Technology has always been a vital part of the healthcare industry. From helping to diagnose patients to improving communication between doctors and nurses, technology is constantly making strides in making healthcare more efficient and effective. Here is a closer look at some of the ways that technology is changing healthcare for the better!
The origins of technology in healthcare can be traced back to the first use of x-rays in 1895. Since then, there has been a rapid advancement in healthcare technology as medical professionals have been able to develop new ways to diagnose and treat patients. With the help of technology, doctors are now able to offer their patients a more personalized, tailored healthcare experience that was not possible before.
While we’re aware of the abundance of technology available in hospitals and healthcare settings today, what are some of the main ways technology is currently shaking up healthcare?
One of the biggest changes in technology is its impact on medical records. Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) are digital versions of paper medical records that allow healthcare providers to store, manage and share patient data efficiently. EMRs can be accessed and updated quickly and easily, allowing healthcare providers to provide more accurate diagnoses and treatments.
There is a growing drive to integrate electronic health record systems, so that healthcare professionals can see the breadth of a patient’s medical history, even if records are held on different systems or by different medical practices. This enables doctors and medical professionals to give a more informed level of service to their patients.
From heart rate monitors to devices that track physical activity and sleep, there are a number of devices that healthcare providers can use to remotely track patient health. This allows them to keep closer tabs on patients, as well as providing more detailed insight into their condition. Remote patient monitoring also helps to reduce the risk of infections in healthcare settings, as fewer patients need to come in for check-ups and tests.
This is part of a wider trend of proactive healthcare, where health problems are prevented early. For a long time, healthcare has been more reactive, waiting for patients to show signs of illness before intervening. However, with the help of technology, healthcare providers are now able to detect and treat problems early. And patients are able to gain more control over their health too.
Another growing area of healthcare technology is telehealth, which enables patients and doctors to communicate remotely. This can take the form of video calls, text messages or even apps that allow patients and healthcare providers to communicate quickly and easily. Patients can speak to their doctor for advice on how to better manage their condition, or even get a diagnosis without having to come into the surgery.
Telehealth also helps to reduce the burden on healthcare systems, as patients don’t need to wait for appointments and can be seen more quickly. As well as making healthcare more efficient, it can also help to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, as only people who really need to be seen in person come into healthcare settings.
AI and Machine Learning
Another area of healthcare technology that is rapidly advancing is Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning. AI can help to automate mundane processes, such as data entry and record keeping. It can also be used to analyze data collected from patient monitoring devices, helping healthcare professionals to detect patterns and make more informed decisions about a patient’s health.
AI and machine learning are also being used to create more accurate diagnostics. AI can be used to scan large datasets, helping doctors to detect diseases more quickly and accurately. And machine learning algorithms can be used to identify issues that may be missed by traditional diagnostic tools.
The use of 3D printing in healthcare is also on the rise. From prosthetics to surgical instruments, 3D printing can be used to create bespoke devices quickly and cheaply. This can help to reduce costs, as well as ensuring that patients get the most appropriate device for their needs. 3D printed devices can also be used in surgery, allowing surgeons to practice complicated procedures before attempting them on a patient. This helps to reduce the risk of complications and can improve patient outcomes.
One specific example of 3D printing in healthcare is the use of 3D printed implants. Implants are often tailored to a patient’s anatomy, and 3D printing can be used to create them quickly and accurately. This can help to improve patient outcomes, as the implants fit better and are more comfortable for patients.
Robotics is also playing a role in healthcare. Robotic arms, for example, are being used to perform surgery with greater precision than ever before. Robotic arms can be controlled remotely, allowing surgeons to operate on patients from anywhere in the world. They can also be programmed to carry out complex and repetitive tasks, freeing up healthcare professionals for more important tasks. Robotics is also being used to transport drugs and other medical supplies around hospitals, helping to reduce the risk of errors.
In developing nations, robotics is also getting urgent medical supplies, and even life-saving blood, to remote regions that are difficult to reach via the usual methods. This is in the form of drones, which can transport the supplies over large distances quickly and reliably.
Biometrics is another technology that is making its way into healthcare. Biometrics refers to the use of biological characteristics, such as fingerprints or facial recognition, to identify people. This can be used in healthcare to ensure that only authorized personnel can access patient data, helping to improve security and protect sensitive information.
It can also be used in healthcare settings to securely identify patients. This can help to reduce the risk of medical errors, as healthcare professionals can quickly and easily verify a patient’s identity before providing treatment.
Ultimately, technology is playing an increasingly important role in healthcare. From AI and machine learning to 3D printing and biometrics, healthcare is becoming more efficient, accurate, and secure. And as technology continues to advance, it looks set to have an even greater impact on the way healthcare is delivered.