How technology is changing the healthcare industry?
Over the past years, technology has drastically evolved and brought fundamental changes in many sectors. As we can easily notice, healthcare has been one of the most impacted fields. In fact, patients nowadays have access to targeted treatments, more effective diagnostic tools, and closer relationships with specialists that led to an overall improved healthcare experience.
One of the main changes brought by technology that opened the door to many others is the digitization of health records. Paper files are largely replaced by secured digital records uploaded to sharing platforms in order to make them accessible to both patients and healthcare professionals. These shared digital files, commonly known as EHR’s (Electronic Health Records), allow healthcare specialists to access a complete overview of patient’s health history: previous diagnoses, surgical interventions, lab reports etc. which lead to make more efficient diagnoses.
Even though it started many years before, the dematerialization of healthcare records has basically evolved after the expansion of the cloud storage. By making secured and less costly storage solutions largely accessible, medical data is easily shared, analyzed and effectively used in treatments.
The next level of this digitization was marked by telemedicine. Patients in non-critical situations do no longer need to wait several hours to see the doctor; they can receive home care and support using video conferencing technologies. Telemedicine has shown positive results in reducing waiting time and effectively managing the specific conditions of some patients.
Besides, improved and personalized healthcare services are driven by the use of wearable devices that can enlighten professionals about many vital signs. As a matter of fact, the RFID (Radio-frequency identification) technology helped to track locations, identify new diseases, and making remote consultations possible. 3D Printing is also helping to create more adapted prosthetics at an affordable price.
Moreover, the combination of Big data, AI and augmented reality, as three constantly evolving technologies, is certainly opening new opportunities for the healthcare industry. In fact, the great amount of collected data is used in analytics making more efficient algorithms and enhancing the human/machine collaboration. For example, technologies using augmented reality have made the success of more complex surging operations possible. Additionally, virtual reality is helping to reduce symptoms of many mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety.
In sum, it is evident that technology has helped medical professionals providing newer treatments and better service quality to patients. Therefore, the healthcare industry is yet to exponentially grow in the upcoming years owing to the permanent innovation in this vital field.