Technology and Healthcare

Written by Zoya Khan

In today’s world, technology plays a crucial role in every industry as well as in our personal lives. Out of all of the industries that technology plays an important role in, healthcare is certainly one of the most important. This merger is liable for improving and saving countless lives all around the world.

Technology has brought about a huge change in the healthcare industry. Patients are now discovering some of the best diagnostic tools, new cutting-edge and cutting-edge treatments, and numerous slow-moving procedures that result in less pain and faster healing. Remote consultation with experts, guided therapy, and the availability of insightful mobile apps has led to improved patient care and holistic healthcare experience.

Also, the availability of new medical technologies that lead to better outcomes, has improved the quality of life of patients. The future of healthcare is shaping up with advances in digital healthcare technologies, like AI, VR/AR, 3D-printing, robotics, or nanotechnology. The future of healthcare lies in working together with technology and healthcare workers have to embrace emerging healthcare technologies so that they remain relevant within the coming years. The following aspects explain how technology has enhanced the healthcare industry.

• Digitization of Health Records

Dusty and bulky paper files are slow in giving way to streamlined digital records that are securely uploaded to the cloud and made accessible remotely to patients and healthcare professionals. By this, storing, management, and transmission of data becomes easy and quick. Support for clinical decisions is formed available to professionals and patients; making it possible to require better, more informed medical decisions. Digitization of health records also helps in the delivery of healthcare to remote or inaccessible locations. This digitization has the potential to streamline processes, enhance patient outcomes, and reduce costs.

• Artificial Intelligence

Some companies use AI to promote healthcare from designing new drugs to disrupting medical imaging to mining medical records. Atomwise uses supercomputers that remove treatments from a molecular database. In 2015, the start-up began a virtual search for safe, existing drugs that could be restarted to treat the Ebola virus. They found two drugs predicted by the company's AI technology that could significantly reduce the Ebola outbreak. Recently, Google’s DeepMind created an AI for breast cancer analysis. The algorithm outperformed all human radiologists on pre-selected data sets to identify carcinoma, on the typical by 11.5%.

• Virtual Reality

Virtual reality (VR) is gradually changing the lives of patients and physicians. In the future, you would possibly watch operations as if you wielded the scalpel, otherwise you could visit Iceland or home while you're lying on a single bed. VR is getting used to coach future surgeons and for actual surgeons to practice operations. Such software programs are developed and provided by companies like Osso VR and Immersive Touch and are in active use with promising results. A recent Harvard Business Review study revealed that VR-trained surgeons had a 230% boost in their overall performance compared to their traditionally-trained counterparts. The former was also faster and more precise in performing surgical procedures.

• Mobile App Technology in the Medical Field

Not only do patients have access to quick and precise medical information using their handheld devices, but they're going to also use apps to remain track of doctor’s appointments, get reminders to take their medications. Health and fitness apps help people get healthier by tracking their food intake, activity levels, and offering customized solutions. These apps also can help physicians in high-stress jobs by reducing the time spent within the filing, record maintenance, and other routine tasks. Mobile apps provide access to drug information to assist prevent side effects and interactions, solve problems, and improve diagnosis. Doctors can communicate with their patients, record their vital signs precisely, maintain logs about visits and consultations, and achieve greater procedural efficiency.

• Electronic Medical Records

Electronic medical records or Electronic Health Records (EHRs) contain digital summaries of a patient’s medical records. They could involve diagnoses, lab reports, and details about hospital stays, surgical interventions, and prescriptions. They offer a summary of a patient’s health; permitting a more accurate diagnosis and improved patient care.

• Telemedicine/Telehealth

Telemedicine takes the digitization of healthcare to its next logical step; letting patients consult specialists practically anywhere within the world. This is the technology that is applied in the healthcare system to beat distance barriers and facilitate critical care in emergencies; potentially saving lives. Telemedicine facilitates remote patient monitoring by healthcare professions. This can help manage chronic conditions effectively and economically with the assistance of varied apps and devices. Moreover, real-time interactive services make it possible for patients to consult electronically with healthcare providers. This is essentially a video conference that helps with diagnosis, management, counseling, and patient monitoring.

• 3D-printing

3D-printing can bring wonders altogether to aspects of healthcare.

We can now print bio tissues, artificial limbs, pills, blood vessels and therefore the list goes on and can likely keep it up doing so. The pharmaceutical industry is additionally taking advantage of this technology. FDA-approved 3D-printed drugs are a reality since 2015 and researchers are now performing on 3D-printing “polypills”. These contain several layers of medicine to help patients adhere to their therapeutic plan.

• Big Data

Big data is a buzzword in different industries, including healthcare. This is because the generation and collection of huge amounts of data from several different sources in the healthcare field are now possible. This data is further used for analytics, making predictions about possible epidemics, and ultimately preventing deaths.

• Information and Communication Technology

Developments in information and communication technology are constantly improving and streamlining how the healthcare industry functions and therefore the way patients interact with their care providers. Medical experts have access to comprehensive research studies also as diverse population groups that provide new insight into genetics, diseases, and care outcomes.

Technological advancements are better accepted in the health care sector in some parts of the world than in others. Developed countries can integrate technology effectively in advanced patient care; however, developing countries are catching up fast. Healthcare providers who have yet to embrace the technology areas see their remarkable potential and make the changes and investments needed to streamline processes, lower costs, increase efficiency, and most importantly, enhance the quality of care.