New technology has brought several changes to many different industries. One such industry where technology has become a valuable partner is in healthcare.
From assisting doctors in every aspect of their role in practice to streamlining operational facilities with data storage and information sharing, the face of healthcare has changed considerably. As technology is always evolving, it is safe to say that it will continue to contribute to the healthcare sector.
In this article, we will explore three of the forces that will have a hand in shaping the future of healthcare.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
The role in healthcare played by AI continues to grow. Examples of this include chatbots, AI tech, and AI-assisted software.
Chatbots are used to interact with patients. They ask and answer questions about treatment plans, diagnosis, and much more. The chatbots will “learn” what a specific patient is going through and provide answers that are related to the information it receives. These tools help doctors a great deal by assisting patients in a more effective and accurate means. Chatbots also help doctors who have full schedules and must see many patients in a single day. These virtual appointments lighten that load.
AI tech is used to convert patient records into easy to read digital data. When it is in this format, easily accessible medical records are created and stored on a database. The database will hold a massive amount of patient information and is shareable to anyone who has access to the network. Information can also be easily updated from the database. It has increased communication between medical professionals and made diagnoses must easily in many cases.
AI-assisted software is being used to improve patient care and increase efficiency. It can be applied in many different aspects of the healthcare system and are assisting both doctors and nurses in providing more personalized care. It can offer suggestions on treatment solutions as part of the diagnosis phase and follow-up on these treatments. Both of these factors free up doctor time and increases productivity and improves patient outcomes.
How AI Will Make Healthcare Better
AI is currently effective in healthcare as it is preventing human error. With the ability of AI to provide more precision in repetitive tasks and offer doctors and nurses a reliable consultation source, AI has a long and productive future ahead of it in the healthcare sector. Telehealth services have only recently been developed and this has provided access to medical assistance to many individuals who are unable to travel, live in remote areas, or are too ill to move. Expect AI to play a larger role in telehealth in the years to come. To find out more, this guide from Healthcare Weekly has more detail on the relationship between AI and healthcare.
Telehealth and telemedicine were both barely known services before the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, as we are still months into dealing with the virus, telehealth and telemedicine has grown considerably and may become permanent fixtures in the healthcare industry. As they become more used by medical professionals, they will become more familiar to patients and the doctors or nurses using them. Even the professionals predict that these services will become commonplace in the future. As an example, the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) says that 50-percent of all health services delivered in the United States will be virtual by the year 2030.
How Telemedicine Will Make Healthcare Better
Telemedicine has already proven to be effective during the COVID pandemic. Doctors have used it as an alternative to having in-person patient visits. While that may sound a bit impersonal, what has been noted is that by reducing the number of in-clinic patient visits, the transmission of COVID has been controlled to a point. Patient to doctor infection is eliminated as is patient to patient infection. Telehealth has reduced the stressed time and resources of medical professionals which have improved their productivity and efficiency on the job. This alone makes it a worthy tool to continue using well into the future and post-COVID.
Internet of Things (IoT)
The traditional healthcare system has made it difficult to find reliable data. Although doctors still keep notes from each patient visit they attend, office visits are far from regular for any given patient. Plus, healthcare providers typically do not have much information on what a patient does during a normal day which makes identifying trends far more difficult. With patients turning to a medical professional in times of emergency, it is hard for them to choose the right treatment plan without a lot of patient background information to go on.
IoT connected medical devices have provided a link in the collection of medical data through remote monitoring methods. Examples of IoT medical uses include a remote monitoring platform that tracks a patient’s blood pressure, glucose level, heart rate, and much more. Alerts can be sent in real-time to caregivers and treatment can be administered quicker when needed.
How IoT Will Make Healthcare Better
With ongoing improvements to internet services, medical IoT will expand to provide more services. Examples would be imaging from radiology, cardiology, and other specialties being sent to doctors much faster. This will enhance diagnosis and treatment plan development with quicker access to the information needed. Doctors will also be able to predict with great accuracy which of their patients are at risk for serious diseases just from the advanced analytics that will be available from massive amounts of patient data on file.
Technology has changed the way we do many different things in our daily lives. That is because it has been adopted by several different industries as a means to improve the delivery of service. In the healthcare sector, technology continues to enhance many aspects of healthcare. Artificial intelligence, telemedicine, and the Internet of Things are three examples of what technology has contributed to improving healthcare. They are also three elements that have a strong future in the industry. Expect to see more improvements in healthcare and you will see that they were made possible through technology.