From generative AI to surgical robots, healthcare technology is a fast-moving vehicle for innovation.

stock image man with headset on

In 2024, advancements in technology will reshape the way healthcare is delivered around the world.

“The future of healthcare will be determined by those who have the capabilities, ambition, and vision to launch disruptive technologies that elevate the patient experience,” said Ken Washington, senior vice president and chief technology and innovation officer at Medtronic. “I believe 2024 will be a breakthrough year for the healthcare technology industry if we can accelerate the pace of innovation to serve more patients and serve them better.

Medtronic is a company full of technology experts. So we asked a few of them what trends will have the biggest impact on healthcare in 2024. Here’s what they are predicting.

Artificial intelligence and healthcare will become synonymous

The AI revolution in healthcare is already underway. As with any disruptive technology, there are  skeptics, but we also know that a growing number of Americans are optimistic about some of its current applications. In the future, generative AI will help healthcare professionals do their jobs better and faster. Already, the technology can help summarize medical research and clinical notes, reducing the time it takes to develop healthcare technologies. By performing mundane tasks that consume healthcare professionals’ time, AI can help address chronic staffing problems at hospitals. Likewise, it will continue to aid in the diagnosis of more diseases, especially through advanced imaging.

Wearables and apps: A super-powered team-up

Move over chatbots. More and more consumers are taking charge of their health because of the integration of wearables and “companion” apps. Look for more “wearables” to hit the market as consumers become more accustomed to tracking their health and thinking about wellness instead of chronic care. Likewise, apps will become a standard feature on most new medical devices such as insulin pumps and cardiac monitors.

Healthcare technology gets greener

Today, consumers are demanding that their healthcare be just as sustainable as their transportation, food, and housing. Consequently, more health care technology companies are locking decarbonization into their long-term business strategies and committing to new waste disposal and packaging reduction efforts. Remote patient care also helps cut transportation emissions even further.

Surgical robots get even ‘smarter’

The rise of the (surgical) robots is well underway as the technology becomes more widely adopted in operating rooms around the world. In fact, the global surgical robot market is expected to be valued at $16 billion in 2030, almost quadrupling from what it is today. Already, some surgical robots are connected to AI platforms to augment surgical decision making. In the future, we’ll see more surgical robots powered by AI with expanded capabilities. Look for surgical robots to integrate more augmented and virtual reality technologies, particularly as a training tool for surgeons. 

Healthcare systems put a greater emphasis on data equity, privacy, and access

Heard of data equity? If you haven’t, you will in 2024. As AI takes on a bigger role in healthcare, it’s imperative that data is collected, analyzed, interpreted, and distributed without bias. Some industry watchers believe blockchain technology can help. For now, however, a growing number of companies are investing more in data privacy and taking stands on the ethical use of AI. Expect more of those measures and a bigger push to integrate equity throughout the healthcare journey. Also, watch for more open sourcing of healthcare technologies to build stronger, more equitable healthcare systems that are accessible to more people around the world.

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