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By Heather Centorbi

December 18, 2020 

The healthcare industry is continuously changing and has no plans of slowing down in 2021. The biggest industry movers to watch are voice-to-text interfaces, internet of things (IoT), robotic process automation (RPA), blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI). 

1. Voice-to-text Voice-to-text is already prevalent among the healthcare industry but will stand to become one of the most adopted technology in 2021. Just a few benefits include saving time on documentation and medical record searches. Clinical notes are now being taken verbally rather than written or typed out, saving time and accuracy.  

2. Internet of Things (IoT) IoT has been around for a long time but year after year is advancing and becoming more common in the healthcare industry. IoT includes medical devices and software applications that are connected and embedded with healthcare technology systems. An example of IoT in healthcare would be virtual visits that have increased in popularity due to COVID-19. Doctors, machines and other technical systems are all involved and needed to communicate seamlessly with each other.  

3. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) RPA is the process of using error-prone, repetitive tasks in various industries, and is now booming in the healthcare industry. An example is claims management, a burden on the healthcare industry. RPA helps keep track of processing claims and makes it easier on the worker. Additional items RPA helps with is appointment scheduling, inventory management and digitizing files. 

4. Blockchain We have been hearing about blockchain for a while now, but it is really going to come to fruition in 2021, especially in the healthcare sector. It will help to improve data security and interoperability as well as streamlining consent, intake forms, contracts and other data. By investing in blockchain, it will save the industry significant costs associated with breaches, IT and operations.  

5. Artificial Intelligence (AI) AI has come to light more than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic with no plans of stopping as we head into 2021. It plays a critical role in vaccine development, CT scans, thermal imaging and more. It eliminates human error in scan results, it can detect facial recognition and temperatures, and provide results in real time, very quickly, just to name a few. 2021 is set to be a gamechanger in the healthcare industry and we are bound to see new and improved technological advances.

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