Health is wealth- this is a saying we hear too often. We interact with the healthcare system every day for different reasons. Diseases like diabetes and hypertension have become more common than ever. Fortunately, our healthcare system is ready to face these challenges head-on with new technology and innovation.
Digitalization has increased exponentially ever since the pandemic struck us in 2020. New technology has taken over every aspect of our lives. Naturally, the healthcare system has also benefited from this development.
Healthcare joining hands with the tech industry has done wonders in the past. Ultrasound machines, automated biochemical analyzers, X-ray machines are excellent examples of successful technological advancements in healthcare. This progress is still ongoing, providing us with mind-blowing inventions. Because of Covid-19, many aspects of healthcare have gone entirely digital. That said, listed below are a few exciting trends in healthcare that have been making rounds with the public and are here to stay.
1. Healthcare Informatics
Tech integration has increased the number of data patients generate now. With the help of Healthcare Informatics (HI), healthcare professionals can organize and analyze the information and design better treatment plans. With more data, professionals will be able to improve patient outcomes. Moreover, researchers will be able to develop better vaccines in the wake of future global healthcare crises. So, if a career in this field piques your interest, now would be a good time to enroll in a masters healthcare informatics degree. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in HI are expected to grow by 8% up to 2029.
Because of restrictions during the pandemic, many patients could not continue regular follow-ups with their care providers. However, telemedicine has conveniently resolved this issue.
Telemedicine makes use of telecommunication to provide medical care at a distance. Earlier, this technology was used to reach patients in remote areas. Nowadays, many people prefer this remote access to healthcare to avoid coronavirus infections. But not only does it save time and energy, it is also light on the pocket. Patients don’t have to spend on fuel or transport to visit their doctor.
Telemedicine also helps save lives in critical situations. Patients who suffer from strokes or other heart conditions can receive immediate care through telemedicine. In addition, it provides extra sets of eyes in ICU during a hectic day. Nurses and physicians use telemedicine to keep a lookout for one patient’s condition while they tend to the needs of another patient.
3. Personalized care
Personalized care is considered the future of healthcare. It aims to work on patients who suffer from a unique disease. Every patient is different and responds to medical conditions and treatment uniquely. This usually involves taking genetics and genomes into account.
Genetic diseases can be challenging to control, almost impossible. Through genetic screenings, healthcare professionals can identify if people are more susceptible to developing illnesses and take appropriate steps to prevent them before it’s too late.
Personalized medicine involves the use of precision medicine for a particular disease. Precision medicine considers patients’ genetic factors, environment, and lifestyle. It is a groundbreaking approach to treating genetic conditions prevalent in society.
4. 3D printing in healthcare
The first 3D printed medicine was approved for use by FDA six years ago. This technology is a cost-effective way of producing medicines quickly. Although it is not very common yet, with precision medicine breaking grounds already, 3D-printed drugs are expected to become more common in the future.
5. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation have quickly taken over healthcare. AI is primarily used in ultrasound and imaging. AI-guided radiology and ultra-sound equipment can read images and data with precision and accuracy, reducing reading errors. They are faster and cost-effective. Many hospitals have adopted AI to save time, increase performance, and prevent overdosage by faster image processing.
AI has also taken over data-management systems in healthcare. Many software platforms employ multiple skills like analytics and problem-solving to manage patient databases. It helps in faster data processing and prevents delays in patient analysis and administrative work.
6. Prioritizing mental health
This trend is not strictly digital, but it is certainly making a mark in healthcare. During the pandemic, many health issues emerged because of social isolation, unemployment, and uncertainty regarding health. These untreated mental health issues gave rise to actual physical and psychological ailments. Knowing about such cases, healthcare professionals started creating more awareness about the importance of mental health.
Now, many people prioritize mental health. More and more people seek therapists and psychiatrists to diagnose and treat any mental illness they may have. Mental health awareness has also become an integral part of post-pandemic workplace culture since it helps to keep employees productive.
The healthcare industry is going through a seismic shift by merging with technology and informatics. We have certainly come far from traveling miles for treatments of chronic diseases to seeking medical help with a single click on our mobile screens. With the proper tech-related knowledge and skills, healthcare professionals can provide patients with better care and improve the quality of their life.