Throughout history, human beings have always sought to improve their health to achieve vigorous and meaningful lives. As our understanding of the human body increases so does our ability to extend life and increase quality of living. Digital health is one of these ways in which this can be done, using technology to promote proactive care and disease prevention. In addition, the digital health revolution has opened a new channel for medical education and research, pushing forward the forefront of healthcare technology. While it is difficult to foretell how exactly the future of health will unfold in 2022, there are some digital health trends that it may follow.
Upcoming Digital Health Trends in 2022
Mobile Health (mHealth) and Smartphones will Remain Primary Platforms for Medical Need
While many assume that wearables are a trend that is here to stay, the reality is that these devices have been around for quite some time in one form or another. The recent hype surrounding them may subside as the market becomes saturated with companies vying for a slice of the pie, but it is inevitable that wearables will be used in conjunction with smartphones to provide an enhanced mobile health experience. In 2022, there will be no difference between a “wearable” and a “mobile computing device”, as both are likely to converge and become one. Wearables will continue to evolve and become smaller to be more discreet and wearable at all times, allowing users to collect data at all times.
Mobile Health (mHealth) and Big Data will Create Game-changing Business Models to Supercharge Healthcare
One of the most interesting trends in digital health is that many companies don’t actually have a product. Companies like Snapchat, Uber and Instagram are “productless”, yet they are some of the hottest names in Silicon Valley. Similarly, companies will develop innovative business models that don’t sell products but offer services to enhance the patient experience in a multitude of ways. In 2022, it is likely that businesses using game-changing mHealth and big data solutions will revolutionize healthcare and become some of the biggest players in this field.
The App-ification of Health Apps Will Rise
With the rise of wearables comes a surge in app development, this is quite evident by the hundreds of apps already available on mobile platforms such as iOS or Android. However, as applications gain popularity, it will become ever more important to develop an app that is intuitive and visually appealing. App developers will begin to focus less on the quantity of apps developed and more on how they can refine these applications in order to provide a better user experience (UX). In addition, the healthcare industry will be increasingly more interested in the data that apps collect and will be willing to partner with app developers who can provide innovative ways for them to better interact with their patients.
Automating Tricot Care Will be a Top Priority in 2022
In recent years, health care providers have been focused on improving the quality of patient care while reducing costs. This has led to heightened interest in technology that can automate several aspects of medical data entry as well as diagnostic assessments/exams. By 2022, this will become a standard practice among all healthcare organizations and individuals with adequate knowledge of IT and programming. These tools will allow for a more accurate diagnosis, as well as streamlining the treatment process in general.
Personalization of Healthcare Will Continue to Be an Important Focus Point
As personalized medicine becomes increasingly common, it will be essential that patients obtain their information from the source itself rather than through medical professionals who may not have full knowledge of their specific case. The consequences of this on the digital health market are that patients will be able to access their medical history, patient-specific drugs, and even lab results through an app or platform that is native to them. Such a scenario will create a new breed of “super users” who are aware of their condition in great detail and can therefore make better decisions regarding their health than someone with less knowledge. The market for “super users” will be a lucrative target for app developers as they will have good knowledge of what certain users want and when they want it.
The Rise of the Telemedicine Industry Will Be Rapidly Followed by Laws Limiting Its Use
As the healthcare industry becomes increasingly more progressive when it comes to adopting new technologies, there will also be a need for laws that ensure patients are protected from any potential abuse of power. Telemedicine is already an emerging field and mobile health apps are becoming quite popular as well. However, people’s personal data can easily fall into the wrong hands, especially if the service provider is storing this data without encryption. The desire to protect digital user information will lead to serious consequences for companies that are not following industry best practices.
By 2022, Brain-to-Computer Interfaces (BCIs) Will Have Become Mainstream as Well as “Cracked” by Hackers
While some may see a BCI as the holy grail of mobile health, others may simply consider it too dangerous to give people the ability to edit their own thoughts. The reality is that BCIs are already becoming mainstream, and they can be used for everything from gaming to accessing social media but also providing medical assistance. That being said, by 2022, they will have already been “cracked” by hackers and used to control other devices. Experts believe that this will be a common form of cybercrime in the future, however it has not yet become a pressing matter as BCIs are still too difficult for most hobbyists or hackers to obtain. It is likely that many countries will have banned BCI technology before the term “cybercrime” becomes as prevalent in society as it is today.
The Rise of Wearable Technology Will Be Followed by a Drop in Wearable Device Use
Recently, the market for wearable technology has become flooded with products that can track everything from steps to sleep activity. However, many experts believe this progression will be short-lived as the novelty of wearable devices will soon wear off. They also believe that there are many shortcomings in the technology used for these products, such as issues with connectivity and data storage. These factors will lead to a decline in consumer use and perhaps even a shift to other emerging tech markets, such as those using virtual reality or artificial intelligence (AI). However, it is important to note that wearable technology devices have already made a large imprint on the digital health ecosystem and their current market value will likely remain high.
To conclude, it is clear that there are many up-and-coming digital health trends expected to occur in 2022 and beyond. It is essential for app developers and entrepreneurs to understand how these potential developments may affect their business models to create new revenue streams or adjust existing ones accordingly. Learn more about how Fidelman & Co can help you build a succesful Digital Health or MedTech strategy for your startup at firstname.lastname@example.org.