We live in an age where technology is everywhere. It helps us make payments from our phones, it enables us to control the lights in our homes, and it can even drive and park our cars. So it’s no surprise that technology is shifting the way we use medicine.
There are several ways that technology is used in the medical field. Below are a few of the most innovative examples that exist today, all of which have significantly improved medicine and healthcare.
Thanks to technology, patients are able to virtually see a doctor now during COVID-19. Through telehealth services, you can schedule an appointment and speak with your doctor via a video call on your smartphone, tablet, or computer. A variety of conditions can be assessed and treated, all without you having to leave your home. Outside of a pandemic, virtual care can be especially helpful to those living in rural areas where access to doctors is not readily available.
Robots can be found helping doctors with surgeries in operating rooms. They can also help with examining patients to provide virtual care, carrying medical supplies, cleaning hospital rooms, among other tasks. In fact, the medical robotics market is expected to be valued at $20 billion by 2023.
In the medical field, 3D printing goes to the next level. Also known as additive manufacturing, this type of “printing” is the construction of a three-dimensional object using a CAD model. Doctors can recreate specific organs for patients, create hearing aids, surgical implants, and even build models of blood cells. Additionally, surgical tools can also be recreated using 3D printing.
5G data is the latest iteration of cellular technology, enabling healthcare facilities to significantly have faster internet service and transfer larger amounts of data. Overall, this level of cellular technology helps medical staff work faster and increases workflow productivity.
Different wearable health trackers allow us to track the number of steps we’ve taken each day, our heart rate, sleep patterns, and overall fitness levels. From watches to our smartphones, we can get a daily snapshot of our activity levels and overall health, giving us more control over our wellbeing.
Technology in medicine expands access to medical procedures and care all over the world. It improves our healthcare system in practically every capacity - From the scope of care provided to the knowledge and quality of procedures, research, and treatment.
Technology over the past several decades has drastically improved medicine and healthcare.
There’s access to medical information and conditions online. The internet has forever changed medicine. These days, almost everyone uses the internet to look up medical questions prior to scheduling an appointment with their doctor. Have a sore throat? A consistently throbbing headache? Or maybe a freckle that looks funny? Regardless of the severity of the issue or how uncommon it might seem, there is almost always a long list of search results that can be found on the internet. And while self-diagnosing tends to be a slippery slope, the internet can help patients conduct research on specific issues or find medical experts in a particular field.
Doctors are more accessible than ever. Cellphones and smartphones make it possible for patients to text and call doctors, nurses, and other medical staff practically 24/7. This type of access and communication can be especially important for patients recovering from major surgeries who have specific, timely questions concerning care. Online scheduling platforms such as BookMD.com also make finding doctors based on your insurance and location easier than ever.
Treatments are more effective. Technology such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRIs) and X-rays help doctors detect injuries, abnormalities, and diseases much more quickly than before. Research has also improved with the help of technology, making the treatments we use for specific diseases much more likely to cure diseases and provide patients with relief of symptoms. Not to mention, imaging and research are always advancing, contributing to an overall improved level of care.
The medical history of patients is more thorough. Computer databases and online cloud systems enable medical staff to record patient data all in one place. From blood tests to prescribed medications, doctors, and nurses at multiple practices can see a full health history of a patient with just a few clicks. This ultimately leads to more comprehensive patient care, not to mention a better workflow and less time spent in the doctor’s office.
As technology continues to grow and expand, we’ll continue to see technological advancements and innovation in healthcare. We can expect to see further research being developed to treat diseases and conditions all over the world, improved access (especially for those living in rural communities), further development of robotics and Artificial Intelligence in the medical field, as well as a wide array of growth that increases workflow and efficiency. All of these elements combined will revolutionize the way we treat illnesses, conditions, and the overall health of patients.