The dawn of the technological era has made work easier for healthcare providers by providing new research tools, improved communication methods, groundbreaking treatments, virtual health care software, and a fresh perspective on medical practice. From the likes of robotics used in surgery to using big data, blockchain and AI for treatment and improving healthcare operations. Let’s look into some of the ways new technology is shaping the healthcare industry.
Wearables, Trackers, and Sensors
For starters, people are becoming health conscious. Many now prioritize health and do everything to ensure they are as fit as a fiddle. The beauty is that these days taking care of health is as easy as wearing a device. Many developers and engineers have been working tirelessly to create wearables and applications that track a lot.
You can track your sleep or even use gadgets to help meditate, design workout routines, and dictate actions like how many steps we should walk per day. Some of the most popular wearables in the market include the Fitbit Ionic, the Muse headband, and the Polar H10. These devices can help you make more informed choices about your well-being. There are many IoT devices aiding healthcare workers to extend their services beyond the clinical setting.
Medical residents and future surgeons must undergo rigorous training and numerous practice hours before practice. Well, virtual reality is now improving these training and practice sessions. Through VR, trainee surgeons can get a simulated feel of being in an operating room. In fact, research reveals that surgeons who trained using VR are more likely to outperform their colleagues who underwent conventional training.
Patients are also benefiting from virtual reality software programs. For instance, VR is used to reduce pain levels in patients with post-surgical, gastrointestinal, and neurological pain. Additionally, In-home therapeutic Virtual Reality is also used nowadays to let people be immersed with a constructed environment, which makes it an effective tool for the designed modulation of attention.
At its core, the healthcare industry is customer-centric as it seeks to alleviate patients from their suffering. Of course, patients are also clients that deserve exceptional customer care services. Now, technology has significantly shaped interactions between patients and healthcare service providers.
For example, consumers now use online tools for pricing estimates before making decisions. In fact, there are regulations like the CMS price transparency in healthcare requirements that require health plan providers to avail to their consumers the cost of all the covered services and items. In this regard, providers are using online estimates on websites to deliver transparent info to patients.
Doctors and health practitioners like nurses are trained pros capable of working around the clock to diagnose illnesses and prescribe the proper treatment. However, they are human beings limited in their abilities and are not immune to making mistakes.
Artificial intelligence innovations are filling in gaps in the healthcare industry by performing tests at record speed and designing effective treatment plans better than most doctors could. AI technology can also predict possible drugs doctors can use to treat fatal diseases like Ebola.
Even though the healthcare industry has come a long way in treating human diseases, we still have a long way to go. By the time doctors can detect diseases like pancreatic cancer, it might be way too late, and all they can do is manage the patient’s symptoms. Unfortunately, drug development is also costly and time-consuming.
On the bright side, technological solutions are aiding doctors and scientists creating and testing new drugs for a fraction of the time and cost it would have taken in the past. Personalized computer simulations, known as in silico drug trials, have also come in handy in creating healthcare interventions, devices, and products. Furthermore, healthcare facilities and pharmacies may use a medication therapy management system to have a more effective way of managing their patient and medication records.
The advancement of technology has also led to the development of medical tricorders, which can measure numerous parameters at once. For instance, the Viatom CheckMe Pro can measure your temperature, heart rate, oxygen saturation, ECG, and blood pressure.
Another excellent example of a medical tricorder is BioSticker, a small and slender device that can measure your sleep status, heart rate, activity levels, body position, and temperature, among many other parameters. Soon, you can expect to see microscopes or ultrasonic probes paired with smartphones to enhance their performance.
This is just a tip of the iceberg! In a nutshell, healthcare is one of the sectors that is reaping big from adopting new tech. While there are challenges in adoption of tech in healthcare, the pros very much outweigh the hurdles. This is why as a healthcare service provider, it is time to implement and use new tech and innovations to improve patient care, treatment, customer service delivery and grow profits. Remember though that technology is highly dynamic! You will have to keep evaluating your tech adoption strategy.