Advancing technology has changed various aspects of human life and significantly revolutionized the healthcare industry. From how medical diagnosis is being done to healthcare administration and storing of medical records, the effects of advancing technology cannot be ignored. Below are a few noteworthy effects of technology in the healthcare industry.
Technology in Healthcare Learning
Though often ignored, technology has significantly influenced healthcare learning. For instance, before the pandemic, medical students attended physical classes and performed clinical in person under the supervision of instructors. However, the future of healthcare education relies on technology, whether you are a first-year student or a seasoned medical practitioner. Unlike before, modern healthcare education isn’t confined to physical classrooms. Technology has changed healthcare education in the following ways:
1. Interactive Learning Tools
Advancing technology has also spurred the adoption of interactive learning tools designed to improve healthcare learning outcomes. Augmented and virtual realities are two such technologies that have changed healthcare education. AR and VR allow students to explore and experience real healthcare situations remotely. Medical students can witness medical emergencies, patient interactions, and surgical procedures in their classrooms.
2. Telemedicine and Remote Learning
Advancing technology has empowered telemedicine and e-learning for healthcare students. For instance, you don’t have to attend physical classes to advance your medicine, nursing, or PharmD degree. Online learning platforms and webinars offer convenient and flexible learning opportunities for healthcare practitioners to advance their studies. You can acquire new skills without attending physical classes.
Similarly, telemedicine has changed health education. Teleconferencing and video consultations allow students and junior healthcare practitioners to attend and participate in consultations and surgeries remotely. Observing healthcare provision in real-time offers valuable insights on patient care to students. This helps bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge acquired in the classroom and practical skills.
3. Improved Communication and Collaboration
Technological innovations have also enhanced communication and collaboration among students, educators, and other healthcare professionals. Communication and collaboration platforms like emails and video conferencing apps facilitate the instant exchange of ideas. This eliminates the common challenge brought by geographical barriers. Technology also enhances collaboration among healthcare professionals. Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and nutritionists can easily collaborate on patient care with the help of top notch marketing agenices like Cardinal healthcare marketing agency.
4. Gamification and Simulated Learning
Healthcare education also benefits from gamification and simulated learning. Gamification essentially involves using various gaming elements to improve learning outcomes. Gamified platforms make healthcare learning interactive and enjoyable. Similarly, simulated learning offers a realistic and hands-on learning experience to students.
Technology in Dental Health
Like in other medical specialties, technological innovations have positively disrupted dental health practices. Dentistry has evolved over time, and recent innovations have revolutionized oral health services. Advances in dental technology have eased the identification and treatment of oral health problems. Solutions to dental problems are also more promising. Recent technological advances in dentistry include:
Like other medical services, dentists had to close their general care practices during the pandemic. While most dental offices opened after the pandemic, more than half reported low patient volumes compared to pre-pandemic. However, dentists can take advantage of tele-dentistry to bridge the gap.
Tele-dentistry essentially involves delivering dental consulting services and basic examinations through digital tools. Tele-dentistry offers unmatched convenience, as it minimizes travel-related stress, especially for patients who can’t access dental offices. This technology also helps determine if there’s a true emergency that necessitates a trip to the dentist or if the patient can wait.
2. Artificial Intelligence in Dental Diagnostics
Artificial intelligence tools are also becoming consistent in dental diagnosis, especially in diagnosing tooth decay. AI algorithms use billions of gathered data to make diagnostic decisions, giving them an upper hand over human-made diagnoses.
3. Smart Toothbrush
Smart toothbrushes significantly improve oral hygiene. They use advanced technologies to assess the user’s quality of breath and saliva production. Though still in developmental stages, smart toothbrushes can also sense the buildup of plaques.
4. Virtual Reality in Dentistry
Virtual reality is the other significant dental technology that helps practitioners deliver better oral care to their patients. Augmented and virtual realities in dental practice settings are used as distractions. This replaces the functions of television sets used by dental offices to divert patient’s attention. Virtual reality statistically helps with pain management. VR patients report a drop in perceived pain during dental procedures.
5. Advanced Digital Imaging
Unlike before, dentists currently don’t rely on X-rays to diagnose a patient’s condition. Advanced digital imaging tools help dentists make precise and accurate oral health diagnoses. Oral health issues are now quickly diagnosed without exposing patients to radiation.
Technology in Mental Health
Mental health issues have become a growing concern in the last decade. To put it in perspective, mental health issues and substance use disorders have increased by 13% since 2017. Currently, one in every five people has a disability caused by mental health issues. Fortunately, several new technologies have been brought forward to help meet affected people’s growing mental health demands.
For instance, as everything moved online, psychotherapists and psychologists also made their services available online through video communication platforms. Digital therapeutics and other applications also simplify the initial diagnosis of mental health cases remotely. AI also uses trained data to predict and identify symptoms of various mental health problems.
Revolutionized Drug Development
The current process of drug discovery is expensive and time-consuming. For instance, the preclinical stage typically lasts three to six years and costs billions of dollars. Fortunately, artificial intelligence and other modern technologies have introduced new ways to improve drug development.
Artificial intelligence can be trained to simplify target identification and molecular simulations and predict drug properties. AI can evaluate large datasets, including disease associations, previous clinical trials, patents, and publications, to understand the diseases’ biological mechanisms and novel proteins or genes that the drug should target.
Some artificial intelligence systems can also effectively bypass the simulated testing phase of drug development. This stage typically involves predicting key properties of the drug being developed, specifically its bioactivity, physicochemical characteristics, and toxicity.
Advances in healthcare technologies have changed the future of healthcare globally. Remote patient monitoring, use of wearables, bioprinting, and digital therapeutics are other vital technologies in the healthcare realm. Healthcare providers and researchers should embrace these changes to stay relevant and improve patient outcomes.