The digital revolution is sparking an era of change in healthcare. 72% of Internet users look for health information online. 47% of people online search for information about doctors, too.
Using the Internet as a search tool is the tip of the iceberg. Artificial Intelligence (AI), the rise of the IoT (Internet of Things) are creating a perfect storm of innovation.
What does this mean for you? Let’s look at some of the emerging medical technology and new medical devices that are reshaping the industry.
There is some concern that AI (Artificial intelligence) will replace humans. A better way of looking at it is that AI frees up humans to work on higher-level tasks. For example, AI can speed up the time in choosing the right image slice from a 3-D ultrasound dataset. This allows the practitioner to focus on higher-value areas such as the benefits of ultrasound guidance.
COVID-19 pushed video calls into the mainstream. Now, video calls with doctors help people access medical advice wherever they are.
Telemedicine will also help cut down on unnecessary office visits. Videoconferencing provide a low-cost convenient way for the elderly or those with chronic conditions to check in with their doctor.
Healthcare Digital Assistants
Alexa, Amazon’s digital assistant, is becoming a digital member of the family in many homes. Healthcare digital assistants can help in the doctor’s office, too.
HDAs can monitor the conversation between the doctor and patient to create medical records in the moment. This saves valuable time for doctors. They don’t have to manually update patient records after the fact.
A digital health assistant gives patients control over their records. Anyone who has ever filed an insurance claim will agree there must be a better way. With a Healthcare Digital Assistants, there is. The HDA consolidates data from different providers, simplify recordkeeping, and track complex insurance claims.
Nanomedicine is a subset of nanotechnology using microscopic devices for medical applications.
Nanomedicines can targets individual cells and deliver drugs to tumors. In a world adapting to the evolution of the COVID virus, nanomedicine’s potential to fight viruses and bacteria is especially exciting.
Robotics will impacting every area of medicine, from hospital patient care to surgical procedures. Medical device companies are working on robotic surgical assistants for general and specialized surgery.
Robots don’t get tired or distracted. They can increase efficiency and decrease error rates in surgical procedures.
Medical device companies have developed printers that can print living tissue. Using bio-ink, which is an organic, living material, 3D printers are printing new tissues and will eventually print body parts. Eventually, we won’t have to rely on donors to replace vital organs, either.
New Medical Devices in Healthcare Wearables
Some of the most explosive growth we are seeing is with new medical devices on the market, including consumer gadgets. Some examples of cutting edge wearable devices to watch for include:
- AI hearing aids that double as streaming audio headphones
- Bracelets that track physical activity
- Knee implants embedded with smart technology to monitor future healing
- Wearable glucose monitors to simplify life for diabetes patients
- Small patch-like skin sensors track biometrics via phone apps
Medical fashion may even be the next hot trend as smart clothing as some fabrics can collect biometric data and interface with phone apps.
Wearable devices continuously monitor and send vital data to a patient’s cloud-based health account. Over time providers get a better picture of patients’ overall health.
Healthcare on the Horizon
New medical devices and medical technology are breaking down traditional barriers to healthcare access. Have you thought about how they will affect you? Check out our other posts about changes in healthcare to learn more.