Back in the 90s, everyone remembers the long waiting lines in the doctor’s clinic. Everyone had to wait for hours for their turn to come. This constituted a major part of our weekends. Today, technology has taken a major leap in healthcare. With innovations in wearable tech, fitness apps, health gadgets, pharmaceutical e-stores, we have only just begun to scrape the surface of endless potential this field holds for a promising future.
Here are some ways in which technology revolution in the healthcare sector has had a major impact on our lives:
- Widely Available Medical Information : According to a recent United States survey, 52 million adults have used the World Wide Web to obtain health or medical information. The trend of using Internet to obtain medical information has steadily been on the rise. People have been using Internet to look up their symptoms, research about their illness, treatments, medicines etc. It has opened the gates to a wider knowledge base for them. Thanks to the quick information, they have become more aware of the medical world, the procedures involved and have more knowledge about their medical state and prescription. It has made the patients more empowered and open to a wider perspective of medical science.
- Consultation from Home : One of the major perks of the advancement in technology is how it has brought everything to our very fingertips. Thanks to several medical apps like Lybrate, Superdoc, Doctor On Demand, CUREFY, Doctors’ Circle – Ask Doctors, Practo etc. hassle-free consultation right from the living room has been made possible. This particularly is beneficial for those patients who live in remote areas or small towns or people who are too sick to leave their homes. These apps have widened the horizon for better medical facilities and have made life easier for the patients. Many of these apps keep your health record and even deliver medicines at your doorstep!
- Healthcare Tools and Wearables : Even though the gadgets and wearables won’t replace the traditional doctor-patient relationship but it has surely helped in keeping track of patient’s fitness and in providing personalized solution to the patients according to their health needs.
According to Accenture’s 2016 Consumer Survey On Patient Engagement, around 78% of people would wear health-tracking technology to track their fitness and vital signs, while the number of people who use health apps has increased from 16% in 2014 to 33% in two years. The market for remote monitoring tools along with smart watches and smart glasses has also been steadily on the rise. According to an article on mHealth Intelligence, these wearables can also be used for gathering real-time data from the patients which can further help doctors monitor critical measures and manage many patients, thus safeguarding the health and safety of individuals every day. Many big corporations like Apple, Amazon, Google, Accenture etc. are already heavily investing in this sector and wearables like Apple watch and Fitbit have already become popular these days.
- Fitness Apps: Healthcare tech shouldn’t remind one of only some serious illness; it is also a big part in maintaining fitness. From losing weight, jogging, cycling, cardio, diet chart, health chart to yoga, everything is now available in the form of apps.
Can’t find exercise classes that fits your time schedule? Finding the right exercise to lose weight? Trying to keep a progress record for cardio? You can now find personalized plans and information of everything on apps on your smartphone. Health apps these days not only coach you but keep track of all the information related to your health, the calories you eat, the calories you burn, progress level, workouts and stats. According to a Forbes article some of the best fitness apps are Cody, Hot5 Fitness, Pact, Carrot Fit, Human etc. Thanks to these apps, people are now more aware of their health and fitness and find themselves motivated to stay fit.
- Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Healthcare : AI and robotics have created a revolution in the field of healthcare like no other. Upcoming technologies have taken medical science on a new path which still has much to be explored. Some of these ideas have taken the form of huge researches. According to referral md, these powerful innovations can be a major game changer in this field. For example, nanobots in blood cells can function like our very own white blood cells and destroys bacteria and other pathogens. Advanced robotics can also bring more comfort to the physically challenged by the invention of prosthetic limbs which can be mind controlled. 3D printed biological components can be used to solve the most challenging problems faced today like printing embryonic cells, skin, blood vessels and heart tissue, cartilage and bone replacement by stem cells, organ replacement etc. It is only just the beginning of the wonders AI and robotics can do with healthcare. In the long run, it is sure to provide us with the answers we can’t even dream of today.
Undoubtedly, technological advancement has greatly altered the perception we had of medical care by a vast margin. We now have solutions to many problems which were deemed unsolvable 15 years back. Not only has it provided cures for critical situations but also in maintaining overall healthy lifestyle. It has also bridged the gap between patients and doctors and has made medical information just a touch away from our reach. Now, even a patient living in a small town can get the opinion of a big doctor for his case. The healthcare technological revolution has also helped in levelling up the huge disparity in health standards at a global level. Its advancement holds the promise of a bright future with quicker, more efficient, improved, less painful medical treatments and longevity for the patients.