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The Future of Healthcare is Shaping Up Before Our Very Eyes


The Future of Healthcare is Shaping Up Before Our Very Eyes


The medical field is growing rapidly, with new technologies and innovations coming to light every day. The future of healthcare is shaping up in front of our very eyes with advances in digital healthcare technologies, such as artificial intelligence, VR/AR, 3D-printing, robotics or nanotechnology. Let’s take a look at how these innovations will shape the future of healthcare, and what that means for doctors and patients alike.


Nanotechnology

The future of healthcare is shaping up in front of our very eyes with advances in digital healthcare technologies, such as artificial intelligence, VR/AR, 3D-printing, robotics or nanotechnology. Nanotechnology uses a combination of materials on an atomic scale. Scientists hope to eventually manipulate our cells at a molecular level and create new opportunities for curing diseases. One big area they’re working on involves using nanoparticles that can diagnose and treat cancer cells from within organs before tumors develop; doing so will help prevent serious side effects from developing further down the line. For example, early diagnosis would help find ways to stop ovarian cancer from spreading; currently there are no options for patients who have already spread beyond their ovaries.


Digital technology

The medical field has always been one step ahead when it comes to technology, using tools like X-rays and CT scans to peer inside patients’ bodies and get more information than ever before. Digital technology like artificial intelligence, VR/AR, 3D-printing, robotics or nanotechnology can give us even more information about our health status. AI can help doctors make better diagnoses by combing through reams of data and presenting them with effective treatment options. (Of course, it remains to be seen if our privacy will be put at risk in the process.) Doctors are already able to prescribe 3D-printed body parts with a little assistance from companies like Organovo.


Robotics

There’s been a recent push to apply robotics technology to healthcare—and it has potential. Robots are still costly, but they’re poised to help with surgery and other areas that require precision movements humans aren’t always capable of. (Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but it can also lead to death.) Robotic surgery has already shown promising results and could help change how we treat medical conditions like cancer in ways that minimize surgical trauma while maximizing effectiveness. Autonomous surgical robots are used for prostatectomy and retropubic prostatectomy - procedures where surgeons remove cancerous tissue from patients' prostates.


Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI is being applied in a variety of medical fields including imaging, radiology, pathology and oncology. Imaging AI offers radiologists automated image detection and analysis, helping to create more precise diagnostic tools for doctors to use. While advancements in software based imaging recognition are making diagnoses easier for physicians, advances in robotics technology could offer up new ways to reduce error rates.


Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)

As our healthcare providers tackle everything from chronic illnesses to childbirth and emergency response, digital healthcare technologies, such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), are providing them with an incredible advantage. Physicians can use AR to remove patients’ non-malignant lesions in real time or help children with autism learn how to recognize emotions through VR. According to data released by PwC, global spending on AR/VR technology will hit $209 billion annually by 2021. As these technologies continue to evolve, we can expect even more innovation in medical treatments using virtual, augmented and mixed realities.


Biometrics

In terms of medical field, biometrics are a technology used to identify humans based on physical or behavioral characteristics. Their history can be traced back as far as 4000 years ago and we use biometrics every day without even noticing it, such as when you scan your fingerprint or pass an iris recognition system. The most common systems that use biometrics are photo ID card systems and security access terminals. However, a lot more businesses are implementing them in their employee timecard systems and national healthcare organizations have even been using them for decades to better track and manage patient records. Although still under development, technology like artificial intelligence (AI) could potentially be implemented within biometric systems to further improve accuracy in identifying individuals with nearly perfect success rates.

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