The ways in which technology is going to transform the healthcare industry is significant and already underway. Many people currently use apps to track their blood sugar, heart rate, sleep, and movements, but that is only the tip of the technology transforming healthcare.
Hardware and Software
For technology, data is central, meaning analytics will be needed to make sense of that information. The use of analytics will help potential patients make better decisions based on the most objective data possible. The more information patients have about their bodies, habits and needs, the better they will be able to make intelligent choices about their own healthcare.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) remains a truly relevant choice, but the industry is getting closer and closer to using it to revolutionize healthcare. With AI, it will be easier to track every aspect of patients’ care and well-being, coordinate doctors’ and nurses’ actions and schedules, and keep track of and detect patterns physicians and nurses may miss.
For AI to change the way hospitals operate, the industry is going to have to continue to develop the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT). The more connected medical devices are to each other and to a database covering each patient, the more complex and holistic medical care can become. This will be especially true with the development of internal monitors that will allow the healthcare system to monitor health. IoMT will allow doctors to become much more personable in their treatments and in the uses of medication.
Another potential game-changer is the use of blockchain. Blockchain is a decentralized ledger system that would simultaneously eliminate the silos around patient data and protect that data even better than those silos could. Patient data would be more secure than ever, and at the same time that data would be universally available to doctors and hospitals in an instant. This will have to wait for the regulations surrounding such data to get up to date with the technology.
Virtual Reality (VR) is also an important development that will allow doctors to try out various approaches before having to actually bring a patient into a surgical procedure. This will work in coordination with MRI, CAT scans, X-rays, and other imaging devices.
DNA All the Way
Developments in genetic technologies are also going to be game-changers in healthcare. The more professionals learn about genetics, the more the industry will learn how individualized healthcare should really be. Equally though, that means knowing more about the genetics of each particular patient. On a more individualized basis, a DNA analysis can determine how patients will react to a wide variety of drugs. Also, updates are expected in gene therapy, especially with the advent of CRISPR technology that allows for the removal of very precise sections of DNA.
Overall, the healthcare industry is seeing improvements in technology that allow for more precision, more individual care, and increased patient information and choice. From technologies that allow diabetics to have an artificial pancreas through very precise monitoring and automatic injections, to a better understanding of how the brain is wired and helps reduce anxiety or cure addiction, the potential from improved technology will change healthcare.
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