While not that many people argue with how useful modern technology can be, it is still an underappreciated element of our lives. The medical equipment that is commonly used in hospitals allows us to live longer and healthier lives. Thanks to the internet, you can locate numerous places where you can find laboratory equipment in just a few seconds.
They give us the means to tackle the problems that used to be considered unsolvable just one century ago. Yet, the healthcare industry is still reluctant to accept many innovations in spite of the fact that they could lead to multiple scientific breakthroughs. Here is a list of a few critical issues in the healthcare sector that technology may help resolve.
Superbugs are bacterial strains that have become resistant to antibiotics, and they pose a significant threat to human health. Such strains develop resistance to drugs when humans overuse antibiotics and do not take them properly. While antibiotic resistance is becoming a serious threat, big pharma and even governments seem uninterested in finding a solution.
Technology might help resolve the issue. For instance, researchers might look into creating a database of all bacterial strains and their vulnerabilities. That way, they would gain access to much more data and come up with drugs that superbugs are not resistant to much faster.
Preventing Medical Errors
Medical errors account for more than two hundred thousand deaths in the United States every year. In fact, they are one of the most common causes of death in the world.
As technology advances, it can provide a variety of solutions that will reduce the number of medical errors. For example, it could be used to create a system of sensors connected to a central database that would monitor the actions of caregivers at every stage of treatment, effectively preventing medical errors from occurring.
Treating Chronic Diseases
Thanks to artificial intelligence and machine learning, wearable health trackers could make personalized treatment possible by collecting and analyzing data. As a result, people would be able to treat chronic diseases much more effectively.
Increasing the longevity of people in developed countries is one of the most important trends of this century. While it sounds great, the increasing life expectancy is making the number of cases of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia skyrocket.
While there is no cure for these diseases, we have already developed some technologies that can help prevent them, such as games meant to help seniors stay mentally active.
Connecting Every Healthcare Provider
The current fragmented state of healthcare is likely to create many problems. For instance, patients are often expected to share their personal data and information that is related to the illnesses they are dealing with and the medical treatments that they have undergone with numerous different hospitals and clinics. On top of that, doctors are using different electronic health record systems, which makes sharing data difficult.
Fortunately, technology could help create a decentralized network for healthcare providers that will allow patients to store all their medical data in one place while maintaining privacy. At the same time, it will help automate insurance claims, increase cybersecurity protections for health systems, and simplify the process of managing medical records.
Improving the Doctor-Patient Relationship
In the past few decades, we have seen a tremendous change in the healthcare industry. We have moved from paper-based medical records to electronic ones in just a decade. It is safe to say that electronic medical records have helped reduce the cost of care and allowed us to eliminate errors caused by things like messy handwriting.
Yet, many doctors are still hesitant about using electronic medical records because they feel they are impersonal. Fortunately, technology may open up new ways for doctors to connect with their patients through various apps that would help track their health and make giving them medical assistance easier.
Reducing Burnout Rate for Doctors
Doctors work hard in difficult conditions for very little pay compared to their highly regarded work that has such a big impact on our lives in so many different ways. Therefore, making use of technology could potentially help provide better work conditions for doctors, and with time, it would eventually lower their burnout rate.
As you can see, there are many ways in which technology could improve healthcare. For example, it can help researchers find potential solutions to the issue of superbugs, as well as aid doctors with treating chronic diseases and preventing dementia.
While being reliant on technology might seem quite scary, it is what will help our civilization move forward and create a better world for future generations.