TMCnet Feature
May 28, 2020

Technology and the Future of Health and Wellness

With recent advances in digital healthcare technologies, the future of health and wellness is certainly shaping up nicely. Over the last few years, we have seen the emergence of technologies such as robotics, 3D-printing, VR/AR, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, etc. All these developments are expected to play a significant role in the future of healthcare and in order to remain relevant in this rapidly changing industry, healthcare workers must embrace these emerging healthcare technologies. 



There has been some debate concerning the application of technology in healthcare. Honestly speaking, there is little to no chance of robots taking over the jobs of doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. The fact is, technology and humans must work hand in hand to improve medicine and healthcare. Technological innovations can help build sustainable healthcare systems, provide more effective, faster, and cheaper solutions, and equalize the relationship between patients and medical professionals. Technology can’t be ignored, if we want to become healthier individuals by winning our battles against diseases such as AIDS, cancer, or ebola.

Noted essential oils company Essential Oil Haven explores the most important ways in which healthcare may be reshaped by medical technology.

  • Artificial Intelligence: The scope of the application of AI in the field of healthcare is simply unlimited. It is possible to use AI algorithms for creating drugs, designing treatment plans, and mining medical records at a pace that is much faster compared to now. Just a few years ago, a healthcare technology startup introduced a virtual search for redesigning existing safe medicines for the treatment of ebola virus. More recently, an AI was created by Google’s (News - Alert) DeepMind to facilitate breast cancer analysis. Interestingly, for the identification of breast cancer based on pre-selected data sets, the performance of the algorithm was 11.5% better compared to all human radiologists.
  • Virtual Reality: Virtual reality (VR) is one of the most promising technological innovations with the potential to change the lives of physicians as well as patients. VR is already being used by today’s surgeons for practicing operations. Also, future surgeons can use this technology to get trained. According to a recent study by Harvard Business Review, compared to traditionally trained surgeons, the overall performance of their VR-trained counterparts received a 230% boost. VR has also been proven to be effective for managing pain. There has been a decline in the level of pain for individuals suffering from post-surgical, neurological, cardiac, gastrointestinal pain by distracting them from painful stimuli by using VR. 
  • Augmented Reality: Just like VR, AR can also help medical students hone their real-life operating skills. This technology has already been used by medical students to access virtual depictions of human anatomy without requiring real bodies.
  • Genome Sequencing: The potential of genome sequencing is truly enormous. It helps individuals find out valuable information related to their family history, monogenic or multi-factorial medical conditions, and drug sensitivity. The advantages of genome sequencing can also be leveraged by various fields such as nutrigenomics, a cross-field that combines genomics, dietetics, and nutrition. 
  • Nanotechnology: Many experts believe that human civilization is at the dawn of the age of nanomedicine. There is a high likelihood that nanodevices and nanoparticles will soon operate as tiny surgeons, cancer treatment tools, and drug delivery systems. In recent times, nanotechnology has also made significant progress as smart patches. One such smart patch was demonstrated at CES 2020 and was shown to be effective in the continuous monitoring of wounds. With further evolution of nanotechnology, there will be many more practical applications in medicine in the near future.
  • Robotics: Robotics is currently amongst the fastest growing and most exciting fields of healthcare. Its most noteworthy developments range from simple robot companions through pharmabotics, until exoskeletons or disinfectant robots. Robotics has already been applied in healthcare to help treat mental health issues, alleviate loneliness, and treat children with chronic illness.
  • 3D-printing: With 3D-printing, it has now become possible to print blood vessels, pills, artificial limbs, bio tissues, and the list is simply endless. This technology has also worked wonders for the pharmaceutical industry.   

               

  



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