There isn’t a single sector that has not been revolutionized by Technology in the past decade. Everyday conversation, commute and companionships have changed. Nevertheless, the Healthcare industry has come a long way than any other industry could have imagined. To say that technology has transformed the healthcare industry would be an understatement in many levels.
The Healthcare-Tech Hybrid
The invention and application of technology has re-written the tenets of the healthcare industry and how far they reach. You may be a simple beneficiary or a professional in the healthcare industry. You should know about the changes happening in the interdependent sphere of healthcare and technology industries.
We have done a survey on how the healthcare industry performs hand in hand with the technology industry.
There are enhancements in technology that have impacted how the people access standard healthcare services and more. The upcoming hybrid of technology and healthcare industry is a marriage that has been inevitable.
Better Hardware, Better Software, Best Accuracy
Medical diagnosis has become more effective and accurate than ever before.
The role of technology in this cannot be held expendable, for many reasons. Let’s start with the invent and use of more powerful and AI-powered computing modules. This type of hardware has helped the healthcare industry to have some of the finest diagnostic solutions for almost every disease out there.
Coming to software, we must talk about electronic medical records and analysis options. Every individual is given a unique record that covers not just the standard statistics and the details of potential issues too. The main thanks here is due to Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, which are now able to make worthy predictions based on existing data.
In fact, every trending technology that has risen in the past decade has found its immediate impact on almost every sector of the healthcare industry. Even before Artificial Intelligence became the household name, the healthcare industry was making the best use out of it. It should be noted that people have also gotten rid of those Orwellian nightmares they had regarding the blend of technology and healthcare.
Enhanced Medical Aids
Medical aids will be another area where we can see the growth of the healthcare-tech hybrid. In the couple of years that have past, we have seen the rise of hearing aids enhanced with technology. In fact, the hearing aid market has been blooming in the past decade especially due to the digital hearing aids with the improved sound transmission, reduced noise interference and the occlusion effect in hearing aid devices. Experts say that the numbers would exceed almost all expectations in some 20 years.
Similarly, there are many assistive technologies that have been helping the disabled community. It basically means that the technology industry is making lives less tough for those who never imagined so. If you check platforms like Indiegogo and Kickstarter, you can find many projects that blend healthcare and technology so well. Of course, this is apart from everyday fitness-related gadgets we’ve been seeing.
Big Data, Analytics and Predictions
Just like every other industry, Big Data is going to play an important role in the healthcare industry as well. End-point users will benefit from an earlier prediction of diseases, better diagnosis, and analysis of the issues and of course the better coverage of health statistics across various departments. Many trusted agencies have said that Machine Learning can change the future of the healthcare industry and management.
According to the United States Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the use of Machine Learning will be more effective in the earlier detection of diseases, based on the keen observation data of anomalies and other symptoms. Now, this comes under the Preventive sector since the changes can reduce the number of people who are hospitalized.
Even today, many companies in the healthcare industry are making the best use of big data analytics. We’ve mentioned earlier than electronic record keeping has become the upcoming norm. This ensures that future applications of ML and AI would become easier to be arranged. As far as the security of this big data is concerned, blockchain technology seems to be the best choice in town.
Thanks to the same Orwellian nightmares we mentioned earlier, we cannot blame users if they become a bit more concerned about the privacy of digitalized information. In order to avoid this scenario, experts suggest the use of blockchain tech — the same thing behind Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies out there. The use of blockchain would also ensure the best data accuracy, thanks to double-checking algorithms.
Telemedicine and Future
We cannot exclude the enhancements in the world of telemedicine while talking about the hybrid growth of technology and the healthcare industry. Now, distance has become almost an abstract concept as far as the medical field is concerned. We are not just talking about the flow of information and the ease of access. On the other hand, it means the healthcare industry can reach out to the unprivileged as well.
Even in under-developed countries, Internet connection is becoming a ubiquitous thing. It means that now we have an easy way to access the world of health without actually consulting a doctor. Of course, proper, trusted and effective platforms for this purpose are yet to be developed, at least in developing countries. If you consider the growth that the healthcare industry has been achieving, it’s quite near for sure.
Smart Wearables and Gadgets for Continuous Tracking
Tracking the health of an individual has become quite easier, thanks to the many gadgets and wearables that are available now. For instance, there is the Guardian Connect system is a package that can help who have diabetes and are taking insulin on a regular basis. Such technologies can not only track body data real-time but also alerts advanced alerts, based on predictive technology.
In addition to these, health sensors are making their ways to different gadgets and scenarios. Right now, you will be able to find smartphones and smart-watches that can track your heartbeat, blood pressure and more things. These sensors are expected to reach other areas like driverless cars and the even clothes people wear. Its idea is to keep the human being under the watch of these sensors.
These gadgets are also helpful for the doctor community. By looking at a simple Smartphone application, a doctor can get the comprehensive outlook of a person’s health levels. This would make diagnostics as well as preventive measures as simple as possible. In the future, hospitals would surely become capable of using and integrating the health-sensor data for creating the electronic medical records.
We should also have a look at how simple in-home diagnostics has become. Today, anyone will be able to check aspects like blood sugar, pressure, cholesterol etc. using a simple device. Just compare it with the days when you had to run to a professional facility and you will understand how technology has made things a lot simpler.
The Not-So-Talked-About Side
There is no doubt that the above mentioned aspects can change how the healthcare industry can reach out to the common people and make lives easier. That having said, there are concerns regarding the protection of data privacy and security, especially considering that private firms are stepping into this game. Every country will now require powerful laws and frameworks to maintain the ethical use of technology in the health sector.
Even the pervasive nature of Artificial Intelligence is now seen as a threat.
The Bottom Line
What we have covered above is a quick look at how the healthcare industry would transform itself with the pervasive help from the technology industry. It is sure that this would become the norm too soon and that we cannot escape from the long-term impacts either.