Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the healthcare world has been pushed towards greater digitalization and innovation. These new technologies and treatment methods have the potential to revolutionize care and improve access to healthcare worldwide. Here are six technologies and innovations that are changing the healthcare world.
Telehealth and Apps
Telehealth is more popular than ever before and more widely accessible through most insurance plans. Many people who require regular appointments have found the benefits of telehealth to be tremendous. Virtual appointments are a great way to protect patients and doctors from the spread of disease and save a lot of time for both parties.
Along with the increase in telehealth came access to wellness apps. Mental health and wellness are essential to living a balanced life but can be challenging to maintain while working from home. The development of these wellness apps has helped many people take control of their health and mental wellbeing while staying home. These apps can keep patients connected and feel supported 24/7.
Artificial intelligence is an essential innovation in healthcare that can help researchers and healthcare professionals more efficiently analyze data and provide improved care. AI was used to track and predict the spread of COVID, temperature-check large crowds, and identify individuals by facial recognition despite mask mandates.
Machine learning can be utilized in chatbots for telehealth appointments that assist with diagnosis and administration. Artificial intelligence is a great tool that will continue to streamline workflows and help medical professionals.
Manufacturing and Distribution Efficiencies
The COVID pandemic revealed many challenges facing the healthcare manufacturing and distribution sectors. Supply chains globally struggled to meet demand, which led to an increase in digitalization to overcome these inefficiencies.
Medical materials and consumables require high levels of regulation during manufacturing, processing, and distribution. Groups like Avantor help improve these operational aspects of medical science laboratories.
When sourcing from a group like Avantor, “you not only obtain the highest quality products, but you can also simplify your procurement process with one-stop sourcing and responsive fulfillment.” Companies like these are essential for maintaining productive and efficient operations within your purchase requisition system in times of unprecedented demand.
Wearable devices connected to the internet that record users’ health information are becoming more and more popular today. These devices allow users to have greater insight into their daily activities and health trends over time.
The data from these devices can help healthcare professionals create more individualized treatment plans and help patients track health goals. As more and more of this data becomes available, it can become an essential data source for medical professionals and researchers.
Extended reality is a new technology utilized in the medical world for training and assistance with live surgeries. Surgeons can practice complex procedures in virtual spaces without risk. Further, surgeons can wear virtual reality headsets in the OR, which will display real-time vitals and other critical information to the doctor hands-free.
These headsets will also live stream from the surgeon’s perspective to allow effective and efficient communication with other medical professionals during procedures.
Similarly, AR surgical navigation systems provide surgeons with navigational views, integrated targeting systems, precise instrument tracking, and real-time 3D reconstruction during surgeries. There are many ways extended reality can improve both the quality of and accessibility to healthcare. However, these possibilities are still being explored and perfected.
Genetics holds many tremendous opportunities to impact various fields of medical and scientific research and development. Gene therapies utilizing stem cells are being used to fight diseases like diabetes, cancer, and hereditary conditions.
As more and more genetic data is collected globally, healthcare providers can tailor treatments to the individual patient more accurately. Not only do cell therapies show great potential in the field of regenerative medicine, but genetics is also at the heart of modern mRNA vaccine development.
New developments in healthcare and healthcare technology have the potential to transform care and treatments for many. These innovations will improve the research, development, and distribution of new therapies and drugs and will help us prepare for future pandemics.