In fall 2015, a distressed University of Georgia student called the university police from  campus, seeking emergency medical help. In a suicide attempt, he had cuts on both wrists and was bleeding profusely. Officers were able to find him and stop his bleeding on time to get him to safety, which saved his life. With suicide rates on the rise and with mass shootings proliferating in the news, stories such as these are too common, and that’s why officers were trained to respond properly.

These officers had access to Stop the Bleed training, a special training program being offered to emergency respondents at the University of Georgia and a growing number of other universities across the nation. This program trains campus emergency personnel to use bleeding control equipment and techniques to save lives. According to Security Magazine, the first responders used their specialized training, their bleeding control kits, and two tourniquets to stop the young man’s bleeding and get him to the hospital alive for further treatment.

While most Americans do not want to think about these stories, the reality is that leaders in the healthcare industry must spend a good deal of time researching and attempting to understand these complex issues. With our changing culture comes the need for changing healthcare, and emergency preparedness is high on the list of topics that must be addressed in training future healthcare professionals to serve society in 2020 and beyond. In fact, this specialty field is expected to grow by 28.2 percent through the year 2022, according to Health Management Degree Guide.

Also near the top of the list is the need for education in areas of connectedness and automation for the future of healthcare. With people living longer, senior care is also a critical consideration.

A recent Forbes article states, “Healthcare stakeholders have already realized the power of using voice-based virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa to support home care needs of seniors for aging-in-place or medication adherence for chronic disease management.”

These technologies will not forever be just for seniors though. While the developers of these programs are not medically trained, there is room for improvement and broader applications, which will likely be seen in the near future.

Robot Doctors is a trend in medicine that has already been implemented and is likely to change the way patients are examined and assisted in hospitals. According to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), there are six key areas in which robotics will impact healthcare: telepresence, surgical assistance, rehabilitation, medical transportation, sanitation and disinfection, and prescription dispensing systems.

In fact, a report by Credence Research revealed that the global medical robotics market, which was valued at $7.24 billion in 2015, is expected to grow to $20 billion by 2023. The reported also determined that “a key driver for this growth is demand for using robots in minimally invasive surgeries, especially for neurologic, orthopedic, and laparoscopic procedures.”

While there is a whole world of AI/robotics being developed in medicine, they will not replace surgeons, whose expertise will remain critical. But clearly, training in the use of AI will be an important consideration going forward for healthcare professionals who want to stay relevant.

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