Technology continues to baffle and surprise us. The healthcare industry is no exception. In fact, any industry innovation in healthcare almost always consists of technological advancements. As we continue to survey what’s new and popular throughout the new year, be on the lookout for these emerging trends in the healthcare industry:

1. Virtual Reality Training

Augmented reality set a ground-breaking trend in the gaming world a couple years ago. Almost every tech commercial featured a pair of virtual reality goggles. However, this trend has expanded to other fields; notably, the healthcare industry. Surgical training using augmented reality has become an incredibly useful application. Virtual simulations are not only more accurate but more realistic in surgical settings.

2. At-Home Doctor’s Visits

With the increased use of videotelephony platforms like Skype and Google Hangouts, doctors can reach patients from the comfort of their home and vice versa. This lessens the complexity at hospitals and doctors’ offices as well as protects patients from obtaining any other types of sickness lingering in said locations.

3. Smart Technology

The relevancy of smart technologies in your home such as refrigerators, televisions, and thermostats continue to increase. However, they are also beginning to spread throughout hospitals. Patients feel significantly more comfortable with TVs connected to the internet and thermostats that adjust to the patient’s preferred temperature.

4. Artificial Intelligence

The healthcare industry is the largest growing industry for AI research and development. AI can afford healthcare companies cheaper labor, more precise surgical procedures, and faster-paced learning. Notable AI projects are BeyondVerbal’s voice recognition and Google’s DeepMind to identify and diagnose certain diseases.

Many of these healthcare trends are in the preliminary stages of being introduced to the public. Healthcare professionals are still strongly needed in the workforce. As the industry continues to research and experiment with new technologies, healthcare companies still require talented staff to fill the necessary roles that maintain the industry.