Tech is taking over the world—in a good way. Our society has gone from viewing technology as something for geeks to something for everyone, and more specifically, for every industry.
The advancements that have been made in technology can now be seen across just about every industry, but one that has perhaps benefited the most is the healthcare industry. Sure, technology can enable a lot of different businesses to do a lot of cool things, but nothing is better than technology improving our lives where our health is concerned.
Our health and well-being should always be our number one priority, and the technological advancements that are occurring in healthcare allow us to do just that—prioritize our health. Limitations and barriers that once existed in healthcare are quickly getting broken down thanks to the tech we are seeing today.
And every day, it seems there is something new getting added to the mix that makes what’s possible even better. Already, countless lives are being changed and saved thanks to healthcare tech. So as things continue to advance, there’s no doubt that we will see some remarkable breakthroughs in healthcare.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the many ways that technology today is enabling people and their doctors to take better control of their healthcare.
1. Wearable Tech: Healthcare on the Go
Perhaps one of the neatest and most convenient benefits of healthcare tech today is that it has allowed us to stay on top of our health no matter where we are. Whether you are at home, at the office, at the gym, or meeting up with friends, you can better manage your health thanks to wearable tech.
While wearable healthcare tech isn’t entirely new, these devices have improved by leaps and bounds. For example, clunky monitors like those that diabetics need to wear have become a lot more streamlined. And now, there are numerous wearable devices that can be worn for a number of reasons to help anyone, not just those with a condition, take control of their health.
For example, there are wearable fitness trackers, smart health watches, blood pressure monitors, ECG monitors, biosensors, and more. And all of these devices can often be personalized and customized to suit the wearer’s needs.
Wearable tech can also record data that healthcare professionals can use to get a better understanding of their patient’s needs and help them create better plans to manage their health.
2. Telehealth Services: Remote Healthcare
If there is one thing the pandemic taught us, it’s that telehealth services are essential and can make healthcare so much more accessible to those who might otherwise not have the resources to get the care they need.
However, advances in healthcare tech that has enabled telehealth services aren’t just great during times when the world is shut down. These services can also allow anyone at any time to have more access to a wider range of healthcare professionals and services.
Access to mental health resources, for example, is so important. And now, thanks to telehealth technology, people can more easily find therapists online and have remote sessions that are more affordable and better suited to their needs.
This is especially beneficial for people who experience anxiety leaving their homes to visit the doctor. Instead of neglecting their health, they can still get the care they need right from the comfort of their home.
3. Artificial Intelligence: Smarter Healthcare
Gone are the days when artificial intelligence (AI) was something out of a sci-fi movie. Now, AI is everywhere, especially in the healthcare industry. AI-powered software is completely changing the future of healthcare.
Now, doctors can use AI-powered facial recognition to detect disorders over virtual calls with patients. AI in big data is enabling better disease tracking and prevention. Health monitoring and screenings are more efficient now with AI systems. And doctors can even use AI algorithms to help detect early warning signs of psychosis.
4. Virtual Reality: Simulated Healthcare
While virtual reality (VR) got big for its application in the gaming world, it’s now being used across numerous industries for a variety of reasons, including the healthcare industry. For personal use, people can use VR headsets to escape and unwind, which can benefit their mental health, but it can also be used to engage in physical activities, which can help improve their physical health.
For example, if you don’t like going out to the gym or if you have limitations that keep you at home, you can bring the gym to you or even the mountain to you with a VR headset.
VR is also being used by medical professionals for training purposes. For example, instead of having a limited supply of cadavers to train on, VR and AR can simulate the experience of operating on a body over and over again without using up resources.
Additional Ways Technology Has Advanced and Streamlined Healthcare
Aside from what we talked about above, there are countless other ways that technology is improving the healthcare industry today and making it easier for people to better manage their health. It has especially improved things internally in regard to how medical facilities operate.
Technology has allowed healthcare professionals to streamline their processes, enabling them to work more efficiently.
With electronic health record systems, doctors can now more easily keep track of their patient’s medical history and treatment plans. Data management software allows for better management of laboratory operations, such as record-keeping, reporting, sample tracking, and storage organization.
Medical staff now have better tools and systems to assist with patient-facing tasks, like scheduling appointments, sending out reminders, and managing billing. Overall, most healthcare facility operations now have faster turnaround times, and fewer errors are made thanks to the help of various advanced systems, tools, and devices.
Be Mindful of Overusing Technology
For all the boons of technology, it’s important to keep in mind that tech is not foolproof. While there are so many ways that technology can help us, we should never become over-reliant on it. Instead, we should seek to use technology to enhance what we do.
For example, while healthcare facilities can and should use technology to improve their operations, medical staff should never rely on these systems to handle everything for them. Patients still need human interaction, and it’s still important for doctors to show up and be present in the care of their patients.
Where our personal lives are concerned, too much technology can also have a negative side-effect on our health if we aren’t careful. Too much screen time, for example, can actually lead to a decrease in energy and physical activity.
So when we do use technology, it’s important to make sure we are using it for the right reasons to boost our health, not take away from it. For instance, if you find you are spending too much time indoors in front of a screen, you can use a smartwatch or fitness tracker to remind you to get up and go outside and move your body.
With the many advances in tech we are already seeing today, there is no doubt that the future of healthcare will only continue to improve and break the bounds of what is possible. Procedures and processes will become even more streamlined, there will be amazing breakthroughs in disease tracking and prevention, and overall, people will be more capable of living healthier lives.