New technologies have been changing our lives for the last few decades. Whether it’s communication, learning, or how we shop, industries with significant impact are augmented by cutting-edge technologies. Healthcare is one of them.
It might be anything from an Electronic Healthcare Record (EHR) program by a new software development company to nanotech and robotics. Read this article for an overview of current and future tech developments in the medical field.
Better Healthcare Management
It might seem like in the distant past when the medical records of all the patients are kept in paper form. But, unfortunately, in developing countries, it’s still an ugly reality. Not only is this slow and inconvenient, but it’s also a base where personal information isn’t safe and can be lost among other papers.
Digitalization of all medical records is one of the first steps to better healthcare management. This field has potential not only in private but also in public health institutions. Best EHR applications allow the patient:
- to access their medical card
- receive their subscriptions
- have direct communication with the doctor
- transfer the data to other specialists
Decentralization of Care
Another valuable aspect of digital records and healthcare applications is the shareability of data. Most people are reluctant to visit a doctor. Thus remote monitoring can be beneficial. With the help of technologies, patients can share relevant health data with a doctor, a caretaker, or a family member.
Suppose you have access to your elderly parent’s blood pressure and heart rate information from a wearable gadget or via software. Getting a notification at once could decrease the risks of a tragic outcome in case of a heart attack.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Machine learning and artificial intelligence have various applications in the healthcare and medical field. The power of computers is their ability to process massive information in a limited time. Machine learning and natural language processing aim to feed a lot of data to the AI, letting it process and find patterns.
While teaching the program can be time-consuming, it can benefit the speed of service via rule-based professional systems for clinical decision-making. It can also remove a lot of stress from the daily routines of doctors and medical personnel.
Another application is chatbots. Sure, patients need a personal touch. Yet, a “knowledgeable” chatbot could help doctors start conversations with their patients. They might even discover symptoms the patients would otherwise keep to themselves. Bots are also used in the psychological treatment of anxiety and depression.
The top use case of AI in the clinical setting is disease diagnosis help. This is one of the most challenging goals for AI to this day. There’s enough data to reach a conclusive diagnosis for widespread diseases, while rare conditions lack openly available information. This issue can be a serious bottleneck.
Augmented Reality (AR)
You must’ve heard about augmented and virtual reality. While the latter requires expensive gear, AR only needs a handheld device. Medical professionals use this technology for various solutions. Still, patient education and symptom description are the best areas at this point. While it’s still a work in progress, the potential of AR lies in creating assistive technologies for nurses and doctors.
Wearables, Trackers, and Sensors
Leaps in software technology are seemingly faster and more visible. Still, gadgets, wearable sensors, and trackers are also becoming mainstream.
For example, a few years back, only people with challenging heart conditions would wear a heart rate tracker. Today, everyone owning an Apple Watch can have it on their wrist. There’s a difference between medical- and consumer-grade gadgets. However, the public starts accepting this type of technology in their everyday lives.
The development of technology is definitely pushing the envelope. Nanotechnology and robotics companies are eager to develop assistive hardware for surgical interventions. 3D printing of living blood vessels and skin, even limbs and internal organs, can be revolutionary as well.
Some of the mentioned solutions can feel like science fiction for now. They also have various ethical and political concerns. Still, scientists, doctors, and technology pioneers work hard to make the distant future the new reality.