Considering that fitness trackers and health monitors were among the first applications for wearable tech, it should not be surprising that technology is poised to revolutionize healthcare.
Sometimes dubbed “Healthcare 4.0” the future of medicine is heavily intertwined with technology.
From nanotechnology to a wide range of applications for artificial intelligence, here are some ways in which tech of the future can have a significant impact on healthcare.
1. Faster treatment for heart attacks
Heart attack symptoms in women in particular are often difficult to diagnose because they vary so drastically from those in men. In some cases they can even vary drastically among individual women.
But new technology can help take the guesswork out of self-diagnosing symptoms and even get a physician’s help far more quickly. In fact, Apple has launched a study in conjunction with John’s Hopkins to help use smart watches to better diagnose and detect heart conditions or other irregularities.
It might not be long before your smart watch can actually alert both you and your doctor when a heart attack is headed your way.
2. Faster urgent care
One of the continuing challenges of urgent care facilities is prioritizing critical or life-threatening issues from those that are less severe. While a broken arm may not be life-threatening, spending hours in a waiting room is still not ideal.
Healthcare 4.0 can use digital assistants to collect information, access patient records and even help diagnose issues. Imagine that instead of having to wait to be taken to an MRI machine to diagnose a broken bone, a portable MRI could be brought right to you – possibly even by a robot that can also assess the damage.
3. Better monitoring
In addition to helping to better detect heart attacks, wearables are the healthcare trend of the future that can help tie together a wide range of bio-feedback data to better help doctors make more accurate diagnoses. In many cases, patients may have had certain health issues for so long that they don’t even recognize them as health issues.
For instance, a person who has never slept particularly well may have no idea they have a sleep issue that can have a profound effect on the rest of their health. Biofeedback monitors that assess sleep patterns, however, can help doctors get a more accurate picture of a patient’s overall health than the patient themselves may be able to give them.
4. Less invasive surgery and faster recovery times
We’ve already seen the introduction of laparoscopic surgery which is performed through a small incision, but that is only the beginning of the impact tech will have on surgical procedures. Soon both Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality may make their way into operating rooms to assist surgeons and even teach students from across the globe.
Surgery may also actually be performed by tiny robots that can be controlled by a surgeon. The robots actually operate inside of you, eliminating the need to cut you open to get to the part that needs to be operated on.
Since technology is revolutionizing almost every sector and industry, it should be no surprise that it is poised to have a significant impact on health care. Not only can tech help make healthcare more affordable, it can help make it more accessible.
Imagine that instead of having to visit the doctor when you are sick, you can simply digitally send everything from a temperature reading to a throat culture. Samples can be analyzed digitally in a lab within minutes and sent to your doctor, who can quickly tell you whether you need to just take two aspirin and call him in the morning or come in for more significant tests.