High-Tech Health: The Innovations Helping to Save Lives
All industries are being disrupted by technological developments, and healthcare is certainly no exception. Of course, where other sectors may be able to claim added convenience, innovations in healthcare promise much more profound improvements. Even something that increases medical efficiency by as little as one per cent could result in countless saved lives.
If you want to catch a glimpse of the kind of technology that will be commonplace in the hospitals of the future, then keep reading.
The Internet of Things, or IoT, promises to innovate many industries by introducing a huge number of extra devices that are connected to an online network.
In healthcare, the extra data that these IoT devices will collect may prove invaluable to medical professionals. Biometric data can be collected from patients and analysed to better determine the best treatment. What’s more, if this data can be accumulated from a wide variety of sources, then broader trends can be identified. Causes for diseases can be found more easily and professionals all over the world can collaborate to come up with new cures.
Although security issues will first have to be overcome to enable IoT sensors to collect and transmit sensitive data of this nature, the potential rewards are enormous.
Medical equipment must be constructed to the utmost levels of precision in order for it to deliver accurate readings. In addition, if this equipment is invasive in some way, then the need for specific shapes and sizes becomes even greater.
In order to deliver medical products that meet the required level of accuracy, some manufacturers are using laser technology to produce tiny instruments made to bespoke specifications. A quick look at the device info from Laser Light Technologies demonstrates that this can have valuable applications for patients requiring surgery, implants and a number of other treatments.
App-lying the right treatment
Mobile apps are not simply for wasting time on your morning commute, they are being put to good use in the field of medicine. Broadly speaking, the prevalence of fitness applications will hopefully lead to an improvement in general well-being, but more niche software is also being developed. This includes apps for people with diabetes to help monitor blood sugar levels and others that let you set up a video call with a healthcare professional in less than 24 hours.
It may sound like something out of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, but 3D printers may one day be able to produce living human tissue. This could ease a great deal of pressure on organ donor lists and allow scientists to create bespoke organs to suit a particular individual. In the meantime, 3D printers are proving valuable in the creation of prosthetic limbs.
Perhaps the biggest change that technology is likely to bring to medicine is a move towards greater self-care. As more data becomes available about our bodies, more consumer-facing tools will be developed that tell us what we need to do in order to treat a particular condition, or prevent it emerging in the first place. Although medical professionals will remain vital, greater personal responsibility will ease the burden placed on healthcare services around the world.