The healthcare industry has transformed to a great extent in the past decade; the credit goes to the advancements in technology. From telemedicine and wearable technology to artificial intelligence and big data analytics, technology is changing how healthcare is delivered and managed. These advanced solutions have increased efficiency, improved patient outcomes, and reduced healthcare costs. With that said, let’s discuss how technology is transforming the healthcare industry and how these advancements are playing a vital role in enhancing the future of healthcare.
Telemedicine allows medical practitioners to deliver healthcare services remotely. Patients can book audio or video call appointments with the doctor from the ease of their location. It offers easy access to healthcare services for patients in rural areas or those who cannot commute due to illness and hence, helps in minimizing various challenges patients encounter. Through telemedicine services, it is possible to get access to a variety of care alternatives, such as primary care consultations, psychotherapy, physical therapy, and even some emergency services.
Cloud computing has been adopted as the preferred optimized IT infrastructure in the healthcare sector. It provides a connected, accessible, and collaborative environment for patients and clinicians. Moreover, cloud computing makes medical record-sharing easier and safer while improving efficiency and reducing costs. SaaS (Software as a Service) is one of the main categories of cloud computing as it works through the cloud delivery model. SaaS platforms can deliver healthcare services faster, better, and cheaper. One example of a SaaS-based platform is NovoPath’s LIS, a laboratory information system designed for pathology labs to track, automate, simplify, and complete multifaceted cases.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial Intelligence has rapidly taken over all sectors, and the healthcare industry is no exception. AI technology helps collect, analyze, and interpret a large amount of data that may not only help improve the accuracy and efficiency of diagnosis but also assist in many areas of healthcare.
Today, personalized treatment plans are also created with AI-powered tools, which enhances patient results and reduces healthcare expenses.
Robotics and Automation
Using robots in the medical industry helps increase operational efficiencies while improving patient care and outcomes. These robots help with minimally invasive treatments, individualized, ongoing monitoring of patients with chronic conditions, and intelligent therapeutics. Surgeons use surgical robots to assist with various surgeries and operations, while companion robots help older adults feel less anxious and depressed. Telepresence robots allow doctors to check in with patients remotely, while rehabilitation robots assist patients in performing specific movements after surgery. Automation of routine tasks like medication dispensing and inventory management reduces errors and gives healthcare professionals time for more critical responsibilities.
Electronic Health Records (EHR)
EHR is used to compile a patient’s medical records into digital files. With EHR, healthcare service providers can communicate with patients remotely and in real-time. It ensures that any clinician working with a patient can access the most recent, accurate, complete record possible. EHR systems are often linked to disease registries for linkage projects, providing necessary information for monitoring patients with unique disorders.
Wearable medical gadgets are designed to gather user health data and convey a patient’s health information to a doctor or other healthcare provider in real-time, eliminating the necessity for in-person visits. Among these gadgets are fitness trackers, smart watches, blood pressure monitors, electrocardiogram (ECG) monitors, biosensors, and even clothing items like smart gloves that can interpret sign language into text. These medical wearables use software, sensors, actuators, and electronic patches applied to the skin to track a patient’s health, spot problems, and even treat illnesses.
3D printing is rapidly approaching a critical stage in healthcare. With 3D printing, healthcare specialists can create cranial implants, prosthetic limbs, or orthopedic implants customized to suit and fit the patient. 3D printers can also create sterilized surgical equipment like forceps, hemostats, scalpel handles, and clamps. One of the key advantages of 3D printing is the decreased production cost over conventional manufacturing of surgical tools.
Precision medicine has become more prevalent due to whole genome sequencing and personalized diagnostics developments. Healthcare professionals can customize therapies to maximize efficacy and minimize side effects by analyzing an individual’s genetic makeup and other factors. This approach allows for more targeted and individualized care.
Virtual Reality (VR)
Given the significance of virtual reality, it is now being used to train future surgeons, whereas practicing surgeons can use VR in surgeries. The technology benefits patients and has proved to be effective in managing their pain and anxiety. Healthcare service providers can use it as exposure therapy.
Moreover, Virtual reality can be utilized effectively in different ways, but its use in healthcare worker training is worth mentioning. It helps them visualize the real scenario in the best possible manner.
One of the recent breakthroughs in manipulating individual atoms and molecules holds immense promise in healthcare. It has the potential to revolutionize disease treatment, addressing a long-standing challenge faced by medical professionals who have been limited by using relatively coarse “macro” solutions.
Moreover, nanotechnology is considered one of the most powerful tools in medicine, especially in nanomedicine. Nanoparticles have great potential in diverse applications, including innovative diagnostic tools, tissue engineering, targeted therapeutics, pharmaceutical formulations, advanced imaging techniques, and biomedical implants.
Nanoparticles can be engineered to bind to specific biomarkers in the body, which makes detecting diseases at an earlier stage possible.
Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things has made data sharing and integration seamless by connecting various medical devices and equipment. IoT-enabled devices help healthcare professionals to monitor patients remotely and collect real-time data. IoT-enabled devices facilitate patient monitoring, improve chronic disease management, and enable early detection of potential health issues.
Advanced technology has led to better diagnosis and treatment of diseases, reduced costs, and improved the overall quality of healthcare services. Health-tech entrepreneurs are using all these technologies to bring the future to the present and aid millions of people. However, it is important to recognize that technology can also be misused and have negative consequences. It is important to prioritize patient privacy and security to ensure technology is used effectively and safely in healthcare.