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What role will technology play in the healthcare industry in 2019? For venture capitalists and others interested in the medical industry, it is critical to be able to predict the direction of industry innovation more accurately than others.

Recently, MedCity News has predicted five major innovation trends affecting the industry in 2019, and proposed some preparations to catch up with these trends.

Public behavioral disease

Drug abuse is a type of health epidemic caused by public behavior, especially the prevalence of opioids. It is reported that more than 130 people die every day from opioid-related drug overdose in the United States. Before the continued use of heroin, 80% of heroin users reported having a history of abuse of opioid prescription drugs.

Although opioids bear the brunt, they cannot ignore the epidemic diseases caused by other drug abuses to the overall health. For example, more and more people are experiencing eating disorders, anxiety, depression, and even suicidal tendencies. Today, the health care system does not quickly and accurately assess the patient’s mental health status, let alone the establishment of appropriate care services at your fingertips.

On the one hand, the cost of drug abuse that poses health problems is increasing, and methadone and buprenorphine are becoming more popular, with opioids alone surpassing $28.9 billion annually in the United States. On the other hand, the average delay between the onset of mental health symptoms and the onset of intervention is 8 to 10 years.

From a business perspective, healthcare providers should be able to plan for diagnosis and treatment before they become large-scale diseases. For example, through pre-set mandatory medical examination and tracking techniques, better management of prescriptions for drug abuse; search for alternatives to opioids; and development of new processes and technologies to prevent the consequences of drug abuse.


The rise of precision medicine

Another act that will affect the health care industry is the rise of precision medicine (genomics).

This patient care approach has been extremely successful in oncology by focusing on the patient’s protein interactions and gene composition to achieve better treatment options. Not only have various targeted therapies developed in full swing, but various molecular (gene) testing companies involved in diagnostics have also earned a lot of money.

By comparing the DNA of a patient’s tumor cells with normal cells, the researchers can understand how cancer occurs and find the site that is most accessible to treatment. By tracking the genetic characteristics of cancer patients, doctors can also find out which treatment is best for which patients.

A recent study by Scipher Medicine shows that, in fact, the world’s top five best-selling drugs have not really played a role in 65% of patients. If the healthcare industry needs a new way to reduce the cost of prescription drugs and drug research overruns, precision medicine is a direction.

Medcitynews expects precision medicine to not only increase in the field of oncology this year, but also in areas other than oncology. In 2018, Northwestern University conducted a genetic analysis of joint tissue and applied precision medicine to rheumatoid arthritis to determine which drugs were appropriate for which patients.


Advancement of outpatient surgery

The data shows that the amount of outpatient surgery has shown a significant growth trend in the past four to five years. More and more patient education is about the benefits of timely treatment at a professional center, that is, receiving treatment at “correct care, right place, right time”, and not necessarily waiting for a hospital to have a bed for retreatment.

At the same time, these patient education may not necessarily come from hospitals. Many insurance companies have taken the lead in providing most of the education through incentives and authorizations, which have transferred traditional inpatient procedures to the outpatient setting.

More importantly, outpatient surgery centers (ASCs) are becoming more specialized, focusing on better patient care and gradually integrating some complex surgeries into the outpatient setting, including some minimally invasive vascular surgeries. .

Studies have shown that outpatient surgery centers have significantly better therapeutic outcomes and lower infection rates, and save millions of years of treatment for patients. It is expected that based on such innovations in 2019, it will be better able to cater to the needs of outpatient surgery centers.


Data network security

FortiGuard Labs reported that last year, each organization in the medical industry had an average of 32,000 intrusions per day, compared to 14,300 in other industries.

Unfortunately, health care organizations’ cybersecurity standards still lag far behind the financial and retail industries. In fact, health care data is often more valuable to cybercriminals than any data provided by financial services or retailers, and it is reported that stolen health certificates may be 10 to 20 times higher than credit card information on the black market.

2018 may be the worst year the medical industry has seen in violations, and there are irregularities in almost every quarter. Take the United States as an example. In the third quarter of 2018, there were 4.39 million medical records exposed. Other countries and regions with less security awareness are more imaginable.

It is said that “the road is one foot high and one foot high.” IT staff are constantly exploring new security measures, but cyber hackers are also taking advantage of methods that are more difficult to guard against. Therefore, it is expected that by 2019, more and more medical institutions will take major measures in data security.


Machine learning and artificial intelligence

Another influential trend in the healthcare industry is the growing popularity of artificial intelligence (AI) research and applications. Robotic process automation, manual task automation and deep learning innovation have opened the door to powerful applications in the healthcare industry. Pharmaceutical companies are pushing ahead with the application of these technologies through advance layout, and are expected to reshape the entire industry.

In 2018, the number of transactions and equity financing of AI startups related to healthcare grew steadily, reaching an all-time high. Healthcare has become the largest industry for AI trading activities. There are currently hundreds of AI projects related to health care on the market, and it is expected to continue to increase in 2019.

Google’s DeepMind plans to conduct a clinical trial in 2019 to try a product that can diagnose eye diseases with AI; Apple also invests in its ResearchKit and CareKit software framework, which will use machine learning to provide medical researchers with more power and Meaningful data; BeyondVerbal is another AI engine that is studying the phonetic model for diagnosing chronic diseases by telephone.

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