One of the best things about modern advances is the role that technology is playing in our day-to-day lives and the ways it is improving healthcare. As a leader in emerging tech and women’s health, it’s clear to me that technology is playing a key role in shaping our healthcare’s future. Here is my insight on this ever-evolving development and 15 ways it’s happening:
The Drive of Healthcare
In modern times, we use healthcare to address pains, illness and manage and improve our livelihood. But, as more technology advances, we are starting to see more ways in which technology can change our health parameters for good.
When we look at the ways that technology is impacting healthcare’s future, we can see that it is actually guiding it to a more futuristic operational model. Without technology behind the wheel, healthcare would be headed into another, more uncertain area. However, even big tech moguls are interested in using technology for health advancements.
For example, Facebook kingpin Mark Zuckerberg actually has a desire to end all diseases by 2100(opens in a new tab). And, for years, Google has been secretly working on its pet project Calico(opens in a new tab), a project that hopes to beat aspects of aging.
The impact of technology on healthcare, to me, reflects a philosophical conundrum. As we apply more technology use cases, we start to ask ourselves, what, if any one thing, is the goal of healthcare? While before it was to manage the sick, it has evolved to become a tool that we can wield to solve any problem related to our bodies.
Regardless of knowing the actual goal of technology in healthcare, it’s clear that we’re making considerable advancement.
15 Ways Technology is Changing Healthcare
- Improved Healthcare SoftwareAs the healthcare industry moves toward digital, we will see better healthcare software. This will lead to some hiccups, of course, but functionally the healthcare industry will operate seamlessly. With this advancement, we can begin to optimize healthcare operations in ways that also account for the emergencies that crop up.Healthcare software can increase healthcare access, provide security, predictive analytics, and patient experience. It also gives the chance for more individuals to access healthcare even when we lack physicians, like Maple(opens in a new tab)’s online doctor network.
- Patient PortalsThere was a time when we had a reliable physician who we could turn to. This might have been growing up, or not at all. Somewhere along the line, we have moved into a land where physicians are lacking and most people have to take control of their health data.Patient portals, like those provided by healthcare insurers or government entities, will allow more patients better control over their health data and also allow doctors to easily access this data even in times of emergencies.
- E-PrescriptionsE-prescriptions have been on the rise as more remote clinics popped up during COVID. And this made all the difference for the many individuals who were told to stay home to help curb the COVID pandemic.E-prescriptions will make abiding by health requirements far easier, making for far healthier and happier individuals.
- More Integrations and Sync Across ProvidersWith more technologies available, clinics and physicians will be better connected online. This increases information sharing to improve diagnostics, patient care, and accessibility.This will start to move the healthcare industry into a more connected world, allowing patients to move about more freely while they access their healthcare needs.For example, Wellbeing Software has developed a LIMS system(opens in a new tab) (Laboratory Information Management System) that “provides thousands of healthcare professionals access to a full range of diagnostic patient data from one place. It enables better management of lab data to improve patient care and increase efficiencies within the healthcare setting.”
- Faster and Smarter DiagnosticsWith AI better-equipped at solving human health problems, and diagnosing health conditions as effectively as human doctors do, we will start to experience faster and smarter diagnostics.Faster, and even more accurate, diagnostics will lead to less time spent on health, better health outcomes, and improvements in technology modalities too.
- Less Strain on Human WorkloadRight now, a lot of our society is overworked, and this is most definitely the case in healthcare. There are also areas in which physicians aren’t taking patients and patients are being forced into online healthcare, like what’s happening in Canada, all because there aren’t enough physicians. However, physicians are capped based on their workload.More tech can offload the workload and open up more physicians to taking on patients or doing other things deemed important. It can also allow more physicians assistants to take on patients and to implement smart technology for advanced patient screening and support.
- Improved Patient Experience (PX), like ChatbotsSometimes, heading to your doctor is a lot like heading to the DMV—we don’t want to do it and tend to avoid it. Doctor’s offices aren’t as enjoyable as they could be, and they ruin patient experiences and force patients away from doctors.However, moving in the direction of digital trends, doctor’s offices could implement technology for improving the patient experience, like chatbots, digital portals, and smart automation. This turn could see patients attending more often and catching health concerns before they spiral out of control and stress the system.
- Predictive DiagnosticsWhat if patients didn’t need to come into the doctor’s office every time? Or if robots could see patients as opposed to humans? This is the route of predictive diagnostics, and it uses a combination of emerging technologies, including genetics, to alert both patient and physician alike to potential future health problems.It can cut down on emergencies, diagnostic time, testing, and more and allow patients to move more quickly into treatment phases.
- More Healthcare SolutionsAnother general trend that we’re experiencing is simply an influx in problems being solved. No longer is cancer going to be a death sentence!With more healthcare solutions, this does increase the amount of treatment out there. However, I do think it will open up doors for more physician-types, and it might encourage more individuals to go out and seek healthcare as a professional route that would require less intensive training.
- No More Debilitating ConditionsWhile Zuckerberg’s goal to eliminate all illnesses in 2100 is a bit grand, we will start to see an end to conditions that are completely debilitating.Technology modalities will allow us more control over these conditions, like improvements in diagnostics of when to get a hip replacement or advancements in improving arthritis. Debilitating conditions are the biggest contributor to aging problems.
- AI ModalitiesArtificial intelligence (AI) is the ultimate technology platform for healthcare and, with its brother Big Data and data analytics, AI can be used as a general-purpose technology for automating and applying knowledge in healthcare.Looking up diseases, improper drug combinations, and conducting medical research will all be taken on by AI instead of humans, and for the good of the healthcare industry!
- NanorobotsNanorobots are still on the horizon of healthcare in the general sense; however, once they are ready, nanorobots will be able to travel around the human body and repair tissues according to a data program. Obviously, this has huge benefits; we can easily see many applications for this technology.We are seeing nanobots being used(opens in a new tab) in places like the US, South Korea, and Switzerland, where nanorobots were used to control MRI machines and deliver drugs to particular areas of the body.
- 3D PrintingYou’re likely aware of 3D printing, but did you know that 3D printing machines can print biosynthetics, like organs and tissues, for improving the chances of life-saving surgeries?As an orthopedic surgeon, I love 3D printing technologies and the trends that are emerging here. This means that procedures like knee replacement will, in the future, be better suited for the individuals and less likely to be rejected.
- CyborganizationMany emerging healthcare professionals are looking forward to the ability to replace most missing hands, feet, and limps with synthetic alternatives as this will greatly impact many people’s quality of life and well-being.And this is what cyborganization is. While we won’t be all mechanical, being able to replace core parts of our body with technology is an exciting possibility.
- VR TrainingFinally, we have VR training. Training in virtual reality or augmented reality (AR) will grant more individuals the training they need to provide better healthcare.VR emerged during COVID, but is likely to stick around so that we can have more people trained in healthcare all over the globe, creating profound impacts.