Tech trends that are transforming the future of healthcare
We’re not strangers to the way technological advancements are making big impacts on our day-to-day routines. From self-driving cars to handy appliances powered by the Internet of Things (IoT), these developments are saving us both time and money.
However, when it comes to healthcare, technology is taking a particularly exciting turn as it transcends convenience and becomes life-saving. In our latest blog, we’re sharing some of the latest game-changing technologies and how they’re set to dramatically affect the way medical care is delivered forever.
While not a completely new invention, artificial intelligence (AI) is still paving the way for the future by making diagnoses much earlier and with greater accuracy.
A number of companies have been working towards incorporating AI into medical systems, including IBM, whose Watson Health is already storing every medical journal and symptom, as well as case studies for treatment and responses from around the world.
Another entering the fray is Google, who have been developing their DeepMind technology to build powerful learning algorithms that mimic the human brain along with augmented reality microscopes capable of detecting cancerous cells.
Together, these technologies are exponentially faster than any human could ever be.
With a growing ageing population, wearable devices like the Apple Watch and FitBit are already working wonders in improving patient monitoring. They’re able to gather data and detect health conditions such as high blood pressure and sleep apnoea, feeding back to electronic medical records to update doctors or pharmacists.
Aside from diagnostics, wearable tech is also helping to improve the management of conditions such as diabetes. With over 4 million people in the UK thought to be living with the condition, small monitoring devices fitted with sensors that can manage glucose levels are proving to be much more convenient, and in some cases life-saving, for many.
The use of robotic surgery has increased substantially in UK hospitals since the first machines were installed a decade ago. They’ve become a common factor in prostate, bladder and kidney removals as well as procedures to remove tumours, saving up to 20% of time in comparison to human professionals.
One of the most impressive forms of robotic technology developed recently is the da Vinci Surgical System. It has robotic limbs allied with tiny instruments that can bend and rotate far more than the human hand and even provides a magnified, high-definition view of the surgical site. Surgeons can control the machine’s arms with small, precise movements which negate the need for larger incisions and more invasive procedures.
The current process of developing drugs is expensive and time consuming. So, what if we could take one step to making this simpler by creating simulations to design and safely test new products on virtual patients? The revolutionary concept of in silico trials is based on individualised computer simulations that will evaluate how a medicinal product, device or intervention performs, without the need to test on living cells and could potentially produce results in minutes!
Today, technology is beginning to redefine everything as we know it, and this has never been more true than in the healthcare sector. New methods for diagnoses and treatments are being developed every day – this is just the beginning! The possibilities are endless…