The trajectory of human development is shaped by several factors, one of which is technological advancements. These technological advancements have greatly shaped the way we live our lives – from mobile technology to medical technology. In fact, human development is closely tied with the advancement of medicine technology; how far medical technology can go is how far society is able to progress.
Thus, there is a need to embrace healthcare technologies in order to stay relevant. Luckily, the healthcare sector is renowned for being one of the most active adopters of new technology and innovations. This improves not only the healthcare systems as a whole, but also the patients’ outcomes.
It has the potential to transform the unsustainable healthcare systems into sustainable ones, and provide effective and affordable solutions at a faster rate. To take a peek at the future of healthcare technology, let’s take a look at 3 of the technologies that have already made their mark.
1. Telehealth And Telemedicine
Telehealth and telemedicine have always been utilised for decades, and it wasn’t till the pandemic did they truly shine. COVID-19 has introduced new problems and exacerbating current ones. It has made screening for the virus and regular medical care extremely challenging, especially when social distancing is a vital measure to avoid infection.
This is where telehealth and telemedicine come in. By giving a remote platform for immediate patient-doctor consultations, healthcare services can be delivered without any compromise to their quality. Although there are some elements of healthcare that require face-to-face interaction, telehealth and telemedicine helped to prioritise this category whilst managing the traffic.
Available in the App Store and Google Play, MyCLNQ is an app that serves to extend such services beyond the typical brick-and-mortar healthcare facilities. Patients are able to get in touch with telemedicine services, request for their own private ambulance and meet other healthcare needs through digital means. With such technology in place, it won’t be long till it becomes commonplace – especially if governments began consolidating remote healthcare into standard practice.
2. Artificial Intelligence And Biopharma
Apart from the new ailments appearing once every few years, there are a few illnesses that have yet to bear substantial research and studies. In the case of COVID-19, finding information about this novel coronavirus became a race against time. Scientific magazines that required extensive research and vetting, found themselves releasing COVID-19 related papers in bulk, in hopes to provide as much information to develop treatments and vaccines.
However, this is an obvious gamble. Gathering information so in such a short period offers the risk of misinformation, but reviewing practices had to be lax in view of the COVID-19.
Luckily, the artificial intelligence (AI) technology can be the answer that bridges both amount and accuracy of information. Early this March, the US government released an open data set of scientific articles related to COVID-19 and used AI to help speed up the process. Similarly, Atomwise referred to a database of molecular structure to search for existing medicines that could be redesigned to treat the Ebola virus. This trend can easily set for easy information acquirement, which will translate to quicker results.
3. 3D Printing
The introduction of 3D printing has brought about other options and avenues that would’ve otherwise been impossible before. With this technology, one is avail to printed bio tissues, blood vessels and more, cutting the waiting time for donations and transfusions.
Researches at the Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, was able to come up with 3D-printed blood vessels and living skin that will help in the skin grafting recovery for burn victims.
In recent news, 3D printers are placed on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic by creating kits for healthcare workers, specifically their personal protective equipment (PPE) which was suffering from shortages.
The fact of the matter is, society’s progress will not be as significant if modern technology is not adopted in our healthcare system. The efficiency and seemingly limitless potential of digital health should not be ignored. With modern healthcare technology, the real era of the art of medicine is only a matter of time.