Healthcare Systems are comprised of infrastructures established to ensure proper medical care is offered to individuals, groups and communities. As societies and communities come into existence, the Government and Administration in power constantly strive to ensure Health & Research Institutes and Effective Medical Care are set up so as its people can have access to the best healthcare possible.
The Evolution of Technology has motivated Governments and Wealthy Investors to pour money into it, so as it can further the advancement in pharmaceuticals, health equipments, procedures, systems and medical research.
With the rise of Emerging Technology, healthcare systems are on a trend to be effective in enhancing the quality of healthcare while ensuring costs are kept low. Here are some of the emerging technologies revamping the Health Care and Medical Field;
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
This trend of technology has allowed for large chunks of medical data to be processed and analyzed. The Algorithms coded powered by advanced computing, has allowed for the data to be studied so as to further advanced discoveries.
As a result, the medical field has seen advancement in breakthrough medical research and clinical trials in finding cures for deadly and rare diseases such as HIV/AIDS, EBOLA and a variety of Auto Immune Diseases. The technology has also supported accurate diagnosis, crowdsourcing, monitoring of health epidermics and development of efficient treatment plans.
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This technology trend in medicine allows for researching, prototyping, customizing and manufacturing a blueprint of a subject, then print layers of an appropriate material to mimic the version of the subject.
Imaging Techniques such as Computed Tomography (CT), X-Rays, Ultrasounds and Magentic Resonance Imaging (MRI) produce scans from original digital models which are fed into a 3D Printer.
3D Printing has been applied in manufacturing medical equipments, 3D Printed tissues and organs, Dental, Prostheses and practicing for surgical preparation.
Surgeons are able to practice on 3D Printed organs before the actual surgery take place. Also prosthetic limbs and arms have been manufactured as a result of 3D Printed models. Advanced Surgeries such as Transplants and reconstruction of organs and tissues have been made convinient with the help of 3D Printing tech.
Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality
When this trend of technology was first introduced to the world, its future was limited to Entertainment Industry particularly the Gaming Industry. Fast Forward years later, it is revolutioning the medical field especially during medical care and procedures such as surgeries.
Virtual Reality has been a great assistance to surgeons preparing for complicated surgeries. They are able to create a virtual surgery room and recreate the theatre environment and practice thoroughly on procedures to be adhered to.
For complex cases such as Brain and Blood Vessels Surgery, Augmented Reality is employed. Mixed Reality brings together the Real and Virtual Real World to train medical professionals and patients on various health implications.
This tech trend has managed to become a lifestyle and to some extent even a fashionable statement. Wearable Tech like Fitbits and Smartwatches have enabled people to monitor the steps they take on a daily basis, has allowed them to even monitor their heart rates.
As a result, Individuals are able to detect proactively any defect or anomaly which in turn gives them a head start in seeking cure and medical help.
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Robots have been employed in medicial facilities to assist in surgical operations, monitor patient development, quarantine and cleaning operating rooms and environment.
They have also been used to deliver medicial equipments,medicine, medical samples and medical records. In Rwanda, Drones have been used to deliver blood to remote communities and rural areas. Remote Clinics place their order via text, for which these Zipline Drones are then launched from the fulfillment centres to the places of need.
Above Image: Zipline Drone delivering blood
Other Technology trends such as the Computer and Machine Vision have allowed medical professionals to capture and view images of various organs and environments inside of a human body, images commonly known as scans. These Scans whether be CT/MRI/X-ray, are studied and analyzed to detect any anomality, which if any, is to be subdued for cure and treatment.
These computers are given power to emulat human sight, acquire, analyze and understand the images and make the decision based on environment, for which when doctor or nurses read them, they communicate such to the patients.
The application of Emerging Technologies especially in the Healthcare space is growing with an impact. It has had a positive impact in the communities we live in, as it has enabled to save lives and improve the lives of many. To medical professionals, it has furthered their research in diseases which have no cure yet, it has allowed them to practice the standard medical procedures before applying them in real surgical rooms on human bodies. Much importantly it has advanced their knowledge and skills in various medical fields, which in turn has groomed experts and specialists in certain cases.
Despite it having an advantage towards the sector, it should still be heavily monitored and regulated by authorities put in place. Drugs and Medical procedures that are not clinically approved should not be allowed to be administered to people until tested and authorized. Heavy Investment should be on tech that assist in mining data that will assist more medical breakthroughs.