How Technology is Changing the World of Medicine
A large number of digital innovations are revolutionizing healthcare — and technology in medicine is here to stay. Numerous innovations and new solutions are already on the market and they have all improved healthcare drastically.
Multiple medical issues such as congestive heart failure, diabetes, medication noncompliance, even stressful isolation, are researched and solved with remarkable new technologies. Here are some areas researchers are targeting:
One of the most common and costly diagnoses is that of heart failure, with a mortality rate closer to cancer. It includes three types of sensors – wristband, necklace and watch – which are used for testing. This type of diagnosis gives both patients and doctors continuous information on how a compromised heart is functioning.
These days, medical researchers are considering the potential of 3D printing in medicine. For example, Kaiser Permanente’s Los Angeles Medical Center is perfecting the use of 3D printers to replicate multidimensional models of problematic areas inside patients. Surgeons can handle the models and simulate a variety of possible operation replicas before performing the actual surgery.
Alternatively, 3D printing can be used in reproducing bones or other organs in the human body. This advance in technology is also pushing into prosthetics.
Data is everything, especially in the healthcare industry. It ranges from analyzing diagnostic reports to filing patient treatment histories. Healthcare facilities have an overwhelming amount of information for storage.
IBM research teams say that the same super-computer that won a game of Jeopardy in 2011 is now being used to help physicians make more accurate diagnoses and recommend treatments.
The Ebola outbreak has shown that expedited medical research and experimentation are possible. Due to the fact that the World Health Organization (WHO) feared the detrimental effects of a world outbreak, vaccination research efforts have increased. Scientists have started using advanced methods such as chimp adenovirus, which is “closely related to a human version that causes upper respiratory tract infections.”
Today, mobile apps are available for everything. In the healthcare sector, this is especially true. Doctors and patients are discovering new ways to use technology to monitor personal health. Nowadays, tracking daily sleep patterns, counting calories, researching treatment options, and even monitoring heart rate is possible.
One of the most useful and practical innovations in recent years is remote monitoring technology. The systems can be used by patients in the comfort of their homes to reduce the time and financial cost of recurring visits to the doctor. By using a small device designed to measure a particular health issue, doctors can analyze a patient’s data remotely without the need for them to come down to the hospital. Pacemaker patients have made great use of remote monitoring devices.
With the doctors’ busy schedules and limited free time, it is very important to be able to communicate with them through electronic devices. New developments in technology have focused on this point and have been designed to improve the link between patients and doctors (and viceversa). A new social network is attempting to connect doctors better by providing a safe place to interact.