial applications. The debate will now turn to the issue of acceptance and examine how and where blockchain technology can be used in healthcare.
eHealth Trend 4: Artificial Intelligence
2019 could be the year for Artificial Intelligence. Thanks to artificial intelligence, patients can use health data better and, above all, in a more personalized way. Clinical and non-clinical use cases will show results that further support growth in healthcare. However, it remains to be seen whether users are confident enough of the added value of this technology to provide the necessary budget. Nonetheless, artificial intelligence and machine learning will begin to achieve success, particularly in the areas of imaging diagnostics, drug discovery and risk analysis.
eHealth Trend 5: Speech and Chatbot Applications
Specialised players such as Nuance, Orbita and leading technology companies (Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft) rely on targeted language technologies that are suitable for healthcare applications. While chatbots & co. are currently only suitable for limited speech-based applications such as fast medical writers and speech-based interactions, they offer growth opportunities in proven clinical applications such as elderly care, chronic disease monitoring and medical workflow optimization.
eHealth Trend 6: Digital Health Services for Health Insured People
Health insurance companies need to rethink in order to continue to grow. For this reason, more and more health insurance companies are offering some form of digital health service in order to reduce the costs of potential claims, personalise the user experience of their policyholders or link bonuses to individual health data. Ottonova is the first fully digitalized private health insurance system in Germany. The startup, which the well-known investor Frank Thelen is promoting, is aimed at young people with a good income and an affinity for technology. All bureaucracy can be handled with a smartphone: photographing and submitting bills, chatting with customer service instead of making phone calls, and talking to the doctor conveniently from home via video telephony in a so-called video consultation.