The pandemic has shone a critical light on every aspect of the medical ecosystem, revealing which systems were adequate and which were not – in a way that only a global crisis could have done. There has been widespread discussion since the start of the pandemic, concerning changes to public health systems, medical supply chains, medical education, telehealth infrastructure, and more. Less often discussed, but just as disrupted by the pandemic, is medical research communication.
Encompassing peer-reviewed scholarly journals, books, websites, conferences, point-of-care devices, and more, the medical publishing ecosystem is a critical connection point, ensuring that clinicians and healthcare leaders around the world have access to current information about new and emerging treatment approaches.
Looking Beyond the Journal
The pandemic generated needs that went well beyond the comfort zone of this traditional set of tools. Even in the fastest scenario, a journal article once submitted takes months to reach readers and is preceded by additional months of research. This ultimately means that a hypothesis that a clinical researcher is exploring will take half a year or more to progress from concept to readership. In the early months of the pandemic, front-line clinicians could not wait six months to consider therapies for their COVID-19 patients. They needed to act immediately.
In the absence of peer-reviewed research in the early months of the pandemic, clinicians turned to preprint servers, case reports, and even social networks – through which they were able to receive real-time advice from fellow clinicians in other hospitals and other countries on “what was working and what was not.”
Now that a year has passed, there is a substantial body of peer-reviewed, well-established work on COVID-19 in traditional journals, and we can expect to see the global community’s therapeutic and public health approach returning to traditional research-based foundations for the remaining years of pandemic response. But the need that the onset of the pandemic revealed – for much faster and less formal channels of information sharing to sit alongside the more traditional channels – cannot be “put back in the bottle”. The need must be addressed with new systems, new technologies, and new approaches – so that the global community can be better prepared for future crises.
By Kristin Savage writes regularly on the Pick Writers blog and occasionally contributes to other educational platforms.
Technology has become an inseparable part of our lives. No matter how you look at it, from smartphones to computers, we need technology to function in our everyday routines. The exact same thing came to apply in the medical field.
As technology continues to advance, there are more and more ways in which those creations can be applied in the medical field and revolutionize the way the healthcare industry works. Here are 3 of the most important current technological advances which have played a very important role in the industry.
Artificial intelligence in hospitals
One of the most important things that are happening in our hospitals now is the incorporation of AI technologies in the healthcare system. By including innovative technologies in the care of all patients, a number of benefits have been created as a result.
The most important thing that has been put to use have to be robot-assisted surgeries. In traditional medicine in order to perform an operation, the doctor has to have very steady hands, be able to be very precise and also manage to stay standing for hours, especially when an operation is very difficult and high-risk. On top of that, the doctors can stay in a much more comfortable position during the operation.
Surgery-assisting robots have really changed the way a plethora of operations are being done. From gastric bypass surgeries to heart ones, these AI robots can really change the way the medical practitioners operate. Not only do they have a much clearer view of the area they are operating on, they are also a lot more precise thanks to the robotic tools.
In addition to these perks, some operations can now be completely done by robots working remotely. This can be a great help to the medical personnel and it can also create more open spots for patients in urgent care who really need to be operated on.
These elements truly help reduce the risk of surgeries, make them more accessible to patients. Along with that, they can also drastically reduce the healing time after the operation and make the overall experience a lot more pleasant for the patient.
Along with that, there are also new systems and devices installed in the hospitals which aid the medical practitioners when it comes to making a diagnosis. They are much simpler to use and monitor the patients in a much more effective way. From new scanning devices to tools which help with drug administration, the hospital experience had become a lot more pleasant for both the personnel and the patients involved.
Digital records and databases
A common problem in the hospitals is how long it takes for medical practitioners and nurses to create appropriate and complete files for their patients. This can lead to long waiting times and a lot of effort from the medical personnel’s perspective in order to keep everything under control and collect the correct data.
Up until the last century, every document in the medical field was collected in a paper-based system. In our day and time, technology has given the healthcare industry a way of storing everything into an electronic format. This has changed the field in many different ways.
First of all, it has truly simplified the way medical histories are being created. There are certain AI tools similar to Alexa and Siri, which can listen in to the patient-doctor conversation and automatically turn everything that had been mentioned in a complete file. This truly helps save a lot of time for the doctor as they won’t have to take noted of everything that is being said anymore. On top of that, the visits will be shorter and therefore the waiting time will be reduced drastically.
Along with that, the saved information can very easily be added to the patient’s medical history as it is now easily accessible for the doctor online. This is very helpful when it comes to connecting the dots and finding our exactly what could be wrong with a patient’s health.