The onset of the pandemic in 2020 has taught the medical community quite a few lessons, and the very first of those lessons is resilience and drive in times of dire need. How the global medical community came together to produce vaccines and develop treatments for COVID-19 is truly commendable, and these efforts have led to a newfound appreciation for research and innovation in the medical field.
Likewise, this year, we will witness several healthcare technology trends paying off, and below are four healthcare technology trends you should know about:
Telehealth is rapidly gaining popularity in the medical field and is essentially defined as the use of digital communication technology to facilitate healthcare and related services. The devices used in telehealth can be computers, tablets, smartphones and essentially anything that allows a patient and a doctor to connect digitally.
Telehealth essentially gained momentum during the pandemic as many patients preferred not to come in for a checkup. The benefits of telecare include expanding access to healthcare, reducing communicable infections and emergency care.
2. Medical IoT
The Internet of Things or IoT is essentially defined as a network of physical devices that can communicate with each other and exchange data. These devices communicate through sensors and software. Medical IoT is similar to conventional IoT, with the only difference being that the network is made up of medical devices.
Medical IoT leverages wearable devices, medical screens, monitors, and other applications to meet the healthcare needs of patients. The combination of AI, machine learning and IoT enables these devices to provide insights into patient condition and signal impending health problems.
3. Corneal Topography
Corneal topography is another health care and optometry trend that is rapidly gaining popularity. If you’re wondering, “Is an optometrist near me performing a corneal topography?” a simple google search would suffice. Corneal topography is essentially defined as a computer aided diagnosis that creates a 3D image of the patient’s cornea.
The doctor or optometrist can then use this image to examine and diagnose any eye diseases or defects in the patient. While topography of the cornea can be used in routine assessments, it is also especially prescribed in the case of corneal malformations and cataract extraction.
4. VR and AR
Virtual and augmented reality, initially reserved only for gaming, are now catching up with the medical industry. Virtual reality, for example, allows surgeons to practice different procedures on virtual patients so that they become familiar with the procedure. VR is also used to treat various mental disorders and PTSD.
AR, on the other hand, is used in the medical field to make patients more familiar with dangerous procedures, and when used to explain complex procedures to both patients and students.
2022 will further strengthen medicine with the application of newly found technology. The trends mentioned above include some of the technological advances in medicine that are likely to change treatment and save hundreds of thousands of lives.