Technology is continuously advancing, working to improve healthcare and yield satisfaction amongst patients, whilst still reducing costs for organisations.
But where will this take us? In the United Kingdom, the likes of the NHS and Bupa have already introduced long-term plans to utilise technology to help diagnose infection, manage long-term conditions and promote better health. The use of technology will undoubtedly continue to better the healthcare industry, ultimately leading to longer life expectancy as younger generations are predicted to live to up to 125 years old if these technical advances continue to develop.
Below we highlight 10 of the top innovations changing healthcare at the moment:
AI in healthcare
AI is quickly becoming an extremely powerful tool for the industry. It’s fast, precise, and provides data in masses. AI ensures healthcare of the highest quality for an affordable cost. Advantages include an increase in diagnostic capabilities and predicting disease at an earlier stage, tailored treatment strategies and access to a host of health records.
Advances in education with virtual and mixed reality
Training is a huge part of developing knowledge and understanding of the human body. The developments in virtual and mixed reality allows a new quality of surgical training, accessing areas of the body which are perhaps almost impossible to reach.
Innovations in robotic surgery
This is a huge advantage for patients, as robotic surgery provides advantages such as smaller incisions and scars, a diminished need for blood transfusions, faster recovery times, leading to a shorter stay in hospital.
By activating and suppressing the immune system, it is encouraged to work harder, making it easier to find cancel cells and fight them off. It’s a great alternative when patients aren’t responding well to other treatments.
Recent advances of 3D printing in healthcare has led to safer products, higher quality and reduced costs. This technology is very much still in the early stages but its impact on society is already apparent. Philanthropist and Entrepreneur Tej Kohli’s ‘Future Bionics’ program highlights just how assistive technology can substantially improve the quality of life for people living with disabilities.
Increases in genetic testing
Due to advances in technology and the availability of cost-effective self-genotyping kits, this has ultimately led to an increase in genomic data. Benefits lie not only in the identification of human disease but also in improving our knowledge of genetics.
Skin cancer diagnostics
Total Body Dermoscopy is a method used by physicians whereby the entire skin surface is photographed with a special camera and flash system without any reflections and with super-high resolution. This technological advancement can help detect early stages of skin cancer.
Detecting Dementia early
Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most common causes of death. Oxford Brain diagnostics believe they can detect this disease at an earlier stage using cortical disarray measurement (CDM). This technique enables scientists to gather more intricate information from existing MRI scans and identify changes in the brain’s anatomy.
With the combination of WIFI-powered data sharing, long-lasting tiny batteries, and mobile apps, wearable health monitors have never been easier to use for health management. This technology enables the diagnosis of patients in a timely fashion to potentially identify life-threatening and dangerous conditions.
Use of robots as a companion during recovery
Loneliness is a very sad yet real part of the recovery phase for patients. It could be detected as a risk factor for a number of medical conditions, particularly those related to the heart. Robots are now used to provide companionship to those who are ill and are capable of setting up video chats with family members and doctors.
With new discoveries being made every day, it will be interesting to see what the year of 2020 bring to the medical industry. Longer life expectancy, as predicted may not seem so far-fetched, if these technological advances continue at this rapid rate.