The Huge Digital Leaps in Health Care
Many industries have greatly benefited from the digital shift, and one of these is health care. The popularity may be driven by a lot of factors such as:
- Minimizing health care costs
- Improving efficiency and productivity of health care professionals
- Providing more accurate and timely diagnosis for patients
- Reducing hospitalization and death statistics
- Enhancing health and wellness
- Maximizing mobility or wireless connectivity
Digital technology has therefore encouraged many individuals and companies to come up with innovations and inventions that have shaped the industry over the past few years and will basically dictate how the future is going to be.
The idea of a Robocop or a Terminator is no longer constrained in the movies. Today, robots are playing an integral role in health care in different ways. We’ve seen bionic organs, which are basically robots that have been designed to replace certain body parts such as legs and hands. In recent years, their function has improved greatly that we can already see robotic arms with tendons and with almost the same sensation and movement as a real hand.
We can also find robots in treatment or surgery rooms, “assisting” doctors, specialists, and nurses. First used around the 1980s, the robots nowadays are excellent in non-invasive surgeries, which help hasten the recovery time for patients. For instance, joint problems, which may take months to heal, can already be treated in a matter of hours. In a day or two, the patient may be able to work normally again.
Mobile devices have now allowed health care professionals to perform their duties just as effectively no matter where they are. They are also able to serve more patients without compromising the quality of their work. The support usually comes from various apps, including general ones such as Viber or Skype for a more efficient and quick communication.
Patients are also able to take care of themselves better with apps such as Calorie Counter, Fitness Tracker, and apps that monitor vital signs such as blood pressure and glucose level.
One of the biggest health care developments is the integration of wearables in the industry. Google Glass, which still needs to be mass-produced, is showing great promise when it comes to assisting doctors in treating patients. Surgeries and consultations can now be recorded in real time or shared with other doctors with great ease. Moreover, FitBit One and Nike Plus have become best friends of health enthusiasts. These tools help monitor a person’s fitness level and sync data across different platforms including their mobile app.
Pills, Medications, and Injectables
Even drugs have embraced digital technologies. Proteus Digital has created a special pill that provides health feedback to doctors when ingested. The information can then be used to track the patient’s commitment to his treatment plan. A drug can now be taken to help manage both HIV and AIDS, significantly improving the patient’s longevity.
By far, the best and most anticipated digital leap is digital printing. In this process, various layered materials were used to create a 3D image of anything, whether a bolt or nut. However, the technology itself is scalable, so it can be utilized to print massive 3D images such as a house. In health care, scientists are now creating vital organs such as heart, kidneys, liver, and lungs with 3D printers. If these experiments become successful, it’s the breakthrough we need to increase the level of survival of patients waiting for transplants.