Technology is accelerating in all areas of life, but perhaps none so life-changing as in the healthcare industry. It would almost seem as though every day we are hearing about another way that Artificial Intelligence or Quantum Computing will revolutionize healthcare in ways we never thought possible.
But, these buzz-worthy technologies are not the only advancements currently transforming healthcare in astonishing ways. Numerous startups and organizations are working on providing healthcare providers with tools they need to make better diagnoses, track patients, exchange and gather information, and more. In fact, more and more, the best tech jobs can be found in the healthcare industry.
Artificial Intelligence & Quantum Computing
We’ll start with the most notable areas of technology that will ultimately transform healthcare from the foundation to the very top of the pyramid. Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Computing are expected to assist with performing more accurate and faster diagnoses, but also help us discover entirely new ways to treat patients.
Customized medicine and vaccines that are tailored to an individual’s genome will help alleviate many of the current side effects experienced. Researchers are even working on ways to create a digital copy of a person’s genome to try out a variety of healthcare options for treatments, to determine their effect before the patient ever physically tries it. So, while this technology is obviously going to completely disrupt healthcare as we know it, we are still a little ways off from putting it into practice.
Blockchain seems like it just might be another buzzword, but the applications for the healthcare industry are far-reaching. One large benefit of utilizing the blockchain for patient records and financial information is that it requires much less space than standard hard disks or paper records. Because it is very secure, information can be shared without allowing it to be copied.
This can also solve the problem of digital information not being transferable between different institutions, slowing down the process if a patient needs to obtain records or communicate with a third party. If one institution uses a different electronic medical records system from another, those records are not compatible and must be converted. Eliminating these extra steps are vital to better patient care and more streamlined processes for hospitals, doctor offices, and insurance providers.
Cross-Discipline Healthcare Teams
Increased availability of educational materials and collaboration enables both students and professionals more flexibility to employ better practices across disciplines. This makes it easier to share information and create strong teams of healthcare providers.
It is common for a patient to have to see multiple doctors to try to figure out a single issue. Not only is this a strain on the patient, but it is also a strain on the overall healthcare system and insurers. By forming interdisciplinary teams, patients and healthcare providers can more quickly and efficiently communicate with one another to arrive at a treatment plan faster.
Augmented and Virtual Reality Training
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) training simulations are becoming so advanced that students and professionals can carry out a wide array of tasks before performing them on a patient. From robotic surgeries to exploring a surgical room, to witnessing anatomically correct organ systems, these simulations are changing the classrooms and sharpening skills of even the most experienced healthcare providers.
The architects of the AR and VR systems used in medicine should look forward to further collaboration with one another and accelerate this technology faster. Raising the standard of training and practice will significantly increase the quality of healthcare for the patient, as well as reduce the time doctors spend pursuing the wrong avenues of treatment.
Technology Is Bringing a Brighter Tomorrow for Healthcare
These are only a few of the ways that technology in healthcare is upheaving traditional practices and forging a new path for the industry of the future. In the next few decades, we will witness things we thought were a hundred years away if we do our part to focus on accelerating these areas. Very soon, healthcare practitioners will have a myriad of tools at their disposal to increase patient satisfaction, while simultaneously boosting their own.