The times when the use of technology in healthcare was frowned upon or met with concern have long gone, leaving room for digital changes that are now not only embraced but even expected by those who seek and receive medical services. Worries about how the implementation of new technologies in medicine would lead to the removal of doctors and healthcare workers, and, consequently, to a desensitization regarding the patients’ needs, have been replaced by the openness towards innovation.
In this sense, both healthcare providers and patients have become receptive to the idea that technology will continue to shape the future of medicine in ways that not long ago, were only conceivable in science fiction movies. From artificial intelligence and machine learning, to virtual reality or cloud computing, new technologies have already revolutionized the field of medicine, and this is just the beginning. Specialists predict that the popularity of these technologies can only reach new heights, as people are getting healthier, and physicians are able to provide enhanced medical services by means of digitalisation.
Artificial intelligence for instance, has made a significant impact on the medical domain, and has brought healthcare providers closer to their patients, by relieving them of administrative tasks, that often would have taken up valuable time and would have kept them away from those in need of their attention.
AI assists physicians in gaining deeper insights when it comes to diagnosis too. This technology can identify abnormalities, determine risks, find various indicators, and make predictions, by analysing CT scans, x-rays or MRIs. In the near future, those who have trouble getting in touch with specialists who can interpret medical images, either because they live in hard to reach areas, or because of shortages in radiologists and technicians their country is facing, will probably be able to get the results they need right through an app installed on their smartphone.
And AI’s benefits do not stop here; when mixed with other technologies such as machine learning, data analytics technologies, and cloud computing, artificial intelligence will provide medical practitioners with the perfect recipe for a more personalized approach. In this regard, specialists will be prepared to offer their patients superior treatment recommendations, that will be based on their medical history and other special factors.
But besides the more talked-about technologies, that we have mentioned earlier, there are a few others that, even if they haven’t exactly been in the limelight, are just as noteworthy as the rest, and are gearing up to reshape the future of healthcare as well. One of them is nanotechnology; which specialists have already made use of, creating smart pills that assist them in carrying out non-invasive medical exams, that can otherwise be unpleasant for patients. Micro-robots or nano-surgeons are also on the list of future uses of nanotechnology, that will surely bring many benefits to the medical world.
Another technology that empowers the future of medicine, but has not necessarily been given the attention it deserves, is 3D printing, which medical services providers have found to be useful in many medical areas. Prosthetics, pills, and even living skin can all be printed with the help of this technology, and specialists say that it is here to stay.
The future of healthcare also brings prevention into focus. If until now, specialists were mostly interested in the action that must be taken after a diagnosis has been made, the future also adds prevention into the mix. And technology plays an important role in this matter as well. Wearables, sensors, and other such devices allow those who take advantage of them, to monitor their health and seek medical attention before their condition requires immediate action.
But there is more to prevention than wearing these devices, the relationship between physicians and patients is also key. And the future of healthcare sets out to create the environment that encourages a more active involvement on the patients’ part. By giving the latter the opportunity to monitor their state and instantly access their medical information, a stronger relationship between patients and their healthcare providers will come into light.
There is no question that technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud computing or nanotechnology, empower the future of healthcare. These new technologies have already started to make their presence felt in the medical world, and have completely transformed the way that healthcare services providers interact with patients. But specialists believe we have not seen anything yet, and that these technologies will only continue to disrupt medicine in ways that we cannot even imagine.
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