Most of us have a negative view of medical care. America is famous for its overpriced health care system. It can make even the most dedicated medical professionals want to give up.
So, what can we look forward to in healthcare? Health technology is making some of the most common health problems easier to deal with.
Check out some of the ways you can use technology to change the healthcare industry here.
#1. Artificial Pancreas for Type 1 Diabetes
Suffering from type one diabetes demands constant monitoring of your insulin levels.
But Hybrid Closed-Loop Insulin Delivery System changes all that. New technology in healthcare is giving people their lives back.
Here’s how it works:
- A continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) unit measures the wearer’s glucose levels.
- The CGM tells an insulin pump how much medication to dispense
Patients used to have to check the CGM and dose themselves. Missing doses and incorrect dosing is frequent when left to patients.
For the first time, these devices can communicate with each other. These devices are great news for anyone with type 1 diabetes, but children are the real winners.
Artificial pancreas use in children raised their target glucose levels by 7%. These devices are so effective, the FDA rushed their approval. More insurance companies will start approving requests for the artificial pancreas. It is becoming the go-to treatment for type 1 diabetes.
#2. Blood Flow Restriction Training
Getting people to work out is hard. But what if you could promise them better results with less work?
Blood flow restriction training builds more muscle with lighter weights. Using bands to isolate the body part you’re training controls the blood flow.
The amount of blood getting to your muscles controls metabolic stress. This means you can get the same muscle building effects from lifting a fifth of your one rep max.
Blood flow restriction training is more effective for recovering from surgery than walking. This makes it perfect for elderly and disabled patients.
#3. Updating the Vaccine Creation Process
The average vaccine takes $200,000,000 and 10 years of testing to develop. That’s too long for infections like Ebola that need a cure now.
Researchers have been working to hurry this process for faster turnaround. Analyzing cells used for making vaccines takes about 72 hours. New methods can test cells in about 5 minutes.
This is going to cut down on the time it takes to produce viable vaccines by years. We’ll be able to virtually eradicate diseases within a few years of discovery.
#4. Hair Saving Treatments for Chemo Patients
Cooling the scalp during chemotherapy stops hair loss. Blood vessels constrict when cooled, preventing chemo from reaching the hair follicles.
Cancer treatment centers are using head caps under the control of a computer. These computers run cool liquid through the cap during a session of chemo.
This is a cost-effective way for cancer patients to hold onto their hair. Wigs are expensive and uncomfortable. This low-cost solution boosts patients’ self-esteem without any side effects.
#5. Using the Cloud for Medical Alerts
Part of the stress of going to the hospital is the constant beeping of equipment. As a patient, being there for a few hours can drive you crazy.
Medical professionals learn to tune out constant alerts coming from machines. Most of these updates are minor and don’t demand immediate attention.
What does this mean for patients? Your chance of surviving cardiac arrest at a hospital is less than 25%. Almost half of all inpatient cardiac arrest is not noticed in time. New technology in the medical field solves this problem.
Moving the monitoring of these devices off-site removes the distraction of unimportant alerts. Survival rates of inpatient cardiac arrest jumped to 93% after centralization of data.
#6. Artificial Intelligence
Emerging healthcare technology is a big proponent of Artificial intelligence (AI). Seeing your general practitioner involves making an appointment then waiting for your appointment. Most of the time you see the doctor for less than 15 minutes.
AI Chatbots give you immediate medical advice on your smartphone. All doctors in Britain must pass the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) exam. The historical average is 72%. AI chatbots passed with 82%.
#7. Medical Internet of Things
You already use the internet of things (IoT). Your fitness tracker, smart thermostat, and digital assistants are all connected to the internet 24/7.
We already covered how the cloud is being used in the health care industry. Every one of those monitoring devices sending data offsite is now part of the medical IoT.
But did you know IoT devices are so small they can fit inside a pill? New industry technology monitors patients’ dosing habits with small devices hidden in their pills.
About 50% of patients with chronic diseases don’t take their medicine as prescribed. These tiny devices send an alert to a patient when they have missed a dose.
IoT devices produce an immense amount of data. This creates opportunities for jobs involving the processing of this data.
#8. Virtual Health Technology in Virtual Reality
Amputees suffer from “phantom limb pain” when they still feel pain in their missing body part. Virtual reality (VR) relieves this pain by tricking the brain into thinking the limb is still there.
The brain interprets the disconnect between mind and body as pain. An amputee can see their limb is gone, but because they still feel it, the brain assumes there must be pain involved.
The patient plays VR games that make you use both hands for the same job. This bridges the connection in the brain and tells it there is no pain.
Technology Makes It Easy to Take Care of Your Health
Health technology aims to make taking caring of yourself a lifestyle. Having migraines but don’t want to wait to see the doctor? Answer a few questions in an app and find out what over the counter medicine to buy.
Don’t worry about losing your hair during chemo. Treat hair loss with a cold treatment.
Diabetics never have to worry about blood sugar levels again. These are just some of the recent innovations in healthcare. More than 20 billion internet-connected devices will be in use by 2020. Expect to see more tech used in medical regimens.