7 Ways in Which Healthcare Innovation Has Changed Over the Past 10 Years
Nowadays, upgraded technologies are being launched daily, each trying to make life simpler and more effective. Nearly all industries are benefiting from the latest innovations, but healthcare has been leading. Technology has been at the forefront in bringing changes in the field of medicine and healthcare overall. Ideally, tech has brought in new methods of conducting research, collecting data, and modes of treatment. Some of the ideas thought of as being impossible in the medical field are now the new normal. Let’s take a look at some of the ways how tech has devolved healthcare.
Most people are probably wondering how VR has influenced healthcare innovation. In this day and age, doctors are using VR to explain surgical procedures to patients. More often than not, having a visual representation of what will happen during a surgical operation helps the patients feel relaxed and make a decision on whether they are willing to go under the knife or not.
In another instance, virtual reality is now being used to treat mental health disorders. Additionally, VR is used alongside other medications to treat PTSD in war veterans. Besides that, virtual reality can be used to treat phobias, where phobic patients are exposed to fear design objects in VR to help overcome the fear in real life.
Medical Instruments and Equipment
A couple of years ago, health practitioners had a challenging time diagnosing diseases such as cancer and tumors. In this new age, we have smart CT scan devices that can capture detailed X-ray images of the internal human body. Also, the current x-ray technology is much faster and safer, offering instant results.
Besides, there have also been improvements in surgery with more sophisticated surgical equipment being launched. These tools have made surgeries much effective and safer both for the physicians and patients.
Much of the progress in medicine has been possible owing to ongoing research behind the scenes. Medical research has uncovered new diagnosis and treatment methods. A lot of research in clinical pharmacology has developed new cures, vaccines, and disease control methods. Case in point, look at cancer; in the past couple of years, the disease was viewed as a death sentence. However, nowadays, with new healthcare tech and diagnosis equipment, cancer can be detected early and cured before it spreads. Statistics show that the survival rate is much higher nowadays.
Artificial intelligence relies a lot on big data and machine learning to create patterns and provide trends based on the information provided. AI and machine learning have been used concurrently to develop disease diagnosis and treatment methods. These days we have artificial medical intelligence that diagnoses and proposes treatment plans using data from healthcare research. Also, worth noting, doctors can now use AI to collect and analyze patient data. In a nutshell, medical AI puts patients in control of their overall well-being.
Fitness Trackers and Watches
Most people are now becoming more conscious about their health and overall well-being. This has been made possible thanks to the advent of smart fitness watches and other fitness wearables. These devices track your physical activities throughout the day, giving you a health performance report on variables such as how many calories you have lost and your heart’s condition.
According to Harvard University research, fitness watches and apps can motivate and make people more responsible for well-being. For most, they help people overcome fitness plateaus and work on improving fitness. Some fitness wearables allow you to share the data with a doctor or fitness expert who can offer professional advice on how best you can boost your well-being.
One downside that has risen from the use of fitness and wellness applications is the breach of data privacy policies. There have been cases where fitness app developers violate data privacy policies and sell the consumer data to third-parties. According to Yalantis.com, ensure that the fitness app you are using complies with HIPAA rules.
Medical 3D Printing
3D printing technology, aka additive manufacturing, is quickly shaping the healthcare industry. Recently, the FDA approved a 3-D printed prescription pill for use. Other than printing pills, the technology can recreate complex human body parts such as porous knee replacement structures that can allow tissue and muscle growth.
More recently, we have seen the use of 3D printers to manufacture face-shields to help combat the spread of the Covid-19 virus. In 2017, a group of techies in Palestine used 3D printers to manufacture hospital equipment such as stethoscopes for struggling healthcare institutions.
Nanotechnology in Healthcare
The use of nanotechnology in healthcare is called nanomedicine. Physicians will now be able to use nanomedicine to diagnose and treat various complications. The nanomaterials used in medicine have electrical, optical, and mechanical features to detect and image cells within the human body.
There are ongoing trials about the use of nanomaterials for delivering medication to cells that may have been destroyed by cancer. Back in 2017, researchers from the Ohio State University developed a nanochip that could remake any cell in the human body for treatment. Nanotechnology promises to revolutionize medicine and clinical diagnostics. The technology could be an effective solution for treating cancer and cardio diseases, amongst others.
Human health has been a complicated subject over the years. However, innovations in the healthcare industry are bringing effective ways to diagnose and treat patients. Most new technologies are working towards eliminating the risk for human error, which often leads to misdiagnosis and the loss of lives.
People can take advantage of the vast array of wellness devices and apps that make it easier to monitor their wellness and fitness levels. Tech is making healthcare better in multiple ways. It has made the treatment of diseases much more efficient and more straightforward. All in all, there is more to come as plenty of research is still ongoing on more innovations around medicine and healthcare.