The rapid influx of new technological products into society over the past few years has been astounding. Many products belonged to the realm of science fiction just a few years ago. Many new advancements in technology have improved our lives and opened our eyes to exciting possibilities. In the medical field, recent breakthroughs in technological research are improving our ability to detect, diagnose, and treat various illnesses and disorders. Here are just five of the amazing things that have resulted from new technology in healthcare.
VR Technology Teaches Empathy
Virtual reality (VR) technology has taken the medical industry to another level. From improved patient care to continuing medical education, VR technology can be used in many promising ways in the medical field. One way that VR technology has improved medical treatment is the way it can teach empathy between doctors to patients. Patients may not always have the medical jargon to adequately explain what is wrong, and younger doctors may not be able to completely understand from the patient’s perspective. However, VR technology can change that. For example, new medical VR technology is helping younger doctors understand what aging is like in an attempt to bridge the communication gap between elderly patients and younger doctors. Doctors can experience how it feels to age and have physical, visual, and auditory impairments. Similarly, VR can also allow doctors to feel how it affects a patient to lose a limb or suffer a heart attack. Being able to understand from the patient’s perspective should help alleviate the disconnection between generations that can sometimes get in the way of providing optimal care.
Personal emergency response systems and medical emergency response systems are devices that are fashioned into wearable accessories, such as necklaces, bracelets, and watches. They are connected wirelessly to a medical alarm base somewhere in your house. When you press a button on your wearable device, it sends a message to the alarm base to call for help. This is especially useful for senior citizens or disabled people who live alone. A monitored system allows you to use your wearable as an intercom. When you have this type of device, medical emergency personnel can converse with you through it, guide you through steps to minimise injuries, send your emergency contacts incident messages, and request a medical vehicle to come to your aid. Portable medical alert systems are becoming popular for patients with known illnesses, especially geriatric patients.
Health trackers have been in the consumer market for a few years already. A wide variety of health trackers range from basic sleep and step trackers to advanced, fully integrated trackers with many specialised functions. Health trackers can help us notice irregularities with our basic health, such as heart rate irregularities and sleep abnormalities. This quantifiable history of health data can be used by medical professionals for a better diagnosis of a health condition.
Genome sequencing allows medical researchers to map out the complete DNA sequence of a human being. Finding the DNA sequence that carries disease codes may help us find the genetic cause of both acquired and inherited diseases. In cancer, the specific type of cancer can be identified using sequencing, allowing doctors to provide definitive treatment. Genetic causes of certain diseases can also be identified in newborns using the patterns discovered in DNA sequencing before the appearance of any symptoms.
3D printing is the process where a 3D object can be created from a digital file, using an additive process through material layering. The object is formed as the printer nozzle lays down layer after layer of thin printing material that can range from plastic to titanium to steel to stem cells. The nozzle waits for each layer to dry before layering on the next one until the final 3D object is formed. The possibilities are seemingly endless, especially in the healthcare field. For example, 3D printed skin could be made from human stem cells for burn victims, and 3D-printed pills allow for customised medication and timed release.
With many more advances in technology, such as augmented reality, robotics, and bioimplants, still in their testing and research phases, we can expect many more medical breakthroughs in the coming years. They can help us with everything from improving our health and diet to detecting, diagnosing, and treating various health conditions.
Not only is technology revolutionizing the healthcare industry, but the way we do business as well. Read more about technologies that every enterprise-level business needs!