With each passing year, new technologies unlock unlimited potential for improving healthcare. From diagnostics to connecting with patients, even the smallest innovations can change lives. It’s these technological advances that have dramatically improved both our quality of life and lifespans over the centuries.
Learning about these new discoveries and developments instills a sense of hope and understanding of what’s happening in the world of healthcare. Here are six exciting healthcare innovations improving patient care.
The increase in access to virtual practitioners has been transformative in patient care. Seeing an Online Doctor allows patients from marginalized socio-economic backgrounds better access to healthcare by keeping costs low and mitigating time spent commuting and in waiting rooms. For a person who can’t afford to take a day off and buy groceries for their family, this access could be life-changing.
Online practices and telehealth also have the potential to contribute to a better quality of life and life expectancy by reducing specialist wait times. Early detection is often the difference between life and death with diseases like cancer. In many developed countries, people die on waiting lists. Telehealth allows medical professionals to see more patients while streamlining referral services, improving efficiency throughout the entire healthcare system.
Advanced Wearable Tech
From FitBits to Apple Watches, wearable technology has become a staple in everyday life. While many of us use these devices to get in shape or provide motivation for movement, they’re also a powerful source of data. Many physicians are now requesting information from wearables to improve the diagnostics process. Meanwhile, MedTech innovators are developing wearables that do everything from tracking blood pressure to administering insulin shots.
Wearable technology is also empowering patients to practice preventative care by practicing holistic wellness. Devices like Hapbee send signals to the body to indicate when it’s time for sleep, preparing the mind for a state of restfulness. They also provide energizing signals to help replace stimulant consumption and regulate sleep patterns.
Did you know that some diseases can have a subtle impact on your voice? While the human ear may not detect it, heart disease, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and COVID-19 all impact one’s vocal biomarkers. Scientists have developed AI-driven vocal analysis tools to detect these markers during the onset of the disease or illness, improving time to diagnosis.
While this technology is new and emerging, it could prove to be another powerful diagnostics tool to improve prognoses and treatment timelines.
Augmented Reality in Training
Progressive hospitals and medical schools are using augmented reality to train surgeons and navigate difficult operations. Augmented reality uses a device— either a headset or screen— to overlay a digital image into the real world. This allows healthcare professionals to start hands-on training at an earlier point in their careers and improve success rates in complex operations.
Home Test Kits
Home test kits might feel commonplace at this point, but they are a new healthcare innovation. Consider the fact that pregnancy tests have been around for decades, and it wasn’t until the pandemic that innovators started exploring other home testing applications.
As a consumer, you can now access home test kits for STDs, drugs, and even DNA sequencing. As with telehealth, this innovation can help streamline medical diagnostics and treatment protocols.
AI Dose Calculations
When you read a multivitamin label, you’ll see a percentage value identifying how much of your daily intake of each micronutrient the vitamin will fulfill. This number is called a Recommended Daily Amount (RDA) and is calculated using all genders, races, ages, and sizes to provide an average.
With AI dose calculations, medical practitioners can take a custom approach to your medicinal needs. This innovation is playing an integral role in calculating pain killer doses to provide care while minimizing the risk of addiction. It’s also playing a role in prescribing antibiotics, minimizing the risk of drug-resilient superbugs.
The average life expectancy in the United States in 1920 was 53 years. Now, 100 years and a plethora of medical innovations later, it’s 79. Only time will tell what impact these incredible developments will have on the world.