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With technology, the past decade has been a revelation. We’ve got tech developers breaking new grounds, doing what we’d have once thought impossible. For engineers, researchers and developers, it seems the question to ask now is; how can it be done instead of if it can be done. There is virtually no sector of the trendy economy that isn’t experiencing the refreshing impact of technological innovation, least of all the health sector. Below are a number of the technological innovations changing the shape of medical practice around the world.
A few years back, it might have been difficult to imagine seeing a doctor without actually seeing a doctor. Those days when one had to wait in long queues even if only to get a quick consultation. But with the presence of Internet Communication Technology (ICT) and a wide range of online multimedia platforms to decide on, individuals can get health care wherever and whenever they need it! As an example, someone could be seeking guidance on some symptoms they’ve seen or are still seeing. He or she may get answers right there from his phone or laptop screen and there may be no need to visit the hospital. Virtual Medicare or “Telemedicine” if you prefer, is equally helping to bridge the gap between people in third world countries – where medicare could also be very poor and sometimes non-existent – and reliable medical practitioners in advanced nations. Yet this doesn’t mean that every single problem can be treated online. Many cases require the physical presence of the patient, most especially surgery. Still, a considerable number will be effectively addressed by virtual medicare. It’s not hard to recognize the advantages that come with Virtual Medicare. Here are a few:
- Decongestion of medical centers
- Enhanced safety of medical personnel in cases of contagious diseases.
- Better management of medical centers
- Limited risks of infection spreading to other patients where there is a pestilence.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI)
The intelligence of machines and software offers limitless possibilities for medical practice. AI algorithms can be employed to emulate human knowledge within the analysis of complex medical data. It can be used for diagnosis and predictions based on its logic. With AI, it is expected that performance and productivity will be optimized and waste brought to a bare minimum. This will improve overall efficiency in the health care delivery sector.
This is often a mix of a sophisticated robotic surgical system and the special skills of highly trained surgeons. It is usually adopted for minimally invasive surgery. That is; where tiny incisions are made within the body and a laparoscopic machine inserted into the opening. The machine includes a high-resolution camera, which captures the insides of the patient in 3D and guides the movements of the surgeon. The photographs from the camera are then magnified to permit the surgeon to make elaborate movements in tiny spaces. While this innovation is sure to cost more, it comes with notable benefits for the patient. There would be fewer scars, the patient will experience far less pain, and will only spend a few days in the hospital as the recovery time is usually short. For the doctor, he can operate with more precision and vision. Overall, Robot-assisted surgery is more conducive and beneficial to everyone involved. Little wonder it’s becoming increasingly acceptable among individuals who need to go under the knife.
The smaller the better. That’s the code for product packaging nowadays. Computer-manufacturing companies, T.V producers, and other makers of tech hardware strive to make their products as light and sleek as possible, without compromising quality and user satisfaction. The health care delivery sector is not left behind. Currently, patients can have a diagnosis by the insertion of a microscopic device into their bodies. A few years ago, an Israeli company began developing a pill camera that can be used to monitor the large intestine and detect polyps as well as early signs of cancer in individuals. Today, this technology has been accepted in over eighty countries and high demand.
Another interesting technology the health sector is leveraging to get better productivity is blockchain. Recently, a major American healthcare provider, Mayo Clinic collaborated with a UK-based Blockchain company – MedicalChain – for the deployment of an open and decentralized medicare platform which keeps a patient in control of their data. This platform is used to link patients with researchers and pharmaceutical companies, manage health records and improve the security of data, thereby bolstering the trust of patients in the healthcare system.
Thankfully, most of these technological innovations are not futuristic; they are presently being used to boost productivity and improve overall performance in medical practice. While they may not answer all the questions faced by medical practitioners, they certainly will make life easier for lots and lots of people.
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