Viewpoint: How the tech boom is changing medicine

Technology is changing the healthcare industry as patients monitor health in real time with wearables, use e-pharmacies to fill prescriptions and seek out physicians who can connect with them wherever they are, turning healthcare into a consumer product, according to a Jan. 9 report from The Economist.

Data provider CB Insights estimated that investments in digital health startups doubled in 2021, accumulating $57 billion in revenue and creating competition with healthcare companies and technology giants that are "turning patients into consumers," according to the report.

Tech giants 

Technology companies like Google, Amazon and Apple are implementing the use of devices and data in the healthcare sphere; they poured $3.6 billion into healthcare last year, The Economist reported. 

Telemedicine 

COVID-19 has allowed telemedicine to thrive as physicians and hospitals put off in-person visits because of the ongoing pandemic. 

Teladoc's revenue was up by 80 percent year over year in the third quarter of 2021 at $520 million, according to the report.

"Doctors on demand" have also led to the increase in telemedicine and telehealth usage. 

"There is no going back to the old paternalistic system where you are relying exclusively on a medical professional for your healthcare," Scott Melville, CEO of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, told The Economist.

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