The latest technologies are already making real changes in the world of healthcare and emerging tech-trends promise to create nothing short of an industry-wide revolution. From automated surgeries to 3D printed prosthetic, the latest advances in medicine are already allowing for a wider range of procedures, options and a higher quality of patient care. The following technologies and examples serve to highlight just a few of the ways that innovative new technologies are helping to change the face of medicine.
Automation and the Healthcare Industry
From software applications to sophisticated robots able to perform an ever-expanding range of procedures and tasks, automation is already making major changes throughout the industry. Sophisticated algorithms that are able to analyze and diagnose conditions based on medical images and records are just the beginning when it comes to healthcare-based automation. Robots that will be able to assist and even perform a variety of surgeries more safely and effectively than their human counterparts may soon transform the way countless patients are cared for.
The rise of workplace automation is also making an impact on the administrative side of healthcare. Data analytics make it possible for even smaller practices and organizations to identify trends by assessing existing patient records and documents. Being able to identify patient populations that may be at heightened risk of developing a potentially-serious illness or condition or ensuring that all patients are able to be matched with the care providers and services that may be better suited to their needs may greatly enhance the quality of care that medical professionals are able to provide. Automation, both in an administrative environment as well as hands-on care, is one healthcare trend we can expect to see a whole lot more of in the days to come.
The ability to consult with other professionals, access past records or to share information with greater speed and ease often plays a critical role in ensuring superior care for all patients. Enhanced connectivity through communication applications, cloud-based record and document solutions and even third-party service providers that make it easier for medical professionals to share sensitive information safely and security have a great deal to offer. As enhanced connectivity continues to spread throughout the industry as a whole we can expect to see new breakthroughs stemming from more effective collaboration as well reduced instances of malpractice or oversight that may be caused by poor communication.
The ability to create everything from surgical tools to next-generation prosthetic on-site very quickly, cheaply and easily has already made quite an impact on the world of healthcare. Advances in 3D printing may soon allow care providers to grow and create everything from trauma splints and braces to organic tissues and organs suitable for transplant. 3D printing and other technologies that are able to provide medical professionals with access to a expanded range of resources and options are creating numerous new possibilities that may be able to enhance the quality of life of countless patients.
Virtual and Augmented Reality
Devices that make it easier to visualize and even interact with surgical patients have a great deal to offer. Virtual reality (VR) may soon be used to train new medical students, allow physicians and surgeons to assist in procedures regardless of their geographic location or to interpret diagnostic images in a brand new way. The growing sophistication and falling price point of VR equipment, applications, and other resources means that this technology may soon become commonplace throughout the industry.
Augmented reality (AR) is quite similar to VR in many respects. Rather than simulating a completely new field of view, AR provides one or more overlays which can radically increase the amount of information that surgical care providers and other medical professionals may be able to utilize. The ability to project current vital signs or a patient’s past medical history onto an existing field of view will allow everything from simple examinations to the most critical surgeries to be performed with greater ease, accuracy and effectiveness. Both VR and AR have numerous potential applications that may be found throughout the healthcare industry making them a great example of how technology is reshaping the way doctors and patients are able to interact.
Digital Data Storage
Digital and electronic storage formats are a critical resource, one that has allowed for healthcare facilities and organizations to store, access and share patients information far more efficiently. Digital platforms ranging from PACS systems to patients billing and invoicing processes have already been able to benefit a great deal from the latest storage formats. Cloud-based systems and file storage options continue to ensure that administrators and care providers alike are able to find, access and utilize the information they need in the most efficient manner possible.
Future Trends in Medicine
While the latest technologies are already making waves in the world of medicine, innovations that may be just around the corner could have an even more significant and lasting impact. Exciting new fields, such as nanotechnologies which may allow for a greater range of surgical and treatment options than ever before or the ability to clone and grow replacement organs, may allow for a range of care and treatment options that may be difficult to image for today’s patients and healthcare professionals. The rapid pace of innovation and the rise of