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Improved disease management and accessible care have become essential to cater to the rising healthcare requirements. To achieve this, it has become necessary to accelerate the development of IT solutions to improve coordination in chronic disease management and promote preventive care.
At the height of the pandemic, the growing demand for virtual care solutions such as telehealth was provided through innovations in the healthcare IT industry. Additionally, it made patients and healthcare providers increasingly receptive to embracing digital health.
Over the years, the industry has been instrumental in designing, developing, and maintaining information systems in the healthcare sector. Today, the increasing digitalisation in healthcare, rising demand for preventive care solutions, growing use of cloud-based services, advancements in smartphones and network connectivity, and adoption of remote monitoring services are key factors driving the healthcare IT market growth. Healthcare IT solutions, such as telemedicine, electronic health record, and mHealth, are sought-after worldwide.
The global healthcare IT market reached US$ 260.5 billion in 2021. The market is projected to reach US$ 552.8 billion by 2027, exhibiting at a CAGR of 13.38 per cent from 2022-2027.
The industry is focused on innovative product development strategies and integrating big data, the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) in their existing solutions to enhance medical processes. The electric-based exchange of healthcare information is also gaining traction worldwide. However, certain challenges remain due to the high maintenance and service expenses, lack of experienced professionals and interoperability issues that are restraining the growth.
Governments worldwide are investing in digital health and integrated healthcare systems to improve the standards of healthcare services. EHRs offer an effective approach to patient-centric care and enable smooth communication between doctors, patients, and other concerned teams. Catalysed by rising healthcare consumerism, patients also increasingly demand access to and efficient management of their healthcare data. Therefore, EHRs will continue to play a significant role in automating the entire treatment process, including the admission of patients, maintaining records of treatments, and scheduling follow-ups.
From wellness apps to wearable technology to the internet of medical things, protecting patient information must be secured to protect vulnerable populations. But security and privacy concerns often plague the healthcare IT industry. EHRs contain sensitive personal data that is at risk of being exposed due to security breaches and thefts. However, rising awareness regarding data encryptions will help solve the issue. It is a legal requirement in most countries, so healthcare organisations will actively invest in the tech needed to comply.
In 2020, the global healthcare virtual reality market was reportedly estimated at US$336.9 million. The technology allows healthcare professionals and patients to interact in simulated, non-invasive environments for education, rehabilitation, healthcare monitoring, and pain management. According to the World Health Organization, mental illness will be the leading burden of disease around the world by 2030 and technologies such as virtual reality and artificial intelligence will help “to create new effective care models in the wider context of creating positive lifestyle changes, and prevention of, education about and support for individuals.”
Augmented reality and machine learning in the form of chatbots are also being used to triage and answer simple questions. Moreover, both augmented and virtual reality are gearing up to assist with the growth in the area of remote monitoring of patients.
This system of medical devices, software, and applications connects together and links to cloud computing platforms where the collected health data is stored and used for predictive analytics. In the coming year, IoMT will play a crucial role in remote patient care and monitoring of people with chronic or long-term conditions, tracking medication, and wearable medical technology, all of which will allow a healthcare provider to have an awareness of how a patient is doing, eliminating the need of frequent in-person doctor visits.
The technology will be essential in effectively managing population health management programmes, reducing expenses on chronic health conditions and driving precision medicine. Integrating IT software solutions such as big data increases reporting, evaluation, and monitoring, ensuring a streamlined and secure process. Sharing the high volume of health data with academic researchers will also pave the way for new medical therapies and drugs.
As seen above, the healthcare IT industry is constantly working towards providing multiple benefits, such as minimised medical errors, reduced operational costs, and improved clinical outcomes. The shifting focus towards patient-centric healthcare facilities is anticipated to develop more global healthcare IT market opportunities. Furthermore, growing government recognition and favourable initiatives in emerging economies to boost the adoption of IT solutions and growing infrastructure are expected to drive further growth.