Sahil Bansal is the Co-Founder of Fitelo- the number one app for weight loss, diet planning, and better overall well-being. He is an engineer turned MBA grad and later turned to an Entrepreneur. Being from a business family, he was always interested in entrepreneurship. He started selling fitness supplements at the age of 15 to refurbished mobile devices to selling Diwali crackers to teaching students to writing content and to what now – he has done that all. He has over 10 years of corporate experience and worked at companies including Infosys, Reuters, HCL, and Genpact. He has been a mentor and keynote speaker at various international events as well.
The COVID-19 pandemic led to some monumental changes in the healthcare space as the world grappled with the worst health crisis of the century. Digital healthcare ecosystems have played an instrumental role in combating the novel coronavirus and accelerating the adoption of new healthcare technologies at a rapid pace. During government-coordinated containment measures, the digital communication platforms helped to fulfill essential healthcare demands of the patients through virtual doctors’ appointments and telehealth. Medical robots were utilized to ensure disinfection in hospitals for preventing contamination of pathogens.
The upscaling of virtual care capacity has given rise to several digital health tools such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality, 3D printing among others, specially designed to enhance the digital therapy experiences of patients. Embracing a radical shift towards digitalization, healthcare systems are harnessing the latest technologies such as the internet of medical things for real-time patient monitoring, telemedicine solutions for enhancing patient access to clinical services, and big data & analytics to gather relevant insights to stay afloat with the evolving healthcare scenario.
Emerging healthcare technologies have the potential to transform unsustainable healthcare systems into sustainable ones, reduce medical costs, improve patient welfare, and provide faster and effective solutions for diseases. Here are five ways technology is shaping the future of healthcare.
Leveraging Artificial Intelligence Solutions for Better Efficiency
From driving massive improvement and innovation in the healthcare and life sciences sectors to expediting advances in drug research and discovery, artificial intelligence solutions are enabling faster diagnosis and greater efficiency in the work process. Health practitioners are utilizing AI tools and solutions to make an accurate diagnosis and reduce the chances of error. AI solutions can identify new potential therapies from vast databases of information on existing medicines within a matter of seconds, thus accelerating the process of bringing new drugs to the market. Besides, many healthcare systems are using AI tools to provide real-time support to clinicians and develop solutions based on data in the patient’s electronic health record for predicting health risks.
Virtual Reality Enhancing Patient Outcomes
Though virtual reality is still in its nascent stage in the healthcare space, the booming technology has proved to be highly advantageous for improving patient’s life and enhancing physician outcomes. VR technology affects the brain’s neural pathways in the same way as real-life experiences that prove to be highly effective in pain management and psychological therapies. Besides, VR tools can add real value to the training of surgeons where they can view minute detail of every part of the body and replicate common surgical procedures. Embodies labs are using VR simulators to better understand complex Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s. Additionally, the surgical theater is adapting MRIs, CT scans, and other 2D medical imaging techniques into a 3D model, which the surgeons utilize to plan surgery or update patients on their progress.
Cloud Computing Optimizing Data Management Practices
Healthcare systems are rapidly adopting cloud computing technologies to gain efficiencies, improve the patient experience with personalization, and optimize workflows for better outcomes. Cloud computing capabilities cut down operational expenses while enabling providers to deliver high-quality care, breaking down location barriers, cloud computing allows remote accessibility of data for patients as well as healthcare providers. Ease of interoperability with seamless transfer of data fueled by cloud adoption helps effectively distribute insights for facilitating healthcare planning and delivery. Cloud computing also democratizes data and provides patients control over their health so that they can make informed decisions. Since the backups are automated, the chances of data loss are minimal in cloud storage technologies.
Big Data Analytics Powering Up Medical Research
Organizations are employing analytical tools and machine learning techniques to derive data-driven insights that can reduce healthcare costs, enhance revenue streams, uncover patterns and trends, and boost workforce productivity. Utilizing big data analytics, pharmaceutical companies can process large swathes of data at their disposal for product R&D, which reduces the time involved in product development and delivers more precise offerings. Big data helps healthcare organizations reduce general costs for preventive maintenance of medical equipment, digital assets, and other health tech devices. Analyzing vast amounts of data helps improve patient outcomes by detecting had-to-diagnose and rare diseases. Besides, gathering and analyzing workforce data can help boost employees’ productivity and increase operational efficiency in healthcare systems.
Health Robotics for High-Quality Patient Care
From enabling efficient processes in clinical settings to creating a safe environment for both patients and health works, medical robotics are advancing medical care to the next level. Mobile Cleaning and disinfection robots sanitize healthcare settings to lower the risk of hospital-acquired infections and minimize pathogen exposure. Surgical-assistance robots support minimally invasive procedures during surgeries, thus help to improve patient outcomes, minimize risks, and reduce downtime. Besides, health robotics enhance operational efficiencies such as streamlining routine tasks, reducing physical demands on workers and keeping a track of inventory, ensuring consistent processes, etc. Smart robotics combined with AI can also help surgeons during common orthopedic surgeries predict spatially defined boundaries and precise directions.
While the rising adoption of technology in the healthcare space signifies obvious advantages, healthcare experts warn against being too reliant on AI and IoT due to possible disadvantages such as malfunctioning of medical equipment, power outages, lack of attention to detail during procedures, etc. Consumers and healthcare providers continue to express concern over data privacy and security, which have become even more grave concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite the possible limitations, the digital transformation will continue to propel innovations in the healthcare industry to meet future needs. The trend of rising focus on enhancing patient outcomes with affordable, accessible, and adaptable care could lead to significant positive changes. From predictive analysis to analyzing big data analytics, technology can offer the best possible solutions with more information at hand so that healthcare providers and patients can feel empowered about their health. As patients continue to demand quick and efficient services, organizations have to embrace digitalization in healthcare.