Like other sciences, medicine is an ever-changing field. This was made apparent recently during the pandemic, with many advancements made as a reaction to COVID.
Yet medical innovation is the frontline of the battle to improve the standard of human life — so research is constantly being done to discover new ways to implement technology in healthcare.
In this article, we’ll discuss three key areas in which modern technology is changing medicine: artificial intelligence, internet of things, and augmented reality.
Machine learning is one of the key ways that technology can improve the medical field. By training artificial intelligence to extract patterns from data using algorithms, medical practitioners are able to sift through information more quickly and accurately.
Making the use of machine learning widespread will allow practitioners to focus on tasks that must be done by humans.
- Removing specialty bias
While doctors need to have a wide breadth of knowledge, they’re also required to specialise – giving them a large depth of knowledge in specific sub-field. This gives them the ability to see a patient’s symptoms through the lens of their speciality. However, it can also lead to cases of medical negligence due to limited knowledge.
It can be problematic for patients with symptoms that are difficult to diagnose. And when they’re sent back and forth between doctors from different specialties, the length of time it takes for a correct diagnosis to occur can exacerbate their illness.
Artificial intelligence could help with this problem. Computers can process symptoms and patient information to suggest possible diagnoses. A doctor could then use these recommendations to narrow down their choices, before referring the patient to a specialist that best fits the case.
Internet of things (IoT) wearables
Wearable technology has huge potential to improve the standard of care available for patients. Devices already exist that can deliver real-time data such as heart rate, blood-oxygen levels, and activity levels. Researchers have recently developed a way for doctors to monitor pregnancy remotely using wearable ultrasound patches.
With the continued development of devices and apps, there’s no doubt that IoT will play a major role in the future of healthcare.
Augmented reality, which allows us to integrate real-world and digital experiences, is already being implemented in several ways in medicine. These include:
- Real-time data: Wearable devices could allow doctors to access patient information on the go, while keeping both hands free for manual tasks.
- Doctor training: headsets could be used to deliver interactive, hands-on courses with greater levels of knowledge retention.
- Assisted surgery: Augmented reality assisted surgery could improve surgical dexterity and precision, improving surgeons’ ability to perform complex procedures.
How do you think technology will influence medicine in the future? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!