Health Informatics and the Intelligent Medical Technology of the Future

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What you know about informatics today will continue to evolve in the months and years ahead. There will be changes actively taking place as you study for your MS HI degree. Staying current with the latest innovations will be a competitive advantage in understanding the intelligent medical technology that will help drive your future success.

Smart Pills

The much heralded “smart pill” is known in medical circles as Bio-MEMS drug delivery systems or intelligent drug delivery. No matter what you call it, availability of the technology is on the rise. Trials of smart pills by companies like Proteus have shown negligible side effects, making the technology much more likely to be adopted.  According to a study by Markets and Markets, the smart pill industry will be worth $965 million by 2017.

Wearable Devices

Wearable medical devices work by attaching sensors to the patient’s body in order to report real-time data back to physicians. Usage of remote patient monitoring applications is increasing as more devices become available. A report by Transparency Medical Research estimates that the global market for wearable medical devices will reach $5.8 billion in 2019. This includes devices used to monitor vital signs, activity levels, pulse oximetry, glucose/insulin levels and neurologic activity, as well devices for pain management and respiratory therapy.

Healthcare Robots

Consider the use of nano-bots that can be introduced to the body to help scrape plaque from a patient’s arteries or look for early signs of disease. Expect to see doctors that do rounds using telepresence robots that carry their video image from room to room, and get ready for full-size robot assistants that can complete in-hospital deliveries and other basic service tasks.  Data from Transparency Medical Research quantified the global market for medical robotic systems exceed $13 billion by 2018.

Intelligent Content

What all of these technologies have in common is the ability to generate intelligent content that can be communicated to an electronic medical records system and converted to actionable data. The health informatics industry will thrive as new devices are connected, more data is integrated, and advanced clinical decision tools are developed.

Keeping current with the latest trends and innovations in intelligent healthcare devices and systems will be vital to informaticists who want to be on the leading edge of opportunity.