COVID-19: Innovation in health technologies
Health is undoubtedly one of the sectors most affected during the crisis. Technology has radically transformed the industry and eHealth is experiencing unprecedented growth. Significant strides have been made in health care in recent years, but the pandemic has propelled it faster than we could have imagined. Clearly, the rapid innovation that is occurring within industry can be harnessed to enable more inclusive health services.
Healthtech has a long history of striving to find technological improvements throughout the patient journey, from disease detection to diagnosis and optimization of treatment, chronic disease treatment, remote care and now, results. fast and accurate COVID-19, etc. positive intention towards innovations that occur in and around. A simple passage from the traditional consultation room to the virtual consultation space is indeed an innovative journey. Let’s explore these innovations in detail.
Digital innovations in healthcare
Major advances in computing power and wireless technology impact both clinical and business operations. Machine learning, robotic process automation (RPA) and cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) are leveraged to improve healthcare infrastructure. Additionally, data access and data sharing improves self-service, personalized care and the patient experience. The reach of technology in healthcare is wider than we can imagine, for example, Blockchain has the potential to improve traceability, trust and collaboration between clinical trials, chain management. procurement, financial transactions and complaints handling.
Cutting-edge pilot programs and ideas around mobile health (m-health) and the medical Internet of things (IoMT) are among many other innovations. In addition, public and private hospitals are turning to online patient registration and service delivery systems; and mobile apps for scheduling appointments, test reports and analyzes, sharing health tips, and more.
Electronic health records (EHRs)
EHRs have facilitated and improved communication between providers and provider-patient because they are shareable through secure devices and networks. The convenience of EHRs is also appreciated by healthcare professionals who can instantly know a patient’s entire medical history. In addition, they are able to improve preventive care efforts and minimize errors by providing an easily readable and complete document of the patient’s history. This allows the provider to search for patterns and find a medical condition that may have been overlooked and immediately begin preventative action.
The healthcare industry is harnessing the enormous potential of 3D printing to reduce manufacturing costs for prostheses, prototypes, tissues, skin, and even pharmaceuticals. 3D printing helps providers and patients. With the impending threat of the coronavirus, the country is working to address the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators, oxygen masks and other medical devices. In the midst of the crisis, 3D printing techniques are being used as a quick fix to deal with the global shortage.
With COVID-19 acting as an inflection point for rapid innovation, technological innovations like telemedicine are revolutionizing the global healthcare system. As the coronavirus crosses borders with a devastating blow, the number of health facilities and providers offering teleconsultation and tele-information services is increasing rapidly. In fact, many providers have completely switched to virtual consultations under these difficult circumstances.
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Video conferencing has made our lives easier in many forms – stay in touch with colleagues, family and friends, from any corner of the world and an improved healthcare facility with quality, convenient patient care. In addition, telemedicine helps to bridge the gap in access to care that exists at the demographic and income levels. Caregivers are now able to interact with their patients from remote areas, far from local health facilities or areas where there is no health specialist.
Portable patient devices
Wearable devices help improve patient outcomes by providing real-time data that providers might not have otherwise had access to. Especially in remote patient monitoring, wearable technology helps improve patient satisfaction with care. By monitoring heart rate and blood pressure, and miniaturizing the ECG, wearable devices continue to disrupt traditional diagnostic tools.
The healthcare system is quickly trying to integrate technology into its operations to cope with the crisis. InnoHealth Magazine has researched around 25-30 startups for their COVID-19 related innovations. Products or equipment that can help deal with the pandemic have been categorized under Artificial Intelligence, Telemedicine, Screening, Tracing and Tracking Applications, Wearable Devices, and Testing Kits. The percentage of innovation was highest in AI, followed by wearables, test kits and others.
Equitable distribution of health services has proven to be a major challenge in public health management and technological advancements are helping to address this problem by bringing value to many areas of health care delivery. As healthcare technology continues to replace traditional systems, it will redefine the equity, quality and affordability of healthcare around the world.
(Disclaimer: The author is Dr Kanav Kahol, CEO of DIVOC Health. The opinions expressed are a personal opinion.)