What are the latest trends in healthcare
Four trends that will change healthcare
Could it be possible that doctor appointments will take place in virtual reality by 2036? Will robots assist surgeons in operating rooms and smart guards automatically call an ambulance when they show signs of a heart attack? With the increasing complexity of technology and growing reservoirs for big data, which enable us more and more to recognize patterns in diseases, genetics and lifestyle behavior, the way society approaches health care is changing. Here we look at four trends that will change the way healthcare looks:
1. - Big data predicts diseases and prevents them
Gone are the days of paper medical records in the local doctor's office or hospital. The integration of medical records across health institutions into central systems not only changes the way in which we record diseases, but also opens up the possibility of predicting them and preventing their spread, or at least limiting their effects. By merging medical records, it is possible to identify trends in the development of certain diseases. Once identified, proactive steps can be taken to prevent people from developing these diseases or delay their onset. In the UK, for example, Hitachi and the NHS Greater Manchester are working together to analyze patient data to fight diabetes. Gathering this data enables them to highlight which lifestyle behaviors, such as Obesity, for example, is most likely to contribute to the development of diabetes and leads them to develop lifestyle prevention programs that encourage people to change their habits and thereby reduce their risk of developing diabetes.
2. - The power of wearables
So-called wearables make it easier for people to understand their own health better. While wearable technology was initially only seen as a way to measure fitness activity, it now has the potential to save lives. Pretty soon we'll be seeing wearables that not only tell you when your heart is beating too fast, but also call an ambulance on your behalf. This intelligent technology enables a form of self-diagnosis that enables people to get medical care faster and hopefully avoid a more serious medical situation. This type of preventive technology already exists in the form of a wristband designed to notify family members as a safety measure if the wearer has had too much alcohol.
3. - The virtual doctor's office
Being able to access healthcare services quickly and easily can be challenging for patients due to tight schedules, time constraints, or mobility issues that make it difficult for people to leave their home. However, advances in technology can now enable people to access these services from the comfort of their home, office, or anywhere else. This can be as simple as speaking to the doctor via FaceTime or Skype, or using robotic health apps that can diagnose symptoms and suggest an appropriate treatment plan. The Babylon app, for example, enables people to remotely check and diagnose their symptoms, send medical questions and accompanying photos to general practitioners and, if necessary, organize a video consultation with the doctor, which significantly reduces waiting times reduced and the convenience of care increased.
4. - Artificial intelligence, real impact
Many healthcare systems are overburdened and there simply aren't enough hours in the day for doctors and nurses to meet all of their patients' needs. A report from the Royal College of Physicians in the UK recently revealed that the number of patients forced to stay in hospital longer than necessary due to delays has increased by 80% over the past 5 years. However, AI-enabled robotic surgery will make a real difference here as it gives doctors more free time. Robot-assisted surgery is expected to become routine - one in three surgeries - for the next five years, improving the accuracy of difficult surgeries and making patient recovery time faster and more comfortable. For example, a robot recently performed a kidney transplant with an accuracy that made it possible to give the two patients only paracetamol instead of morphine after the operation. The introduction of artificial intelligence into healthcare will help reduce pressure on hospital staff as they begin to divide up the work and allow doctors to devote their time in patient care to tasks, especially human interaction and emotions require.
A better future for our health
Not only will these trends change the future of health care, but they are already solving problems that our overburdened health systems are facing. Remote diagnosis and artificial intelligence will free the time for doctors and nurses to focus their attention where care is most needed. The increasing adoption of smart technologies will make health care more accurate, affordable and accessible, resulting in a health system that benefits everyone.
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