Blog: Top Health Technology Trends to Watch in 2023
As the calendar turns on another year, the state of health tech continues on an exciting trajectory. Despite a 2022 that was marred by economic downturn and tech related pullbacks, digital health investments still produced over $15B in funding. While that number has raised concerns compared to the remarkable run of 2021 which saw almost $30B in digital health funding, 2022 still surpassed funding totals from the ten years prior to 2021. Further, on the heels of an incredible CES event two weeks ago, health tech related innovation is poised for more growth in 2023.
Among the growing healthcare trends, which advances in technology are most likely to make an impact? Here, we review the innovations most likely to take center stage in 2023.
By all accounts, CES was a huge showcase for the future of Augmented Reality (AR), making it one of the most highly anticipated technologies to impact enterprise since mobile computing arrived. The event was highlighted by several major announcements from technology leaders looking for an entry point into various health related markets. Magic Leap lead the way with a crowd-pleasing keynote, where they announced a major milestone for their AR device, the Magic Leap 2 – IEC 60601 certification. This safety clearance opens the door for ML2 to be utilized in healthcare environments and directly with patients. It is a major step forward for AR’s path to relevance, and one that will continue beyond 2023 as 5G connectivity expands across the globe.
Additional announcements that grabbed headlines included HTC’s newest device, the Vive XR Elite, Lumus’ novel AR lenses, and TCL’s lightweight glasses called the Ray Neo X2. While each were made with the consumer in mind, the interest in enterprise use cases was clear to those in attendance.
Beyond this, what could make 2023 the year of Augmented Reality? Experts finally agree that this will be the year Apple announces their long-awaited Mixed Reality (MR) device. While it remains unclear if the consumer or enterprise is the target audience, the expectation is that the iOS, code named Reality One, will be fully integrated into Apple’s platform of health-related features on both iPhone and Apple Watch, creating an ecosystem of interconnected health data and devices.
As AI has becomes more mature and commonplace in non-health related disciplines (hiring practices, writing, etc), businesses are starting to show more trust in the decisions it can make. As a result, expect to see more businesses with robust data infrastructures invest in efforts to bring AI into their products in 2023, particularly in healthcare. Thousands of healthcare companies have been sitting on years of data that currently rely on manual processes to extract ROI, setting the stage for AI to automate both internal and provider/patient related processes. Even startups, particularly in the mental health space, may have now have enough mature data with which AI can drastically streamline care, creating more operational efficiency and delivering more value to patients.
Beyond digital transformation, AI has never been cheaper to implement. Individual consultants and companies that specialize in AIaaS – Artificial Intelligence as a Service – make the transition and the implementation of AI based decision making more affordable than ever, leveling the playing field for everyone.
While ChatGPT is making waves in the content space insiders believe that GPT-4, which will become available later this year, will be poised to have a role in health-related AI. With over 1 Trillion parameters, GPT-4 will be the most mature decision-making engine ever. Combining this with Google and DeepMind’s medically oriented, open-source language model MedPaLM, AI driven healthcare integrations could become all the rage in a matter of months.
Home Health Monitoring
As the healthcare worker shortage rolls into 2023, consumers will continue to take preventative health measures into their own hands. In the same fashion that wearables traction grew exponentially during the pandemic, adoption of health monitoring tech for in home use is exploding. The integration of sensors into common household products will provide insights previously unavailable to consumers. Smart mirrors can now detect things like vital signs, dermatological issues, and thyroid problems, while smart toilets will be able to track and analyze your nutrient levels from your urine. Smart bathmats will soon be able to tell you information about your body weight and composition, and posture.
Health tech has massive implications for the lifestyle behaviors we maintain, and insights derived inform how those behaviors are augmented or abandoned. Never before have healthcare, technology, and consumers been so closely aligned creating a shared vision for prevention and wellness, and a massive opportunity for technology to positively impact our lives.