The medical and healthcare industries are some of the most technologically innovative fields. With transformative medical devices, treatments and processes, the industry is constantly changing and innovation is always at the forefront. We talk to W.L. Gore and Associate's IT Leader for Medical Devices, Chirag Desai, during a Virtual30 session to discuss the latest developments and innovations in the industry, as well as the impact of COVID-19.
Current Healthcare Trends
Today's healthcare industry can be explained by the above image. Often patients try to self-diagnose by looking up their symptoms on the internet or get wellness tips from a device. Following up with a healthcare provider becomes step two, as opposed to a first action.
Building Healthcare for the Future
Although there are many innovations in healthcare, the digital demand is outpacing the current healthcare model. Assets like knowledge-bases, automation, virtual care and AI and IoT will all play a critical role. IoT spend alone is estimated to grow by $117 billion in 2020.
The model needs to be transformed and digital needs to be embedded in everything we do.
Disruptions in Healthcare
An example of technology disruptions that are needed are IoT sensors that can read an analyze various health stats like oxygen, blood pressure, posture, temperature, etc. This process can be automated and sent directly to users' mobile devices, which makes it easier to care for patients in real time and also provides a digital-first experience that consumers have come to expect.
More key disruptions in healthcare include:
- Home-based point of care
- Treatments shifting from diagnosis to preventative
- More virtual care
- Data driving medical device innovation and management
Digital Innovations During COVID-19
The Coronavirus outbreak has brought to light many critical faults in the existing healthcare system. There is need for investments on tools to enable telehealth and remote monitoring options. In a time where in-person contact and access to hospitals is limited, we've fortunately seen some innovative developments to help adjust to these changing demands, including digital streaming of operating rooms to support surgical cases and virtual case management to provide real time support.