New Technologies in the Field of Medicine

health tech

When you think about the field of medicine and health care, you don’t normally associate the word digital with it, or at least you didn’t 50 years ago. Today, digital health and digital care programs are an integrated blend of digital technologies with health care and everyday living that enhance the efficiency of health care delivery

Changing Health Care Through Innovation

engineer developing prosthetic arm
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Digital healthcare services use information and communication technologies to simplify and expedite the understanding of health problems and challenges that are faced by the people who need or are receiving medical treatment. 

The adoption of electronic medical records in hospitals and other medical facilities has become the norm worldwide, but that is not all there is to the digitization of healthcare. Digital health is a multi-faceted domain that has many participants, containing clinicians, academics and scientists with diverse expertise in healthcare, engineering, health economics, data management, social sciences and public health policies. 

Both hardware and software solutions are covered under the digital health technologies umbrella. These interconnect seamlessly with health systems, and function to aid healthcare professionals and their patients in managing illness, monitor health risks, and promote wellbeing.

The digital health care environment is fast becoming the norm worldwide. A wide array of technological advancement is changing the face of medicine and healthcare as we know it. 

Here are some of the new innovations in medical technology. 

Telemedicine

Telemedicine is the subdivision of digital health care that has developed on the shoulders of mobile technology and cloud computing. Telemedicine includes specialized mobile applications, video chats and messengers. One of the main benefits of telemedicine is that the burden on legacy health care systems has been reduced. Patients don’t need to drive all the way to the doctor’s clinic or hospital and can get a remote consultation instead. It also saves time lost in the waiting room. 

Secondly, people who live far away from medical facilities or suffer from mobility issues can get prompt access to medical services for information and professional medical advice. 

Finally, in addition to telecommunication technologies, telemedicine is also employing drones to deliver supplies, medicines and other products, and even to collect lab samples from remote areas.

Internet of Thing (IoT) and Wearables

The Internet of Things allows patients to swap traditional visits to the doctor’s office with remote care. IoT devices and sensors not only remind patents when it’s time to take their doses, but they’re also used to monitor patients with chronic diseases, cardiac issues, Alzheimer and dementia and even to predict epileptic seizures. 

These smart gadgets can alert doctors about any critical changes in the patient including but not limited to heart attacks and strokes. As a result, abnormalities are detected early on giving the patients a higher chance of survival. Wearable technology includes many devices, like smartwatches, smart inhalers, insulin pumps and the like. 

Robot-assisted Surgery

Medical robots have come a long way. Many different kinds of robotized equipment are employed by surgeons today during operations that enable a more accurate surgical outcome with least invasiveness. Independent robotic instruments are able to make cleaner incisions with less tissue damage resulting in much-reduced recovery time. 

Another major advantage of using robot-assisted surgical equipment is the possibility for surgeons to be able to perform operations without actually physically being present in the operating room. 

3D Bioprinting

Think of your standard 3D printing technology and merge it with medical needs. 3D bioprinting is being used to print medical devices, prosthetics and even organic transplants. 3D printing is being used to print custom hearing aids, dental implants, heart valves, cartilage and blood vessels.

Virtual and Augmented Reality

Virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality (VR, AR, and MR) are no longer just used for entertainment purposes. Of the many applications they are used for in the medical field, the most noteworthy is the way these technologies are being used to provide opportunities to train practitioners and specialists, plan and prepare for scenarios, and treat mental health issues and stress disorders. 

Research and development is underway to use VR as a viable tool for medical education and clinical training. 

Data Analysis

Medical data collection and its analysis has been made much more convenient with digital integration into the healthcare industry. As information about health and treatment of patients and cases worldwide is more easily accessible, doctors can use that information to shape their learning and this way prevention and treatment results are improved. 

Innovation Improves Health Care

Photo by 🇮🇩 Irwan on Unsplash

Big Data, Artificial intelligence, Cloud computing and IoT simplify data collection and sharing. This easier and flexible access to data reduces paperwork and enhances the service quality.  Through analytics and diagnostics made by artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms, making predictions and establishing a diagnosis has achieved an amazing accuracy rate. 

Thanks to Big Data, medical authorities can monitor search engine queries to check if there are any increasing search trends for certain disease symptoms, allowing them to act quickly in case of disease outbreaks.

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