5 key technologies that are transforming healthcare
The healthcare sector is an area that is constantly evolving, as new treatments and methods of care are always being developed. And in the last few years, the pace of change has been huge as new technology developments emerge.
Taking advantage of these will be crucial for healthcare providers if they wish to remain productive, keep up with evolving regulations and deliver the highest quality care to patients, And among the wide range of solutions that are now transforming the way these organisations operate, here are five that are already starting to benefit patients.
Big data analytics
Being able to analyse details from millions of data points can give physicians a much clearer insight into their patients’ health than they would have been able to manage in the past, allowing them to identify early warning signs that would otherwise go unnoticed. Effective use of big data analytics can also help providers spot wider trends and enable doctors to devise new treatments and take pre-emptive action to combat problems.
The new generation of 3D printing technology has already proven useful in a number of ways in the healthcare sector, such as the creation of bespoke prosthetics and replacement joints that are much more accurate and comfortable for patients. But the technology goes far beyond this, with successful trials even creating new tissue and organs – with firms such as Organovo looking to make 3D-printed livers commercially viable by the end of this year.
Tools such as faster broadband technology and videoconferencing are also changing the way in which patients interact with their physicians – with remote consultations now a much more feasible option. As well as being particularly well-suited for patients in rural areas who may otherwise struggle to be seen by the right specialists due to distance barriers, it can also enable doctors to consult with their peers for second options and more collaborative treatment plans.
While many people consider wearable technology as limited to consumer devices such as smart watches and Google Glass, there are an increasing number of applications for these developments in the healthcare sector. Tools that are able to monitor and record numerous metrics in a patient – such as heart-rate, blood pressure and glucose levels – can not only provide doctors with greater insights into the overall health of a patient at all times, but they can also assist individuals with keeping an eye on their own treatments and medications.
The use of mobile devices within the healthcare sector has increased greatly in recent years, with a 2013 study by Epocrates finding 86 per cent of clinicians used smartphones in their work, with 53 per cent also making use of tablets. A paper from HP on the subject noted tablets “[offer] today’s mobile health careworkers the ability to revolutionise the ways they work by making it easy to capture, access, and use information wherever the job takes them”, as well as reducing the time taken to access information and cutting the risk of data entry errors.
To find out more about how the latest technology can improve outcomes in the healthcare sector, visitwww.intersystemspartner.co.uk for further information.