Advances in healthcare technology are improving medical care and treatment – now. Powered by Northrop Grumman
As technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, so does healthcare. Basic patient care, disease treatment and medical research are now so closely tied to technology that it seems like every day brings a new discovery that transforms medicine.
Advances in healthcare technology offer patients the hope, and sometimes the very real promise, of solving medical problems that can be debilitating and life threatening. From addiction to chronic pain, technology is changing healthcare. Here is an overview of several areas of medicine and patient care that are benefiting from health technologies.
Bring the doctor to you
Video conferencing, e-mail and SMS virtually bring healthcare professionals to patients’ homes. At the very least, telemedicine is convenient, eliminating the worry of routine check-ups for crippled patients. But patients also benefit from a constant flow of communication with healthcare professionals who can quickly answer questions about medications, diet, and other quality of life issues that can increase when left unchecked. .
Study shows that more than 70 percent of healthcare providers use some form of telemedicine tool, according to mHealthIntelligence. These tools consist mainly of video conferencing, but experts predict that patients will soon be sharing data such as vital signs, genetic scores and real-time microbiome information with their doctors, The Washington Post reported.
Some argue that telemedicine cannot provide the same level of care as face-to-face medical appointments, where doctors can take a closer look at patients. But with telemedicine which is only expected to grow (the federal government recently expanded telehealth coverage in Medicare), there is a greater call for healthcare professionals to be properly trained on how to treat patients remotely. Telemedicine seems to be here to stay.
Treating Addiction and Mental Health
Telemedicine has also become an option for healthcare professionals dealing with addiction and mental health issues. To combat the opioid epidemic, Congress is working on a bill that would allow health care providers to prescribe controlled anti-addiction substances through telemedicine under limited circumstances, said mHealthIntelligence. This would benefit patients in rural areas who cannot immediately seek help at remote and overbooked treatment centers. Likewise, professionals use video conferencing to counsel patients with mental health issues, including those who live in remote locations or in prison.
Yet advanced medical care goes beyond video conferencing. Virtual reality therapy, on the other hand, exposes patients to triggers and stressors, allowing them to cope with fears and trauma in the safe environment of a doctor’s office. A researcher from Vanderbilt University believes that the ubiquity of virtual reality devices will even allow patients to use this therapy at home to stop relapses quickly, according to The fix.
Searching the Android and iTunes app stores reveals dozens of mental health apps that promise to improve people’s daily struggles with their mental health. Some apps detect a change in a person’s behavior and offer a notification to consider asking for help. Apps can also speed up communication between patients and professionals, including opening direct text to a crisis center. Other apps claim to improve crucial thinking skills and memory.
Manage chronic pain
Wearable devices aren’t just for monitoring heart rate, kilometers traveled, and other signs of well-being. Some also promise to relieve chronic pain. As healthcare professionals aim to stop prescribing opioids to treat pain, a new generation of wearable devices has the attraction of stimulating and modulating the body’s pain regulation mechanisms.
Neuromodulation therapy has been around since at least the 1960s, and patients with pain from damaged nerves have long turned to pacemakers that must be surgically implanted. But, as pointed out MIT Technology Review, several companies now offer portable pacemakers to manage chronic pain. These portable devices can be used with less invasive, non-surgical procedures. One of these portable devices was more effective in relieving shoulder pain than physical therapy in stroke patients.
The future of medicine
This is just the beginning of the promise of technology to revolutionize healthcare and make way for advanced medical care. The CRISPR-Cas9 tool promises to repair or replace genes with precision and inexpensively harness the human genetic code in the never-ending quest to cure disease. Additionally, the advanced analytical powers of artificial intelligence provide the ability to diagnose diseases faster than the minds of top medical researchers.
Whether it is something as simple as a teleconference medical visit or as surreal as a virtual reality treatment to treat mental health, health technology will continue to shape medical care in the world. the foreseeable future.