Technology is a huge part of healthcare because it is the driving force behind any improvement that might change millions of lives and improve them. The rate of recent innovations is increasing and many have to agree that technology is indeed helping us practice medicine and introduce new treatments that allow us to use new tools, save lives and collect data.
In this article, we will show you some of the ways how advanced technology is changing the healthcare and why we should embrace it whether it is about information-sharing or aiding in high-risk surgeries. Let’s check them out now!
Virtual Healthcare is also known as telehealth and telemedicine because it allows patients to not only share important data with their doctors but also to monitor their own health at home, such as using a stethoscope. Some of the best stethoscopes can be easily purchased online.
This kind of healthcare also allows doctors and physicians to easily share their knowledge at video conferences or by using mobile apps. In the past, that was even impossible to imagine but today you can connect with a doctor from the other part of the world and get familiar with their innovative treatments and medicaments.
This healthcare could save the US health system billions of dollars annually; however, losing the personal touch with the doctor and face-to-face visits could also worsen the quality of care.
Artificial intelligence or A.I. is slowly being implemented in the health system, especially when it comes to diagnosing strokes, eye diseases, heart diseases, skin cancer, and other conditions.
A.I. is still not a top priority and its implementation may be of slow progress, mostly because of the cost (only 12% of health systems reported they had implemented A.I. for cancer care, or were planning to implement in 2018).
According to the reports, some of the most common areas that will be affected by A.I. are: clinical decision support, population health, disease management, readmissions, and medical costs/health plan.
There is a general fear that radiologists will be replaced by A.I. machines but on the contrary, A.I. might enhance the relationships between doctors and patients by freeing up the time that doctors do not have much thus allowing them to spend more time on patients.
3D printing is not really new because it has been used for years; however, it has come a really long way since its invention. Today this way of printing has faster prototypes that can offer personalized prosthetics. What makes 3D printing really amazing is the fact that it is also revolutionizing organ transplants and tissues repairs because it can produce realistic skin.
The 3D anatomical replicas and models allow doctors to scan data to diagnose illnesses, clarify them and even plan surgical interventions. 3D printing has a long way to go, but the models are becoming more complex and realistic than before.
Robot-assisted surgery is a type of a surgical procedure that is performed by robotic systems. It was developed primarily to assist doctors with minimally-invasive surgeries and to enhance the surgeons’ capabilities.
A doctor would usually use the so called telemanipulator or a computer control that would move the robotic arms. For example, laparoscopic procedures include small incisions that can be performed in this way because they do not demand blood transfusions.
The latest invention was the first robotic operation at the femoral vasculature performed at the University Medical Centre Ljubljana in Slovenia.
The uses of robot-assisted surgery include:
- Atrial septal defect repair
- Mitral valve repair
- Coronary artery bypass
- Thoracic surgery
- Bariatric surgery and gastrectomy
- Hysterectomies, myomectomies, and lymph node biopsies
- Orthopedic surgery
- Transplant surgery
- Prostate cancer
Nanomedicine is another evolving field in the healthcare system that is used to diagnose, treat and prevent various diseases. This type of medicine involves using the nanoscale materials such as biocompatible nanoparticles and nanorobots. It is also used for imaging, sensing, and blood purification. It has been estimated that nanomedicine be worth over $350 billion by 2025.
To sum up, we have talked about five products of advanced technology that are changing the present and future of the healthcare in general. Virtual healthcare is changing the way we monitor our health but also removed the intimacy of face-to-face meetings with doctors. 3D printing is allowing us to have better prosthetics thus enabling people all over the world to live better.
The robot-assisted surgeries and A.I. are enhancing the capabilities of surgeons while nanomedicine is paving the way for easier imaging and treatment of various diseases.
Many of these technologies are still in progress and many people are skeptical about their involvement in healthcare, but they are progressing rapidly and may really help save millions of lives in the near future.