Since the days of Galen, medical professionals have been searching for new and effective ways to better care for their patients. From the stethoscope to robotics, each step forward creates new pathways for care and an increased quality of life. The past 20 years have seen those steps become larger and more effective, as modern technology continues to make incredible strides in medical device advancement. Below are ten ways technology has advanced healthcare recently.
Electronic Health Records
Electronic Health Records have advanced the healthcare industry exponentially and have modernized the way health care providers track patient records. Long gone are the days of shuffling through paper files, now a provider can find full patient medical record histories in seconds. EHR technology also allows healthcare workers and providers to enter patient information quicker, aligning it in the patient’s history automatically and making the maintenance of patient records far easier and, more importantly, more accurate.
Remote Patient Monitoring
Remote Patient Monitoring is what some are calling the next evolution of patient care. With the help of Bluetooth technology, patients can have various aspects of their health monitored from their home while the provider receives data. This technology has been critical during the COVID 19 pandemic. It allows patients who may be at a higher risk to still have vital virtual care appointments with their medical professionals and exchange important data such as blood pressure, blood sugar, vitals, and more.
Prosthetics can now touch and feel and move for those who need them. In 2019, the University of Utah created the LUKE Arm, a prosthetic that allows the user to feel the density of an object. The University of Michigan is currently in the process of creating a “mind-controlled” prosthetic, which would enable users to have real-time control over their prosthetic hand.
Robotics are serving a variety of purposes across the field of medicine. Surgical robots are allowing invasive procedures to be more precise and safe. Pharmaceutical robots can assist in storing, selecting, and reshelving medicines.
DNA Testing has become embraced by the public over the last decade. People have been excited to use these services to find out where they are from. Still, medical professionals have been able to use these new tools for diving deeper into what causes patient allergic reactions and what medications would work best for different genetic makeups.
Unsurprisingly, healthcare technology is helping those who create drugs to be more efficient and collect data at faster rates. The emergence of AI is helping to accelerate development not only by being more efficient and through data collection, but also in the accounting of patient enrollment targets by taking into account clinical data and realizing eligible patients.
Robots are no longer something we operate, but with AI, we now welcome their input. AI can now cross-check data in seconds, allowing it to make important medical decisions at lightning speed. In 2016, IBM’s Watson was able to diagnose a patient within minutes after doctors had struggled to come to a diagnosis for months.
Virtual reality is making its way into the health care system, showing a variety of uses and aiding inpatient experience. Medical students are now able to find themselves in the middle of surgical procedures as if they were actually happening, and those who were trained by VR saw a 230% increase in performance. Patients are not only benefitting from VR through physician performance but are also through an increase in understanding as medical professionals are able to show patients what their upcoming procedure will look like and what they can expect with the help of VR.
3D printing is allowing health care providers to create artificial living tissue. The ability to not only graph skin but also use the technology to replicate organs is revolutionizing how doctors and hospitals acquire life-saving transplants.
2020 has shown the world how telemedicine can vastly improve care. During the COVID 19 pandemic, as providers and patients alike were forced to quarantine, telemedicine has offered a viable route to allow important health conversations to happen when they may not have been able to otherwise. Healthcare providers are able to bill for telemedicine visit without in-person contact.
Beam Health has helped lead the way in creating an avenue for check-ups, mental health, and even virtual urgent care appointments through a HIPAA compliant, secure, HD chat platform. Beam has made the technology so readily available and easy to use that 99% of providers are onboarded and able to use the feature in under 24 hours. For more information, please contact a Beam team member for a free demo to find out how the fastest growing telemedicine platform works.