How has technology revolutionised healthcare?

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With automation in technology now being widely implemented in healthcare, significant progress has been made in multiple areas. From quality of care to the successful prevention and treatment of diseases, the Internet of Things assists healthcare professionals in many ways.

Whether you’re working in healthcare or learning more about the industry as part of your degree, it’s always worth knowing about the roles and effects of technology on the sector. 

Technology in healthcare: A brief history

Tech in the healthcare sector is evolving at an unprecedented rate. Fundamental computer technologies became invaluable to the industry as early as the late 1960s, replacing paper records. From there, innovations only snowballed.

By 1974, the world’s first patent for diagnosis by MRI was developed, and 1977 saw the world’s first whole-body MRI scanner. The first cross-sectional X-rays were taken in 1975, and insulin pumps for people with diabetes were used by 1978. 

The personal desktop computer further advanced record-keeping in the medical sector by the 1980s. After the 80s the industry saw organ implant technologies, computer-aided development of prosthetic limbs, and so much more.

Now, automation and artificial intelligence is at the forefront of medical innovation.

How does automated technology assist healthcare professionals?

Documentation and records

Technology facilitates access to health services and vital information for patients across the UK. On a structural level, automating some of the processes involved in planning and delivery allows healthcare professionals to optimise services and resources.

Furthermore, digitisation is a key component of the NHS Long Term Plan, which strives to rely on resources including the NHS App to connect patients to healthcare providers, faster. Digital tools enable more accurate record-keeping with easier access for both patients and staff. 

Diagnosis

The evolution of diagnostic technologies has become a lifeline for patients suffering from a wide range of illnesses and curable diseases. Artificial intelligence (AI) systems can support medical professionals in clinical decision-making.

The role of AI here is to make suggestions after comparing test and scan results to an internal database. Clinicians and radiologists use AI to identify vital insights in critical cases, avoiding potential human errors made while interpreting electronic health records. 

Treatment

Automation has paved the way towards enhancements in clinical decisions, especially those concerning diagnosis and action. As technology is trained using evidence-based research and archived past examples, automated systems can now identify best practices.

But AI and machine learning is also present in physical technologies to aid with patient recovery too. The development of circuitry designed by PCB software allows custom circuit boards to be manufactured and installed in pacemakers and blood glucose monitors, for example. 

Consumer health technology 

Lastly, the emerging market of consumer health technology relies on digitised systems. This next wave of online health management expands beyond wellness apps into connected sensors, cameras on smartphones, and diagnostic algorithms to gather real-time patient data.

In turn, when this data is managed on a central platform by patients and professionals, we can take flexible and customisable approaches to healthcare. If consumer technology replaces popular websites, patients will benefit from a more accurate and realistic insight to their health. 

Overview

Over the next few years, we should expect digitised healthcare systems to feature trained, automated assistants. And with IoT devices monitoring multiple aspects of our health remotely, it’s only a matter of time before medical treatment approaches will change completely.

The post How has technology revolutionised healthcare? appeared first on Wellbeing Magazine.

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