idhealt.com – Whether we realize it or not, health and technology are closely related. How much has changed in the average of hospitalizations, procedures, doctor’s appointments, or even maintaining a chronic condition compared to previous generations.
What Impact Does Technology Have on Our Health?
Wearable technology, which allows continuous and discrete monitoring of vital signs
is rapidly becoming a popular tool for improving our health. Royal Philips released a medical-grade biosensor patch intended for hospital patients in 2016, marking a major step forward in this area. It takes vital signs including respiratory rate and sends the information to an app-based program via Bluetooth, alerting doctors to identify problems.
In a pinch, the Lively Wearable, a wrist or lanyard gadget with a button that connects to a team of specialists, is released by GreatCall. However, not all wearables are for emergencies. The NHS (National Health Service) in the UK has tested a digital training kit for individuals with type 1 and 2 diabetes.
Following reports in 2015 that more than 20% of diabetic patients experienced unnecessary hypoglycemic episodes in hospital, this was done to help them control the disease. All these gadgets work by monitoring the patient’s condition and preventing unnecessary hospital visits and potentially life-threatening events.
3D printing is one of the most significant technological advances in human health
especially in the near future. Charles W Hull never imagined 3D printers would become so popular in the medical field when he filed his patent.
The first major surgical application occurred in 1999, when a patient received an artificial bladder for the first time. A biodegradable bladder scaffold based on CT images, with cultured tissue placed over it.
Printing of organs with bio-ink reproductive tissue is the next step, with the first example being a non-living kidney printed in 2002.
Integrated Organ and Imprinting Systems, or ITOP, was developed by scientists in 2016, and incorporates biodegradable plastics to print tissue shapes and water based ink to keep cells and micro channels open to allow air and nutrients to flow. With so many big leaps in the sector, 3D printing is an interesting subject that can easily vouch for the whole article.
The most difficult aspect of 3D biological printing is keeping cells alive. This is a problem that researchers around the world are trying to solve. But rest assured, if this is understood, organ printing will be a huge step forward, especially for people on the transplant waiting list, and ITOP seems to be the lead device.
Robotic surgery may seem like a distant concept that will never be seen in our lifetime
but this is far from the case. The DaVinci Si is a surgical instrument used in several procedures in the United States, including myomectomy, which is the excision of certain malignancies.
This technique allows the surgeon to fully control the procedure, resulting in significantly reduced scarring, pain during healing and recovery, and a significantly reduced risk of infection. No automated surgical technique is currently available, but various trials are underway.
It’s only a matter of time before you have major surgery, patched up, and are back on your feet the next day. An extraordinary feat made possible by technological developments.
Computer diagnostics is becoming an increasingly cost-effective and realistic option
and several hospitals around the world are experimenting with it. Computers are much faster and less prone to errors.
IBM Watson supercomputer (the same one that beat Jeopardy!) will assist doctors in diagnosing patients and recommending therapies. Watson will be used by doctors to track patient history, keep up with the latest medical research, and find treatment alternatives.
Watson helped 200 people at New York institutions such as the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in 2016.
A computer similar to Watson’s was entrusted with diagnosing and planning treatment strategies for 500 patients at the University of Indiana. It performs 42 percent better than humans while also costs 62 percent less.
A customized treatment plan may seem futuristic,
but as Watson and others have shown, they are becoming increasingly common in medicine today. They provide more effective and personalized treatment and diagnosis for patients.
The adjustment was made to genome sequencing, which was originally performed in 2004 as part of the ‘Human Genome Project’, and will cut costs significantly.
Readmissions, misdiagnosis, and the number of inappropriately prescribed drugs have all also decreased. Currently the mapping is only done in a limited experiment and on a simple scale.
Due to the newly built Dragen Processor, sequencing the full genome took 26 hours at Kansas Children’s Mercy Hospital in 2015, which is more than 15 hours faster than before.
Smartphones, tablets, Wi-Fi and other wireless technologies
allows to access medical data in hospitals without being tied down. Doctors can now view Electronic Health Records at their patient’s bedside – or on the go.
They can easily communicate information, view scans, and findings, enabling them to provide the latest diagnosis and treatment. Patients can also use FaceTime, Skype, and other apps to schedule appointments and check-ups with their doctor.
They can share photos and track their care more easily now. They can even view the same notes as their doctor during virtual sessions using “Portal technology.”
This technology is especially useful for people who live in more rural locations and have to travel or are at risk of receiving substandard care, as well as those who cannot schedule appointments due to other obligations.
Virtual appointments and electronic medical records, according to Dr. Eric Topol, is the “Gutenberg moment” of medicine. Technology has had a significant impact on the way we have managed our health in the last 15 years or so, and it is getting better and more involved.
Technology has the potential to reduce our dependence on doctors, save costs, accelerate care, and empower individuals.
Whether it’s continuous vital sign monitoring with wearable technology or the idea that if you have a significant problem, a robotically fitted replacement can be produced immediately.
Or it may be as easy as your doctor can keep you up-to-date on your condition no matter where you are in the world.
Whatever happens, keep in mind that the technological advancements of our generation are not only good for filling time and making life easier, it is also very real impact of technology on our health.