Over the years, technology has become increasingly prevalent in the healthcare sector, influencing it in various ways, leading to new fields such as health informatics. Numerous technological advancements have introduced technologies such as AI, robotics, 3D printing, and nanotechnology that are helping to shape the future of healthcare. As a result of technology, today’s healthcare is advancing at an unprecedented rate. Modern healthcare delivers efficient and high-quality care while reducing costs and making procedures easier for professionals. It’s safe to say that the future of healthcare is deeply tied with the use of technology. Therefore, it’s crucial to keep yourself updated with rising technologies that are playing a significant role in transforming healthcare. With a clear understanding of these technologies, you will be able to prepare yourself for the future of healthcare and lead a successful career. Here are some influential and emerging technologies in healthcare.
- Data Analytics
Healthcare professionals have always used data as information from patients to make decisions and improve treatments. However, with the help of modern technology, it is now possible to collect unimaginable amounts of data and record every detail of each patient. For example, cloud storage allows patient data to be collected in vast databases in a secure location. Most importantly, it is now possible to analyze every bit of the data collected in a fraction of a second. It helps in making highly efficient decisions that improve patient outcomes significantly. Today’s advanced data analytics enables us to make accurate predictions about a patient’s recovery process and treatment.
Moreover, the demand for IT professionals is increasing in the healthcare sector. Individuals are attracting more towards this field. Therefore, aspirants can opt for an advanced degree in healthcare informatics to equip themselves with the latest trends in technology. It will also equip them with database management and biostatistics skills, crucial to accessing and analyzing patient data.
- Remote Healthcare
The internet is a remarkable invention of humanity that has revolutionized many industries, including the healthcare sector. Communication technologies such as the internet have given rise to remote healthcare or telemedicine over the years, which aims to provide care to patients through virtual meetings. Patients can connect with physicians and nurses in an instant through dedicated apps or websites that allow virtual communication through video calls, text, and audio calls. Telemedicine is gradually eliminating the need for people to visit clinics in person.
Telemedicine has proved to be most beneficial for people who cannot visit clinics in person due to lack of transportation or living in extremely remote areas. Moreover, it allows patients to consult doctors in emergencies where there is an immediate need for professional help. Patients suffering chronic diseases also utilize telemedicine apps to get help and consult doctors, as they cannot come out of their homes. Additionally, remote healthcare makes it more convenient for patients to receive care and helps protect healthcare professionals from contagious diseases, such as COVID-19.
Wearables are another emerging technological trend in healthcare. They are making it significantly easy to collect useful patient data and therefore improve patient outcomes. Wearables consist of countless different types of devices that can be attached to a patient’s body and detect conditions that are otherwise not recorded. Smartwatches are one of the most popular wearable devices used for healthcare purposes. These watches are equipped with dozens of sensors and clever algorithms that help sense heartbeat, blood oxygen, sleep cycle, calories, and even track stress.
Data about the different health aspects of a person is recorded and represented using different statistical graphs to be used by physicians for treatment and diagnosis. However, smartwatches create records for healthcare professionals and help people follow healthy lifestyles through reminders and automatically generated health plans. But sensors and data collectors are not the only wearables used in healthcare. Wearable robots are gradually emerging to improve the physical abilities of patients.
- 3D Bioprinting
3D bioprinting is the process of developing living structures layer by layer with the use of “bio-inks” that are made with living cells. These living structures can be anything ranging from small parts of living tissue to fully functional organs. 3D bioprinting is a fairly new advancement in healthcare and is still gradually emerging. However, it can completely transform healthcare and improve the lives of countless people. The 3D bioprinting market is expected to reach $4.3 billion by 2028.
Currently, 3D bioprinting is being used in healthcare research to study the functions of the human body without risking the lives of volunteers. Structures created through 3D bioprinting are more biologically accurate and easier to develop than compared to other methods. 3D printed living structures are also being used to test the effects of drugs. However, the most influential part of 3D bioprinting is creating fully functional organs and limbs. In Australia, a neurosurgeon replaced a cancerous vertebra with a 3D printed vertebra, thereby helping the patient overcome cancer. However, this example is one of many instances where 3D bioprinting can replace organs and help individuals in countless ways.
Technology is one of the major driving forces behind the future of healthcare. From remote healthcare to robotics and bioprinting, technological advancements are shaping health system into a more affordable and effective system to save countless lives. To stay ahead of this rapid process of technological advancements, you must keep yourself updated with emerging technologies, such as those mentioned above.