Healthcare should always be focused on improving patient outcomes, causing the least harm possible, and improving quality of life. In recent years, the role of technology has shifted from being just used to house health information, to playing a direct role. From advanced prosthetics that move with conscious thoughts to using implants that bring someone’s hearing back to life, there are countless ways that technology and healthcare have been used for decades. Moving forward, there are newer technologies that are disrupting the healthcare industry, and here are 6 of them.
Gene therapies have been used for a long time to help individuals with genetic diseases. Finding the right gene therapy means that medical professionals first need to identify the defective gene in a person and see if they can replace that gene with a healthy one. When genetic therapy is successful, the symptoms subside, and the person no longer shows signs of the initial disease. It can also be used to treat cancer and infectious disease.
Advanced Telehealth Appointments
Telehealth has come a long way in the past two years especially. People can sign up for services that send tech devices to their homes and can measure their biometrics remotely. From smart thermometers to blood pressure cuffs, these devices give medical professionals the information they need to make a diagnosis of many common illnesses all from the comfort of someone’s home. And with the advancement of delivery services, medications can be sent to their door. Patients never need to leave home to get the care they need when they aren’t feeling well.
In the past, medications were broad-spectrum and designed for a broad audience. They were meant to be helpful to most people. Unfortunately, this approach has led to a lot of trial and error for many people to find the right medications for their needs. Advanced technology has opened the doors for designer medications that are tailored to each individual. No longer is there guesswork involved to figure out what might work. Instead, people can be treated more effectively for pain, mental health needs, neurological disorders, and more.
Use of Blockchain for Health Security
A lot of the issue with having medical information on networks is that those networks can be easily hacked by the right people. Leveraging blockchain technology creates digital signatures that are unique and specific. These signatures help create more secure networks that are no longer as easily hacked by savvy computer specialists. Because blockchain data isn’t stored in one location, it means that hacking it, stealing information, or changing data isn’t as simple anymore. These create more security because the data can’t be accessed unless you are an authorized person.
Surgeons who can partner with technology have better outcomes than those who do not. Robots can be better-sterilized meaning there is less room for infection. These surgeries can be expedited because there is no longer a need for lengthy sterilization processes. Additionally, the precision of a robotic arm is far superior to that of a person. While surgeons are skilled with steady arms, there is still the chance that a little shake could nick an artery or a vein while they are operating on a patient. When robots are used for various parts of a surgical procedure, these risks are minimized, and patient outcomes are better.
Video Games and Technology for Mental Health
How can video games be used to improve mental health? It seems counterintuitive, but technology is leading the way in mental health treatments, especially in cognitive-behavioral therapies. Qualified therapists can leverage tools like specific games to redirect behaviors that lead to some mental illnesses.
Even for children with ADHD and ADD, therapists are seeing amazing results after just a month of therapies that also utilize digital technology. Additionally, with the rise of video and telehealth medicine, people can more easily access therapists who can help them with their mental health needs. When combined with personalized medications and other interventions, technology is paving the way for better mental health.
The Future of Technology and Healthcare
Where will the future of technology take the healthcare industry? What if a simple blood test could detect cancer and nanobots could be released to destroy the unhealthy cells without the harsh side effects of traditional cancer treatments? What if a single tool could be designed to detect any illness? Technology is advancing healthcare in ways never thought possible.