Thanks to technology, the field of medicine has come a long way, and it continues to change as human lifestyles change. Here are ten ways technology is transforming the medical field.
- Improved Investment
The amount of investment that is being directed towards digital healthcare startups has been gradually increasing over the years. In 2014 alone, these startups raised approximately $2.3 billion in seed capital. In 2017, this figure increased fourfold with digital healthcare startups raising about $11.5 billion. The present and the future will only get brighter.
- Improved Healthcare Accessibility
Just like Uber doesn’t own a single car and Airbnb doesn’t own any hotel, technology is driving medicine towards the same direction. Technology has given rise to remote hospitals where patients do not have to physically go to the doctor’s office to get medical help.
Today, surgeons have to be in the theatre room to conduct surgeries on patients. However, there are procedures that robotics can perform better than the human hand. For instance, there are surgical knives that vaporize tissue and then analyzes the smoke to find out if it is cutting through cancerous or healthy tissue. This has led to improved accuracy in medical procedures
- Improved Disease Detection and Treatment
Ever since the emergence of big data, companies in numerous industries such as manufacturing, transport, marketing and advertising have relied on consumer data to make decisions. Similarly, medical facilities are using algorithms to analyze biological data and identify patterns that can help in early detection and treatment of diseases.
- Improved Procedural Preparedness
Without losing touch with reality, augmented reality is playing a critical role, especially for medical students. By immersing themselves in a 3-dimensional healthcare world, medical students are best prepared for real-life medical situations. For practicing doctors, augmented reality has made medical procedures like X-rays less invasive and dangerous.
- Patient Empowerment
Wearable technology is commonplace in the communication industry. The medical field has also not been left behind as health-trackers and sensors become the norm. Patients are thus able to monitor various aspects of their health such as heart rate and blood pressure in real-time.
- Cheaper Healthcare
By bringing healthcare closer to patients, enabling early detection of diseases and assisting in prescribing the right treatment, technology has made health care cheaper for the average person.
- Improved Doctor-Patient Privacy
Previously there were concerns among patients regarding privacy issues brought about by error-prone paper filing systems. These concerns have however become a thing of the past as technology today enables patients to fill medical forms online via secure and protected platforms.
- Advanced Treatment Alternatives
3-D printing has enabled medical practitioners to print bones, limbs, and tissues. Patients with specific needs such as skin grafts or limb replacements, therefore no longer have to wait long to have these parts available.
- Improved Drug Development
Since strict ethical laws regulate clinical tests for new drugs, drug development can be time-consuming. However, current technology concepts in computer simulations promise to speed up drug development free of regulatory restrictions.