Technology is a driving force behind continuous innovation. Not only does it help us improve our standard of living but also enables us to save countless lives. Over the last few years, the role of technology has increased by leaps and bounds in the field of healthcare. It has not only influenced treatments offered to patients but has also changed the way healthcare professionals are being trained.
While poverty is a hindrance in making proper medications and health benefits available to the people at the lower end of the financial spectrum, technology is playing a major role in making advanced healthcare available to a wider section of society. Looking at recent developments, it is easy to say that technology has revolutionised the experience of both patients and medical professionals.
Let us now look at a few key trends that are making an immediate impact by revolutionising healthcare:
Virtual Reality: Virtual Reality is being used extensively to train and support medical professionals. It literally transports the professional into the human body, letting them access and view areas of human bodies that are otherwise impossible. As per a research, over 90% radiologists who viewed human arteries with the help of 3D VR technology, were more confident while diagnosing ailments. Industry experts expect that the value of VR in medicine and healthcare is set to grow over 30 times in the next five years.
Big Data: With the improvement in technology and its implementation in healthcare industry, a huge amount of diverse data is available for researchers to analyse and understand various diseases. The amount of unprecedented data allows medical practioners and researchers to be proactive and recommend preventive treatments. They can easily analyze and compare patient data with a pool of thousands of other patients.
Virtual Healthcare: Improved connectivity has ensured that patients do not have to travel to a doctor’s clinic for consultation, instead they can get onto a video call and consult their doctors right away. According to a data, almost 25% users have got in touch with their doctor or nurse, virtually. This has been possible because of fast and affordable internet being available to masses. This results in getting instant help or consultation even when the practitioner isn’t physically available.
AI or Artificial Intelligence: Use of AI has changed the face of a lot of industries and healthcare has been one of he many beneficiaries. With the help of AI, it is possible to predict and diagnose strokes, heart diseases and eye diseases etc.
It is helpful in doing repetitive jobs like analysing tests, X-Rays, CT scans etc, managing medical records and data more efficiently. AI helps creating virtual nurses to assist patients, designing personalised treatments, and health monitoring with the help of number of activity and fitness trackers we use.
Robot assisted surgery and treatments: How often have we seen mechanical arms performing a surgery on a patient while the doctor is sitting on his computer getting a magnified view and controlling the robotic arms. This results in a precise surgery, lowers the risk of infections, causes less pain to the patients, less scars due to the surgery, overall leading in a quicker recovery of the patients.
3D Printing: The use of 3D printing in healthcare has revolutionised the industry. 3D printing of organs and tissues is performed by artificially creating parts of body or tissues by applying layers of specific material, finally moulding them into a desired shape. It can help in creating a personalised and accurate prosthetics and tiny organs etc. In future, these lab-grown organs will be able to grow inside the body, supporting the natural organs when they fail.
Apart from the few trends mentioned above, technology is helping us improve healthcare in many other ways like nanomedicine, augmented reality, mobility, telemedicine, drone deliveries in distant areas to name a few. As a whole, technology is paving way to improved, advanced and affordable healthcare for all.