Technology has always been the means through which we make a better life for ourselves. Through technology, we have unlocked convenience that previous generations would marvel at. We can access virtually any information on the planet within seconds and we can control every electronic appliance in the home from a smartphone. GPS technology means we need never get lost again while digital communications allow us to see friends and relatives on the other side of the planet with ease.
Things have changed so quickly, it may well seem even to our childhood selves that the world has transformed into some kind of ultra-advanced futurescape. Yet, while technology enriches our lives in a number of ways, it’s also helping us to live longer. The field of healthcare has benefited enormously from technological advances, even outside the field of medicine. Here, for example, are 3 technologies which are slowly revolutionizing our healthcare.
It stands to reason that the better trained and educated those entrusted with our care are, the better standard of care we receive. However, ongoing professional development can be challenging, especially for nurses with busy schedules. Online learning programs such as accredited Online RN to BSN programs have proven invaluable in helping nurses to improve their knowledge and their practice. Online learning is far more accessible than campus learning to these busy professionals and can be tailored around their working commitments.
We may think of artificial intelligence as a futuristic technology, but it’s more quotidian than many of us realize. In fact, it is already hard at work in the consumer sector. Every time you use a chatbot on a website you’re engaging with a form of artificial intelligence (albeit a rudimentary one). A number of more complex AI algorithms are also at work in the healthcare industry. They can aid diagnostics, help to construct courses of treatment by parsing historical treatment data and they can provide pattern recognition solutions that reduce the risk of “false-positives”.
By reducing the margin for error, facilitating faster diagnoses and helping clinicians to pre-empt the needs of their patients, AI will continue to play a larger and larger part of our healthcare going forward.
Virtual reality is another technology that seems very niche but it’s more widely employed in a diverse range of sectors than you may think. It’s commonly used in employee training, military combat simulation and education. Needless to say, it has a variety of uses in healthcare.
As well as helping physicians to train, it is also an increasingly intrinsic part of treatment for a wide range of issues including the treatment of chronic pain, facilitating recovery from traumatic brain injuries, treating a range of Autistic Spectrum Disorders and even helping patients with low vision to partially regain their sight.
Every time we reach the boundaries of what medical science can achieve, the industry appropriates new technologies to redefine the parameters of what’s possible. Who knows what new technologies will go on to further revolutionize the industry in our lifetime?
With digital communications transforming the delivery of healthcare and increased reliance on 3D printing to produce everything from hearing aids to easy to swallow epilepsy medication, it’s certainly an exciting time to be alive!