The field of medicine has been steadily advancing since it began. However, in the last several decades, medical technology has helped it advance by leaps and bounds in some areas. And things are only going to continue developing and changing the face of healthcare. While nobody can be certain how things will develop, these six healthcare technologies are already changing healthcare and have the potential to make even bigger changes in the future.
Robotic medical technology has been making an impact on the healthcare world for around two decades. Robot-assisted surgical procedures have become more and more common over the year. Many people are familiar with a viral video of a da Vinci surgical system operating on a delicate grape. With robotic assistance, surgeons are able to do more complex procedures with less trauma to the patient.
Robotics is also playing a big role in the advancement of prosthetic technology. Robotic limbs, neural implant systems, and bionic skin have to potential to create prostheses that function better than natural body parts. Amputees and people born without certain limbs will benefit hugely from the development of these medical technologies.
Robotic exoskeletons that can help paralyzed people walk again. They also hold the potential for helping with rehabilitation after an injury to the brain or spinal cord.
It’s expected that in the future robots will play more of a role in healthcare. Robots that can disinfect rooms, dispense medication, and act as companions to patients could be a part of healthcare organizations in the near future. There are already robots that can help with medical training.
2. Health Trackers
In recent years, health and fitness trackers have become very prevalent. So many people have apps on their phones to track their activity and nutritional information. Wearable technologies like the Fitbit, AppleWatch, or Garmin can also record vitals like heart rate and blood oxygen. Certain models can even monitor blood pressure. These medical technologies not only allow a person to keep a personal health record, but they can also increase an individual’s awareness of their health and activity. This often prompts someone to focus more on improving their lifestyle for better health.
3. Genome Sequencing
Genetic testing has a lot of potential in advancing medical research as well as improving patients’ lives. Genetic sequencing can identify illnesses, drug sensitivities, nutritional issues, food sensitivities, and even family history. As DNA sequencing technology advances, and one day getting a full genome sequence may become super-affordable, costing less than $100. There are already commercially available genetic tests that can identify someone’s ethnic background, locate relatives, and point out possible health concerns.
4. Improved Testing and Imaging
A medical technology that has made a huge impact on diagnosing and treating patients is the evolution of imaging equipment. Computed tomography (CT) scans are becoming more advanced due to developments in computer science and software. New MRI, CT, and PET scan technologies can produce more detailed images and these imaging tests are becoming even less invasive than they once were. Some tests that once required contrast material to be swallowed or injected can now be done without contrast.
5. 3D Printing
3D printing has the possibility to change the game in a lot of fields, and that includes healthcare. New methods are being developed that enable 3D printers to produce bio-tissues like blood vessels, artificial limbs, and living skin. They can also produce pills, which will have an effect on the pharmaceutical industry.
6. Information Technology
One of the medical technologies making a huge impact on healthcare is information technology. Computers, mobile devices, and tablets have become an integral part of many organizations’ operations. Digital devices are used for patient check-in, during exams, and after exams for dictating notes and accessing important information.
Electronic health records (EHRs) have opened up a new world of possibility. Not only do EHRs streamline processes in a practice, but they can help physicians work collaboratively because they are easier to share than paper records. This kind of information technology has also made things like telehealth services possible.
Information technology also allows hospitals, clinics, and individual physicians to outsource tasks like medical transcription and clinical documentation. This is a big deal to many healthcare providers because keeping qualified, trained transcriptionists on staff can be difficult and expensive. Fast Chart is a medical transcription company that offers scalable services to healthcare organizations of all sizes. We provide our clients with medical technology solutions that include:
- Automated transcription
- Computer-assisted coding
- Intelligent imaging
- Speech understanding technology
- Speech-enabled EHR/EMR
To learn more about our services and how Fast Chart can help you navigate the changing healthcare landscape, contact us at (919) 477-5152.