If there is one field that plainly benefits from technological advancement, it is healthcare. New technologies, processes, and information provide improved patient care and outcomes, which allows us to live longer, healthier, and happier lives. Smartphones are nice, but living to be 100 years old – and remaining healthy and happy for that time – certainly must be nicer! Here are some recent developments in the healthcare industry that could impact your health and happiness. Perhaps some of them already have.
The concept of 3D printing is rather simple. The process entails building a 3D model of an object by adding materials layer by layer (rather than subtracting them from a source material, as is the case with routers and other devices). Think of it this way: you can literally build from the ground up. What healthcare applications might exist for this technology? There are many, in fact. With 3D printing, it is possible to construct skin for burn victims using biological and organic materials, or artificial ears for replacement purposes. This revolutionary technology creates the potential for truly personalized medicine.
Positive patient outcomes are often dependent on accurate patient information. The question is, how can doctors gather this information, and what means are available to provide healthcare practitioners with information that is more finite, detailed, and accurate? One recent advancement in the field is digestible medical sensors. Approved by the FDA, these sensors can transmit data to doctors wirelessly on a range of metrics, including medication adherence (i.e., are you taking the medication you’ve been prescribed) and key vital signs. The upside for the doctor is an improved flow of accurate patient information; the upside for the patient is that the treatment is non-invasive and non-intrusive. Simply swallow the “pill” and you’re done!
This technological solution to storing and disseminating patient data has the potential to vastly improve patient outcomes by making a patient’s complete medical history available to everyone who cares for him or her. While electronic medical records (EMR) already exist in many practitioner offices, electronic health records (EHR) are relatively new, and they differ in several key ways from standard medical records. While electronic medical records are mostly stored and referenced locally, electronic health records can be made available to anyone. Thankfully, they are becoming more commonplace as cloud storage solutions are adopted. What’s a practical use of this technology? With electronic health records, a doctor in Austin, TX will know that you were once treated in Sarasota, FL, whether or not you remember yourself. And that means better outcomes for you.
You may notice a recurring theme within this article, and that is the power and role that data can play in healthcare and patient outcomes. It is for this reason that fitness trackers, and wearable technology in general, are so revolutionary. Wristbands like the FitBit, wearables like the Apple Watch and Moto360, and fitness trackers for seniors like the Lively Wearable have the ability to empower people to take charge of their health and fitness. Because these devices are worn around the wrist or on your clothing, they are easy to use every day. And this ease of use enables individuals who might otherwise ignore their daily activity to participate in their own health and wellbeing. Stay active, and you’ll stay healthy. It’s just a matter of using them!
There are a wide range of medical apps available for your smartphone or tablet. In fact, the odds are good that there is an app built specifically for the purpose you are seeking. But you may not know just how involving these medical apps can be. Mobile apps like Doctor on Demand, for example, allow you to consult with real, live doctors right from your phone. Common conditions including cold and flu, sports injuries, sore throat, and allergies can be treated, quickly and affordably. In fact, treatment may even be free, depending on your insurance policy. Thanks to modern technology, the traditional doctor’s house call can now be done digitally.
Daily Yoga, WellBeats and other similar workout apps provide individuals with much-needed routine to help them accomplish their fitness goals. What’s great about these online health classes and workout routines is their accessibility; because they can be accessed on any smartphone, tablet, or computer, individuals can work out whenever they have the opportunity, from anywhere. All they need is some free time and perhaps, if they choose, a change of clothing. And any fitness routine is better than no fitness routine. Technology brings the personal trainer to you, on demand.
CEO and Founder at Mighty Shouts.
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