Digitalization is increasingly impacting the healthcare sector. New products and services are making their way into day-to-day clinical practice or are offered as apps for patients. Dr. Adolf Sonnleitner from Mindbreeze highlights three developments that the industry will be focusing on in 2019.
1. Methods of artificial intelligence move into the field of medicine in the form of assistance systems
Particularly the areas of image and pattern recognition will provide valuable support for the diagnostic process in the future. There are three different areas of specialization that can reap considerable benefits from this.
Using intelligent algorithms, tomographic images (such as CT and MRT) can be compared automatically with known images, thereby enabling more rapid recognition of pathological structures.
In clearly defined areas such as prostate carcinomas, biopsies can be analyzed and any suspicious changes can be immediately and proactively identified. This makes the work of pathologists, whose numbers are steadily declining, several times more efficient.
Image recognition techniques are now so far advanced that they can be compared to human capabilities and thus offer an invaluable support for practicing dermatologists.
2. Smartphones provide access to medical services
Nowadays, smartphones are not only our daily companions, they are also our first source of information about illnesses. In the clinical environment, smartphones will soon be used as a gateway to medical services, offering teleconsultations or second opinions for common medical problems.
Diagnostic services offer interpretations of laboratory and radiology reports and administer advice on what action to take in the treatment of common illnesses.
3. Cloud services gain a foothold in medicine
Alongside data from smartphones and fitness trackers that accumulates in the corresponding cloud memories of the provider companies, services are increasingly being offered to analyze, compare, and interpret medical data. However, the user is exposed to the risk of data exploitation for commercial purposes. Legal regulations currently prevent or impede the widespread use of cloud services for clinical data, but they are often circumvented, most notably in the private sector.