Digitalisation has changed a lot in medicine (technology). Through the use of sensors, algorithms and artificial intelligence, diagnoses can now be made faster and more precisely. Monitoring patients has also become easier thanks to wearables and mobile devices. The data collected in the process enables doctors to create individual treatment plans and check the effectiveness of therapies. Digitalisation also opens up new opportunities for research and development in medical technology. However, data protection and security aspects must also be taken into account to ensure the confidentiality of data and the safety of patients.
We have defined four Hot Topic Trends for 2023 on the overall topic of "digitalisation", which are reflected editorially in the reporting of our spheres of medical technology:
Outpatientisation in medicine is becoming increasingly popular as it offers more cost-effective and convenient healthcare solutions. The networking of doctors and hospitals enables faster and more efficient diagnosis and treatment. Telemedicine and mobile health provide easy access to medical care and allow for more comprehensive monitoring of patients' health. Wearables, apps and PoCT applications facilitate data collection and improve the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. The future of medicine lies in the integration of technology and medicine to provide better patient care.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and big data are increasingly being used in medicine to improve diagnosis and treatment. By analysing large amounts of data, patterns and trends can be identified that help in the development of new therapies. AI algorithms and Big Data analytics enable faster and more accurate evaluation of medical images and tests in laboratory medicine, leading to more accurate and faster diagnoses. In administration and management, AI and Big Data can ensure efficient documentation, billing and data management. These technologies also help improve healthcare processes by facilitating the work of professionals and improving the quality of patient care. It remains exciting to see how AI and Big Data can continue to be used innovatively in the future.
Automation and robotics have advanced tremendously in recent years, and assistive systems such as VR/AR applications and computer-assisted interventions have emerged as important technologies. In medicine, they enable more precise operations and faster recoveries. However, automation and robotics also offer numerous potential applications in other areas, such as production or logistics. By using these technologies, processes can be automated and optimised, leading to greater efficiency and cost savings.
Sustainability in medicine is an important focus to protect both the environment and health. However, the economisation of care often brings unintended environmental impacts that can be minimised by consciously integrating sustainability. Medical devices and instruments should be designed to produce less waste and minimise energy consumption during their life cycle. Effective supply chain management that focuses on corporate social responsibility (CSR) is another important aspect. With the new Supply Chain Act, companies are now also legally obliged to make their supply chains sustainable. Waste management is also an important aspect of sustainability, especially in healthcare, where waste products can often be hazardous.Best practices for "green hospital" projects that focus on reducing emissions, energy efficiency and sustainable material sourcing can make an important contribution to promoting sustainability in healthcare.