From placing more focus on quality care to using technologies like artificial intelligence and virtual reality, the healthcare industry is in the process of transforming more than you think. But what does that mean for the future of both patients and healthcare professionals?
Wearable health and fitness trackers have become increasingly popular in recent years. No longer do only fitness buffs monitor things like their heart rates and the number of steps taken in a day. Now, all kinds of people are seeing how beneficial health trackers are. Expect to see health trackers and other wearable tech become the norm in the next few years.
The monitoring technology being used by healthcare professionals is also becoming more sophisticated all the time. For instance, the palm-sized gadget called the Viatom CheckMe Pro can measure heart rate, ECG, oxygen saturation, blood pressure, temperature, and much more. With the rise of health monitoring technology, medical professionals will have more time to devote to patient care and more accurate diagnoses can be made.
While technology is at the heart of the future of healthcare, the industry is also changing in terms of identifying what is most important. For example, the healthcare industry is now adopting value-based care much more. This approach to healthcare puts an emphasis on the quality of the care being provided over the quantity. That ultimately means patients receive better care. Also, with a value-based approach, costs are reduced due to eliminating unnecessary treatments.
Basically, the main goal of a value-based model is to use the exact amount of resources required to deliver the best care.
The lives of both patients and healthcare professionals are being transformed by the use of virtual reality. The one key way in which VR is being utilized at the moment is for training future surgeons. With VR, they can practice what it is like to perform real surgeries better than ever before. According to a study from the Harvard Business Review, surgeons who were trained in virtual reality surgical procedures boosted their overall performance by 230% compared to surgeons who were traditionally trained. The study also found the surgeons who had used VR training were faster and more accurate in their surgical procedures. Obviously, that benefits both patients and surgeons, and as VR becomes more sophisticated, the more skilled, quicker, and accurate, surgeons of the future will become.
Virtual reality is being used in healthcare in other ways too. For instance, women who are in labor can now plug into a VR headset and experience soothing visual landscapes to help them get through the pain of childbirth. Expect VR to be rolled out to other types of patients for similar purposes in the near future.
Artificial intelligence has come a long way in a short amount of time, but it is also still in its infancy. One thing is for sure: AI is already playing a part in the transformation of healthcare and it will continue to do so even more over the coming years and decades. AI algorithms are currently able to do things like mine medical records and design treatment plans much more quickly than a human medical professional. Google has even invented an AI-based algorithm called DeepMind for analyzing breast cancer, which outperforms human radiologists on the identification of breast cancer. When people can be diagnosed more accurately and quickly, it obviously benefits us all.
Supercomputers are also using AI technology to root out therapies from a database of molecular structures so they can be redesigned for treating new viruses. So, AI undoubtedly holds huge potential for the future of healthcare.