How Technology Is Transforming Healthcare To Reach All The Needy People

How Technology Is Transforming Healthcare To Reach All The Needy People


We are living through an era of incredibly swift advancement in technology that is radically changing nearly every facet of life, with the healthcare field being no exception. Emerging innovations such as artificial intelligence algorithms, direct-to-consumer genetic testing kits, wearable health tracking devices, telemedicine video appointments, assistive robots, and automated drug dispensing systems have the potential to take medical care to new heights in terms of personalization, predictive abilities, preventative care, and patient participation. This accelerating technological revolution appears poised to substantially further both health outcomes as well as accessibility of care to broader segments of the population while keeping costs under control.

The Pace of Change Accelerates


While new technologies have been gradually filtering into the healthcare sector for decades now in fits and starts, the pace is clearly accelerating quickly. Exponential leaps in raw computing power in accordance with Moore’s Law combined with rapid advances in machine learning techniques have unlocked game-changing new capabilities ranging from data-driven, AI-enabled diagnostics support to Internet-of-Things (IoT) powered remote patient monitoring solutions to advanced surgical robots. As the supporting technical architectures continue maturing at breakneck speeds, increasingly sophisticated healthcare applications leveraging these next generation platforms are emerging targeting everything from consumer wearables to hospital operations.


Artificial Intelligence for Transformative Insights


In particular, artificial intelligence promises to be an extraordinarily disruptive technological force taking healthcare to new heights. AI’s ability to rapidly sift vast troves of multimodal health data and discern subtle patterns within has the potential to drastically advance both diagnostic and treatment decision making abilities. Whether it be surfacing new clinical insights from genetic databases, medical journals, and real-world patient telemetry data or optimizing operational aspects from patient scheduling to supply chain logistics, AI stands ready to tackle an enormous range of challenges facing healthcare organizations.


As just one example, an AI analytics system developed through a joint research initiative between leading technology companies and prominent healthcare providers was able to reliably analyze patient demographic information, vital sign history, medication usage, wearable sourced activity data, and other variables in order to identify patients facing heightened risk of adverse cardiovascular events compared to clinicians alone. By incorporating insights from dispirit data sources, the AI achieved substantial improvements in predicting likelihood of hospitalization.


Now compound examples like that across hundreds of disease states and patient outcomes. Further, consider the implications as researchers feed tens of thousands of patient data points, research studies, clinical trial results, and more into these types of algorithms. The predictive accuracy and personalization capabilities stand to dramatically improve over time. This has the potential to truly revolutionize medicine as treatment plans for major disease states can be tailored not just to genetics but also to lifestyle and environmental factors.


Wearables & Telehealth Drive Predictive, Preventative Care


In tandem with breakthroughs in AI, the maturation of wearable health tracking devices and telemedicine solutions offer an ideal mechanism to put personalized, predictive, preventative guidance right in the hands of at-risk patients. Wrist worn fitness trackers and smart watches can passively monitor variables such as heart rhythm, sleep quality, activity levels, caloric intake, blood oxygen saturation, skin temperature, fall detection, and more. Some can even deliver on-demand EKGs. Vital sign tracking patches are now available that comfortably adhere to the skin providing continuous, wireless monitoring without interfering in regular daily living. 


As these devices collect expansive telemetry datasets around the clock, they can identify nascent risks allowing for early preventative interventions before issues escalate into urgent care scenarios. AI assisted analytics may process the streaming feeds comparing changes to established baselines for that individual. Concerning deviations can trigger alerts to patients and care providers suggesting consultations, medication changes, or lifestyle adjustments accordingly. Paired with telemedicine and chatbot solutions, much of this can be handled virtually for convenience without necessitating in-person visits for low acuity concerns. As comfort with and access to supporting technologies improves, this shift stands to considerably ease burdens on urgent care centers and emergency rooms while giving patients greater control over monitoring and managing rare or chronic conditions.


The Path Forward


While skepticism toward emerging technologies still lingers in certain industry circles, growing legions of healthcare innovators now rightfully see massive potential ahead. Profound improvements in managing population health and personalizing patient experiences appear close at hand. Technological potential alone means little without thoughtful implementation focused squarely on accessibility, affordability and equitable enhancement of care though. As promising concepts prove merit, expanding pilot projects

into scalable solutions ensuring they improve people’s quality of life will define success translating this healthcare revolution’s ambitions into reality.

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