When it comes to the advancement of technology, the healthcare industry never falters. In the most advanced hospitals globally, it’s not unusual to find the most impressive robotics designed to save human lives. That’s really what drives engineers, designers, and researchers to continue innovating healthcare with tech—to save human lives.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s a renewed sense of urgency when it comes to advancing healthcare technology. Subjecting the entire world to a perilous health crisis has put things into perspective. More than that, it showed us that quality healthcare is still very much inaccessible to many parts of the world. This is the case despite the efforts of the government, social sector, and various individuals.
The staggering and persistent rise in COVID-19 deaths and the spread of more viral coronavirus variants have pushed us to continue pushing the boundaries of the future of healthcare. Anything, really, to save more lives. Here’s an overview of what healthcare and technology would look like a few years down the road.
Even before the pandemic, many medical researchers and engineers have been looking into integrating digital technology into healthcare. In 2019, Bain & Company surveyed to see how much digital tech is being used in existing hospitals today. The researchers found that 28 percent of doctors are monitoring their patients remotely. Thirty-nine percent are using telemedicine. The researchers also predicted that these rates would rise in the next five years. Doctors monitoring their patients in a remote setting will rise to 64 percent. And those using telemedicine will rise to 54 percent.
This survey was conducted back in 2019. But even so, there’s no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the rise of digital tech in healthcare. Even other aspects of healthcare are taking advantage of digital tech. This is to make their services quicker, more productive, and have higher quality. One of them is medical coding. In the last few years, there’s been a growing popularity of the use of advanced software. This is to keep hospital records, financials, and whatnot in order and easily accessible. With this, the U.S.Department of Labor even predicts that, by 2024, medical coding done by health information assistants will rise to 15 percent.
Artificial Intelligence Technology
Many of us may think that artificial intelligence (AI) technology and healthcare don’t go together. After all, AI in mainstream tech is usually composed of Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa. Such AI tech helps us do quick internet searches, play music, dim lights, and other mundane activities. But, in truth, AI tech is also breaking ground in the world of healthcare. Among the many developers of AI tech in healthcare is Google.
Back in 2010, Google launched Google DeepMind. It’s a team in the large tech corporation dedicated to finding ways to integrate AI tech into our daily lives. Even back as far as 2016, Google has been delving deep into the biggest issues in healthcare and researching how AI tech could help. Some starting in 2019, they’ve been working with Google Health. One of their breakthroughs is improving the analysis of breast cancer through AI tech.
With such efforts in improving healthcare with AI tech, it’s not surprising that the advancement will only continue from there, especially if big tech corporations such as Google are exerting their efforts to strengthen the bridge between healthcare and tech.
Most of us may have heard of nanotechnology from science fiction stories. How many times have we heard Tony Stark say how he used nanotech to continue improving his Iron man suit? But the truth is that nanotechnology is much more than just an aspect of science fiction stories. It’s also making quite an impact in the healthcare industry.
The United States’ National Nanotechnology Institute (NNI) has reported a number of ways nanotech is being used in healthcare today. For example, oncologists use it to detect more precise placements of cancerous tumors inside the body. This would help them in their operations to remove such tumors. Microbiologists are also using it in speeding up DNA sequencing in their experiments. Even though nanotechnology is still a few ways away from truly transforming the healthcare industry, it’s clear that it’s working towards that.
With such advancements, it’s clear that technology is slowly, but surely, transforming the healthcare industry. Yes, the priority of the healthcare industry right now is to treat their current COVID-19 patients, administer vaccines to everyone in the world, and further curb the spread of the virus. But, because of such challenges, medical researchers would also be more inclined to advance healthcare further.