We live in a world where technological advancements are not only making important breakthroughs every day but also exploring new possibilities in the field of healthcare that may not have been considered possible before. Thanks to these important advancements, we now have access to services like data monitoring on smartphones, artificial intelligence (AI) based technology, exoskeleton technology, etc. We have, therefore, selected the ten most important advancements that helped pave the way for new and improved healthcare in the last ten years.
- Artificial Intelligence
- Minimally Invasive Surgery
- Quantum Computing
- Electronic Health Record (EHR)
- Health Sensors
- Real-Time Tracking System (RLTS)
- Genome Sequencing
- Robotic Exoskeletons
- Stem Cell Research
1. Artificial Intelligence
The rise of AI-based technology is often viewed with a mixed feeling of awe and fear. AI and machine learning have proved very helpful in the early diagnosis of a disease and opened up new possibilities for drug development. This has been made possible by machine learning algorithms that go beyond the boundaries of the human brain with the help of data mining and computational statistics. AI-based technology can perform a range of different functions while assisting doctors in the treatment of disease by analyzing patient outcomes, monitoring their health, and increasing the efficiency of health trials. They can also prove useful in predicting health outbreaks and zeroing in on tumors.
2. Minimally Invasive Surgery
In the last ten years or so, there has been a shift from traditional surgeries towards minimally invasive surgeries as the later depends on minuscule cuts and, in some cases, doesn’t even require any cutting. This form of surgery requires a slender endoscope and is thus also known as laparoscopy. There is a decreased risk of bleeding, scarring, or causing trauma to the muscles, nerves, and other body parts. Minimally invasive surgeries are increasingly being used in appendectomies, adrenalectomies, and cases involving removal of gall bladder or tumors.
3. Quantum Computing
Advanced quantum computers in the last decade have made it easier for doctors to treat disease due to their efficient decision making. Quantum computing through phenomena like superposition and entanglement can perform much more than classical computing, such as the ability to perform numerous parallel calculations. This has increased the hope for better diagnosis for complex medical conditions and faster and more advanced development of drugs.
Chatbots are being employed at various industries at some level, and the healthcare industry is no different. This AI-based technology enables someone to have a humanlike conversation with bots through apps, websites, or even on the phone. They have proved their efficiency in checking symptoms, providing first-aid, and suggesting treatment, thus taking some load off the shoulders of doctors. Not only is this a cheaper medical solution, but also great for reducing the stress and anxiety associated with health problems.
5. Electronic Health Record (EHR)
With time, more and more health records of patients are being moved into an electronic health record. This means that with a single system, medical institutions and healthcare providers can regulate operations related to pharmacy, documentation, orders, etc. Not only does this help create a more efficient and centralized system, but it also contributes to research and the advancement of AI-based technologies through the data collected this way.
6. Health Sensors
The world is now brimming with health sensors and other wearable technologies that can monitor the functioning of almost every part of the human body. From blood pressure to heart rate, from sleep quality to pH levels in the skin, these enhanced health sensors can collect and maintain all sorts of data to pick up any anomalies in the body. It is becoming increasingly easier for people to own their own health-monitoring devices as more and more tech companies like Apple, Fitbit, Xiaomi, etc., are investing in manufacturing them.
7. Real-Time Tracking System (RLTS)
A great number of hospitals are presently relying on tracking systems to assist them in treatments and monitoring. This system can be made to automatically track the location of objects, instruments, and medical personnel. Through the use of RLTS, which relies on radiofrequency or ultrasound technology, hospitals can safeguard important medical assets and instruments while also being able to monitor elderly patients.
8. Genome Sequencing
Genome sequencing is one of the most important breakthroughs in the field of healthcare due to its ability to provide raw DNA nucleotides sequence in an organism. This has enabled present-day doctors to locate the source of the particular gene responsible for causing diseases. This allows the scope of better treatment of the disease concerning every individual’s genetic make-up. Genome sequencing has opened up possibilities of diagnosing diseases among asymptomatic patients and is even used in the treatment of cancer.
9. Robotic Exoskeletons
These wearable machines have allowed people with paraplegia and other patients to regain free movement of their arms and legs. Patients who have experienced stroke or injury in the spinal cord can once again gain control over their bodies through such devices. The more advanced exoskeletons or powered suits are based on a system of levers, hydraulics, electric motors, etc. They are also being used together with a chip that is implanted in the brain among various brain injury cases that caused conditions like Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, or multiple sclerosis.
10. Stem Cell Research
Stem cell therapy is considered one of the most crucial technological advancement due to its tremendous scope in the field of healthcare. The stem cells can potentially be manipulated into a range of different types of cells, which is why they have a wide application. It can be used in the treatment of several health problems such as brain injury, sickle cell disease, heart problems, diabetes, sleep apnea, insomnia, etc. However, not every sleep-related issue needs stem cell therapy, which is why Richard from InsideBedroom.com introduces us to the different changes we can make in the sleeping habits that can help us attain a better night’s sleep.
Although increased access to our data and real-time tracking can sometimes cause a threat to privacy, quantum encryption and enhanced data protection tools are also being parallelly developed to protect your data. We would also like to list some honorary mentions like the 5G networks, neuroprosthetics, and digital tattoos for their contribution in the field of healthcare.