Today, technology seems to be making its way into almost every industry, and healthcare is no exception. The constant advancements in technology has allowed for it to make huge impacts to both doctors and patients. With these technologies in place, data is more organized, patients are presented with alternative ways to heal themselves, and diagnosis becomes more streamlined and quicker. Highlighted below are various technological advancements that are changing the healthcare landscape as we speak.
Presumably one of the most impactful advances, artificial intelligence in healthcare seems to showcase great potential. With the utilization of AI, the algorithms are able to mine health records, develop patient treatment plans, and create drugs faster than any other technology currently being used in healthcare. Currently, AI is being utilized for early detection of diseases, such as cancer, and has even been proven to be 99% more accurate at reading mammogram results. As a result, AI is also being used as a means of diagnosis. AI is able to store and review medical information much faster than any practitioner is able to, and is therefore able to diagnose health problems at a much quicker rate, with increased accuracy. If AI is already impacting healthcare in such advanced ways, there is no doubt that the future of AI in healthcare will be revolutionary.
The sudden influx of technology in healthcare has brought with it a variety of different health trackers and wearables. Now more than ever, we are conscious of the ways our bodies are functioning. These devices are very beneficial to those that want to know more about themselves and have a desire to make their health a daily priority. With different apps, users are able to track things like weight, food intake, stress levels, sleep cycles, and cognitive functions, in order to better health and increase overall energy. Such devices allow us to be aware of our health, even outside of the doctor’s office.
Virtual reality has greatly aided various surgical procedures by making them more interactive and open. With virtual reality, operations are no longer only between just the surgeon and the patient. Virtual reality allows everyone to be present during an operation. Through virtual reality apps, anyone from family, to medical students, can follow along during surgeries. As a result, virtual reality also improves teaching processes. Currently, during operations, only few students get the opportunity to shadow a surgeon, and even then, learning such a complex task can be difficult. With virtual reality, surgeons can globally stream their operations, and can also allow students to participate with their virtual reality goggles. Virtual reality can also help relax chronic patients by allowing them to ‘travel’ to different places, all which sitting in a hospital bed. Additionally, the technology can help recovering stroke victims, by allowing them to practise how to move their body again.
Augmented reality can often be confused with virtual reality, however it differs at the fact that users do not actually lose touch with reality; they just acquire vast information rapidly, using eyesight. This feature of augmented reality can help surgeons with image reconstruction, allowing them to have x-ray like vision, without needing to conduct any. Additionally, augmented reality can help students and doctors prepare for an operation by gathering all the information they need to be successful.
The Cloud & Big Data
The healthcare industry works with the public, and therefore has gathered enormous amounts of data. Big data refers to this information that is to be processed for analytics. Utilizing this in healthcare can provide a great deal of benefits including lower healthcare costs, improved quality of life, predicting epidemics, developing new drugs, avoiding preventable death, and reducing waste. With cloud computing, information can be stored and accessed from any internet-enabled device. Cloud computing involves the storage of information via the internet. As a result, data accessibility for healthcare providers becomes easier and information is protected against data loss due to the strong backup and recovery services that cloud computing offers.
The landscape for healthcare is changing, and we are in the middle of a revolutionary shift in the way the healthcare industry operates. If the industry keeps advancing as so, we may get to see more efficient and customer-centric services from healthcare, not to mention better treatments.
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