6 Exciting Tech and Software Trends in Healthcare
Technology and software have certainly changed the landscape in a number of industries—not the least of which is daily life for consumers. One exciting area of change is in medicine and healthcare, where software and technology is helping save lives and improving the quality of life for patients.
Many of these new technologies are only as good as the software that powers them, and the spread of this software is facilitated by quality software sales professionals. It’s an exciting time in software sales for anyone motivated to represent a product that improves the quality of life—not to mention a product that fills the needs of a constantly expanding market.
An aging population, increased life spans, and a greater complexity and volume of healthcare concerns has made healthcare software sales an attractive opportunity for any software sales professional.
Let’s take a look at some of the most exciting trends in the healthcare industry when it comes to tech, SaaS, and other types of software.
Virtual reality and augmented reality are changing the way surgeons are trained. In the past (and present) the only way for aspiring surgeons to get hands-on experience was (and is) to operate on cadavers. And while that rite of medical school passage will likely remain, it can present a challenge for specialized surgeons who need to examine and operate on specific conditions or get repeated practice. But with VR and AR tools like the Microsoft HoloLens, surgeons in training can practice their skills again and again. VR and AR are also improving the way surgeons can plan out a surgery on their current patients and facilitate a better outcome; software companies like OssoVR and ImmersiveTouch can create 3D models from patient CT and MIR data.
Robotics and Nanotech
Robotics and nanotechnology are among the most exciting tech trends in medicine. One application of robotics in medicine involves exoskeletons. These robotic frames can assist surgeons in performing longer operatings by minimizing fatigue. Other applications for exoskeletons involve providing controllable limbs for paraplegics. In mental health and convalescence, companion robots like Jibo, Pepper, and Buddy have proven helpful for alleviating loneliness, monitoring patients, and keeping track of medications. Tiny robots are also being used in surgeries that require a high degree of precision or reaching traditionally difficult to reach places on the body. And even tinier robots—nanobots—are assisting with drug delivery, cancer treatment, and healing wounds.
Software and hardware for mapping the human genome—essentially the genetic blueprint of each and every individual—has also benefited from tech investment, research, and development. Companies like Ilumina are creating machines that can sequence your DNA at a consumer cost of less than $100. Genome sequencing can provide individuals and their healthcare providers with information about drug sensitivity, allergies, and genetic proclivity towards certain diseases or conditions, which can then be treated preemptively. California startup Habit helps customers create a personalized diet plan based on their genetic makeup. Other companies are focused on the social aspect of genetic mapping, like 23andMe, which offers in-home kits for customers to map out their DNA and understand their ancestry.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning have the potential to revolutionize drug development, especially with in silico drug trials—that is, computerized drug trials on a digital model of human physiognomy. This trial process would be in contradistinction to the current in vivo model of testing drugs on live organism like cells, animals, or humans...and it could greatly speed up the process of testing and developing drugs—for example, by testing thousands of different varieties of a drug on thousands of different patients at one time. Though this AI model of drug development is still in the works, virtual models are already being used to study conditions like osteoporosis and heart disease by leveraging Big Data. The staggering amount of information out there on patient histories and treatments can also be analyzed to make more accurate diagnoses and plan out treatments—and some of that process can be assisted by AI.
Medical Record Keeping
Software, hardware, and principles of decentralized data storage drawn from cryptocurrency are changing the future of medical record keeping. Health trackers, sensors, and other wearable devices are even available to consumers, such as the FitBit and functionalities offered by the AppleWatch. These devices can help consumers optimize their workout routine, or help ill patients monitor their symptoms and share the data remotely with their doctor. The Holy Grail of medical hardware might be a device like the medical tricorder used on StarTrek—a handheld device that can basically get a complete read on a patient. Such devices are already being offered by companies like Viatom, with their palm-sized CheckMePro, which can get accurate measurements on heart rate, oxygen levels, temperature, and blood pressure, before wirelessly transferring the data.
Additive manufacturing, called 3D printing for short, is a relatively new field that involves printing three dimensional objects from a CAD model (computer aided design). While it has some obvious game-changing implications in terms of retail, it has also proven to be a boon to healthcare. Artificial limbs, biotissues, and even pills can also be 3D printed. For example, burn victims in need of a skin graft can benefit from 3D printing that manufactures skin and even blood vessels. Injured soldiers and refugees from war-torn regions can obtain prosthetic limbs from companies like NotImpossible and RefugeeOpenWare. The FDA has recently approved 3D printing for drugs (since 2015), which has enabled the pharmaceutical industry to develop layered pills that can provide timed releases to benefit patients.
How software sales will power these healthcare trends
VR, robotics, AI, genetic mapping, 3D printing, and new trends in data storage (like blockchain) are changing the face of healthcare. Many of these trends are only as great as the software that powers them...and the software that powers them can only spread to new markets withs solid software sales professionals.
This is an exciting time to jump aboard the work of a healthcare startup or a large established company providing a healthcare SaaS or hardware. A 2018 report by finance advisory firm Hampleton stated that “the healthtech sector is currently one of the most dynamic in technology mergers and acquisitions.” As more of the population ages and life spans increase, the demands of the healthcare field for tech and software will only continue to grow—providing lucrative opportunities for companies and their software sales professionals, especially those looking for a constantly expanding market.
As a software sales recruiter with several decades of experience, I can help both job seekers seeking their next software sales job and employers searching for new talent. Reach out to me with an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if your company is searching for a qualified candidate, or if you are a software sales professional looking for a new role in software sales, whether it’s in medical tech or any other area of the software and tech marketplace.