Latest Technologies in Healthcare System revolutionizing medicine
There have been multiple technological advancements in every sector, especially, the heathcare sector. One of the most common healthcare equipment that’s providing a check on people’s health is the health watch (such as the Fitbit or the Apple watch). It provides people with information about their health for which they would have to get regular checkups. This is just the tip of the iceberg for what scientists really have in store when it comes to innovations and latest technologies in healthcare.
Technologies in healthcare
Here are the 10 latest technologies in healthcare that are already in the works of boosting the healthcare system by leaps and bounds. Get ready to be amazed by these amazing technologies in healthcare.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Considering how common artificial intelligence has now become, we cannot deny its importance in revolutionizing the world. AI is a mock-up based on human intelligence. It provides machines a perspective of their own through which they are able to make decisions. It is one of the most advanced technologies in healthcare. Not only is AI offering technology that provides the most efficient diagnosis of diseases and monitoring of the health of the patients subsequent to it, it can also treat patients as actual doctors and surgeons.
Artificial Intelligence has the tendency to analyze data of specific diseases and develop a treatment plan for individuals. These decisions are much more accurate, hence, decreasing the risk of things going sideways. Another use of AI is in the manufacturing of drugs; the latest technology in that department is the silico drug trials. These are computer simulations that, with the aid of integrated data and regulatory evaluation, manufacture effective drugs. Other chip-on-organ technologies also work on the basis of AI algorithms. In addition to this, a project named ‘HumMod’ which is described as the “most complete mathematical model of human physiology ever created”, is already contributing immensely in various processes.
The use of artificial intelligence in the healthcare system is expected to increase at a rate of 40% through 2021 annually, and from $600 Million in 2014 to $6.6 Billion. The three main tasks AI can provide are:
- Automated Reminders – For patients to take their medicine or go for a walk or to the gym.
- Identify people at risk – It can send automated messages to doctors in case their patients need immediate attention.
- Recommend dosage of Medicine – Studies the chemistry of the body of an individual and recommends doses of a particular drug.
Companies working with AI to develop newest technologies in healthcare
Google’s DeepMind is a company that works with new AI algorithms in healthcare systems. DeepMind has recently developed an AI algorithm that analyzes the data obtained and recognizes breast cancer. The algorithm showed 11.5 times more efficiency than the best radiologists and oncologists.
Atomwise is another brilliant AI company that studies molecular data for better drug development and discoveries. The company is most commonly known for developing not one but two drugs that could actively reduce Ebola effectively. In 2015, the company initiated a startup for an algorithm that could analyze the type of drug that could tackle the disease. This proved to be a much more successful expedite than humans merely testing out the drugs they found best.
Machine Learning (ML)
Machine learning is a branch of AI that has the capability to recognize and react to patterns. It is a combination of algorithms and statistical techniques that work coherently. In the healthcare system, machine learning effectively recognizes the patterns of a particular abnormality or a disease through the data provided, and diagnoses it well before a practical physician can. MIT has recently worked on a machine learning algorithm that can compare and analyze 3D scans 1000 times more efficiently than a human mind can, enabling an operating surgeon to determine whether the procedure they are in the midst of is the right decision. On a broader retrospect, machine learning can do the three most vital tasks of the medical sector: Analyze, diagnose, and treat patients, and that too with more efficiency and lesser risk. Machine learning in the healthcare department can serve to save numerous lives.
Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)
The Internet of Medical Things is a system that is a combination of numerous healthcare equipment, such as medical devices, software, and IT systems.
It provides devices that are either attached to your body or have to be carried around with you in order to track down and monitor your internal processes. Some of these devices include heart rate monitors, smartwatches, or just your smartphone with the right sort of apps installed. These devices can measure processes like heart rate, blood pressure, vitals, and sugar levels etc. There are also sensors available in the form of medicinal tablets that keep track of your health if you swallow them.
Augmented Reality (AR)
Augmented reality is a combination of the real world with the digital world. When a person watches the world through their smartphones or devices, the digital world incorporates itself into the real world. One can only imagine the milestones that can be accomplished when AR and AI are integrated, especially in the healthcare system. Certain health care apps can provide aid to the doctors in locating specific organs, find locations where specific drugs must be administered or for non-invasive surgeries. AR can also help physicians to superimpose patient records during treatment.
Virtual Reality (VR)
Another impressive technology that is working wonders for the healthcare system is virtual reality (VR). VR is already being used to train surgeons for dangerous surgeries. Osso VR and Immersive touch are currently the two companies working on programs for these VR simulations to prepare surgeons for complicated surgeries. According to a recent Harvard Business Review, these simulations helped raise the morale and confidence of surgeons by a remarkable 230%, and helped increase the accuracy and efficiency of these surgeons as well.
Not only is VR benefitting physicians but also patients. Bedridden or quarantine patients can visit anywhere in the world with just one piece of equipment. VR has already been used to reduce labor pain for expecting mothers by showing various landscapes. The same has also proven to be successful for patients suffering from gastrointestinal, cardiac, neurological, and post-surgical pain.
Electronic Health Records (EHR)
The device provides a constant record of users’ health. Electronic Health Records make sure no data get lost. More often than not, these files get lost and create hassle for the patient to get all the tests done again. This way it is easier for both, the patient and the doctor, to access the health records. My Health Record is an app that stores all of the information. However, a lot of people have pointed out that there have been breaches in their security. An approximate of 2.5 million Australians have already stopped using the app for the fear of their private information getting leaked.
This is a broad department in the healthcare system including numerous wearables and trackers. These devices help users keep their health in check and alter their lifestyles in case of some abnormality. They enable the user to maintain a healthy lifestyle and work towards a healthier routine.
The Fitbits and Apple smartwatches are the most commonly used health tracker wearables. They are equipped with sensors that track down your daily steps, heart rate, heart pressure, and even your breathing rates. Not only do these devices track the user’s health but also keep record of it which they can share with their physicians later, in case of some distress.
Blockchain and data security
With so many latest technologies in healthcare system, such as apps on the internet that are now tracking our health, there are numerous security and privacy concerns. This has made patients insecure to use tracking and monitoring devices or apps. Since these devices were already making a lot of progress and aiding patients with chronic diseases, as a result, the blockchain technology was introduced. This has the ability to put the patient in the middle of the entire chain of information and give them control. This has helped gain the trust of most of the patients.
People now have a wide variety of healthcare apps that can monitor all sorts of biological processes going on in the patient’s body. In case of any abnormality, it immediately informs the user to seek medical attention. These apps are highly useful especially for people of older age and for any individual who suffers from a disease. The healthcare apps track user’s blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, vitals, temperature, and much more. They can also record the number of steps an individual takes per day and display all of the data in a very easy-to-read form.
These healthcare apps store all of the user’s health-related data and in case he/she is to seek medical health, the doctor can easily get all of the patient’s history that helps him/her to make a diagnosis.
They keep a check on people who are suffering from problems such as asthma, chronic pain, or ADHD. The efficiency of the apps has been tested by authorities such as the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
Telehealth is an app that lets you search and compare doctors in your vicinity. You can compare the results, qualifications, stats, and success rates of these doctors before setting an appointment. After choosing the doctor you like, you can simply audio or video call them for medical consultation. The main purpose of this app is to provide service to people who cannot reach hospitals, especially in dire situations, for example, people in rural areas.
The technologies in healthcare never fail to amaze us. One such example is a smart hospital, which is a tiny hospital in your pocket. It keeps a record of your health stats from different medical apps and then analyzes any sort of distress you might be facing. It uses technologies like AI and ML for analyzing the data. It provides insights to clinicians through different smart devices like phones, tablets, and computers.
The use of robotics in our daily lives has become extremely mainstream. It is very unlikely that in today’s world there is any field left that does not involve the use of robotics. The healthcare system is no exception. Robotics is one of the finest and the latest technologies in healthcare. There is a wide variety of tasks that the technology of robotics performs in the healthcare system including:
- Communication with patients.
- Help bed-ridden patients especially with paralysis or backbone issues to stand straight.
- Locate certain blood vessels.
- Do routine tests.
- Take samples, study them and then record them.
- Aid in surgical procedures.
- Aid nurses attending the patients.
- Entering records in EHR or any other device.
- Provide medical equipment where it is required.
- Deliver food and other material.
- Keep a check on the patient’s vitals and other processes.
- Prepare drugs.
- Maintain sanitation to prevent healthcare risks.
- Help mental health patients for example the Jibo, Pepper, Paro, and Buddy. Most of these robots have touch and sensory touchpads for better interaction.
One of the most revolutionary technologies in healthcare is the 3D printing. Parts of organs, vessels, limbs, and even tissues are 3D printed in the perfect shape, size, and type. Researchers at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, in November 2019, experienced success in the innovation of skin tissue with working blood vessels. This breakthrough was everything for burn and acid attack victims. 3D printing has also made printing actual limbs and any other prosthetic anyone might need, a reality. Refugee Open Ware and Not Impossible are two NGOs that help to provide prosthetic limbs to refugees of war areas. 3D printed drugs have been available since 2015, but scientists now plan to take it one step further by printing “polypills” drugs that will provide instant pain relief for patients suffering from therapeutic pain.
Nanoparticles are another innovation that is making its way through different technologies of the world. In the healthcare system, scalloped nanoparticles are a part of microbots that are ingested by the patient to monitor some internal injury or just to provide an inner view of the body. They then swim through bodily fluids. A ‘PillCam’ has been in use for colon exams since 2018. This was invented to inspect the colon without having to perform any invasive surgery. MIT researchers have also invented an electronic pill that can be operated via remote control and helps for diagnostic purposes or to monitor the effects of a drug.
The latest news for nanotechnology in the field of healthcare is the smart patch. It was introduced by a French company ‘Grapheal’ at the CES, 2020. It helps to monitor the healing progress of a wound when placed on it.
The entire human genome was sequenced for the first time in 2017 and it cost the US government $2.8 million. However, with the latest technologies emerging, Illumina states that one day there will be a machine that can sequence your entire genome in less than $100. According to the CEO of the company, the work on the machine is already underway and soon genome sequencing could prove to be cheaper than getting a blood test (between $10-$150).
The benefits of getting your genome sequenced include:
- You get a lot of insight about the way your body works, its sensitivity, susceptibility, allergies, monogenic medical conditions, genetic variations and much more.
Perhaps, getting your genome sequenced will be a casual medical procedure in the future. With the help of AI, people will be able to determine what sort of family lines they might produce, details about their babies without even conceiving one, and much more. Companies such as Habit are already offering services based on your genetic makeup. Habit offers you a diet plan based on it.
One of the best technologies in healthcare includes a medical tricorder, which might be the dream of every tech geek and not just bio nerds and doctors. The device has a tendency to diagnose any disease. The Viacom CheckMe Pro is a medical tricorder that is one such example. The device fits in your palm and has the tendency to measure heart rate, blood pressure, ECG, temperature, oxygen saturation, and much more. This is just the initial device for a medical tricorder. Companies are working on similar devices such as the MedWand that not only measure and keep various parameters of one’s body in check but are also equipped with a tiny camera for telemedical purposes. Other examples of medical tricorder include Biosticker and Biointellisense.
Medical Tricorders have not progressed enough but the future looks bright for this little technology. The device will be able to incorporate high powered microscopes, analyze skin lesions; it would detect different antibodies, proteins, and DNA abnormalities. The device would also maneuver an ultrasonic probe, an electronic nose, or absolutely anything that can be integrated into a smartphone. It is also expected that the device would be featured with augmented reality to make it more efficient and effective.