It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone in the healthcare field that technology is transforming how we treat patients. Sophisticated data analytics allow us to improve outcomes by reviewing and responding to patient outcomes in real time. Remote monitoring devices are fostering more patient-centered care with better outcomes. Here are seven of the biggest innovations in healthcare technology today.
1. Precision Medicine
Disease modalities are growing more complex, but healthcare providers can still improve outcomes by using technology to improve patient adherence and healthcare outcomes. Tools like the new digital pill will track patient compliance, a feat that is particularly troublesome in behavioral health. Powerful data analytics tools help us assess beyond the clinical presentation to genetic makeup and environmental conditions affecting the patient, even after the clinical encounter is over. Tools like virtual reality will allow doctors to model patient treatment strategies and potentially improve care delivery.
2. Remote Monitoring
24/7 care is now possible through the use of internet-enabled sensors that track patient metrics, such as heart rate or blood pressure. These Internet of Things (IoT) devices can be there even when the doctor is not, which is particularly helpful for a host of chronic conditions like diabetes or post-cardiac care.
3. Smart Devices
It’s widely anticipated that the future of technology in the healthcare sector will include an array of smart devices that will diagnose disease by “looking” at the patient, or through a series of questions the patient can self-administer.
4. Virtual Doctors
Telemedicine technology has been around since the 1950s, but it has recently seen resurgence stemming from the widespread use of Wi-Fi and our ever-present smartphones. Today, many insurers offer a clinical virtual visit, where the patient can see their doctor on their digital device, instead of traveling to the office for a traditional visit.
5. Artificial Intelligence
Computers are expected to disrupt workers in many industries, and that includes healthcare, where clinical care management is improving with tools like IBM Watson, an AI that is the tip of what is expected to be a very deep technology iceberg.
6. Data Analytics
Digital tools using machine learning, which are complicated algorithms designed to help computers improve their responses based on prior data, are becoming widespread. These tools will provide decision support to doctors, helping ensure better health outcomes.
7. Better Data Security
Healthcare providers are increasingly concerned about data breach by hackers as more of our data is online than ever before. Blockchain technology takes data and places it in an immutable record spread across a network of computer nodes. These tools make it much harder for hackers to reach patient data.
Technology for Improved Outcomes
Not since the industrial revolution has technology so heavily impacted our field. Most pundits agree these tools are just getting started and the healthcare landscape will change rapidly in the coming years. The impact on healthcare workflows and patient outcomes will be radical, innovative and will certainly change how we practice medicine in the future.
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