Medical specialties that can change the future of healthcare
Many technological advancements have already managed to find their place in health clinics, and just around the corner are new disruptive changes
Just during this decade, the world of digital health was dramatically changed with the wider adoption of the powerful AI cloud services, virtual reality hardware, medical robots, wearable sensors, and increasingly versatile mobile devices that can keep us in touch with health like never before. These technologies have not only changed the way the medical professionals perform their daily work but also how regular consumers of tech think and act about healthcare. Many medical specialties are currently experiencing drastic changes.
It almost seems that it will be inevitable that one day soon, medical robots will be commonly found in health clinics, automation will enable doctors and nurses to focus more of their time on providing actual care to patients, and artificial intelligence will raise the efficiency of the overall healthcare services. With each passing year, surgical robots become more precise, robots are starting being used more and more (patient transport and disinfecting are two early applications of this tech), but what remains true is that human touch could never be emulated. Doctors and nurses will remain present in our healthcare no matter how many new technological advances are introduced and implemented in healthcare.
Here is the list of fix medical specialties that will benefit the most from the upcoming technical innovations:
1. Wearable sensors and Telemedicine will revolutionize efficiency of General Practice
There is nothing worse than being forced by sudden illness to go to general practice clinic where you will experience long waits, crowds, overworked staff and doctors that have troubles quickly pinpointing your symptoms, coming to the accurate diagnosis and prescribing you accurate treatment. Current wearable sensors and those of the future will enable the doctors to much more quickly see the overview of your health status, and if you want, you can even try to get your health care directly from your home via online consultations with doctors.
Once established, if the modern medicine starts adopting digital care, there will be no going back. Doctors and insurance companies will start relying more and more on digital data collected from their patients, which will enable everyone to receive quicker, more accurate and personalized care both in-person and remotely.
2. Ob/GYN physicians will know much more about your baby
Today, medical field of Obstetrics and gynecology has only limited information about the state of your young ones and the health of the pregnant mother. However, during the last several years, many companies have started heavy investments that aim to bring the end of that information fog. Wearable devices of all kinds are starting to gather much more data about mother’s health, children vital signs, and setting up procedures that will trigger during any kind of health emergency. This means that health of your child will no longer be based on mother’s luck but on hard data.
As of now, wearable devices from the fields of obstetrics and gynaecology are still being designed with heavy ethical restrictions in mind, but that just means that their designers need to be that much more careful in delivering smart healthcare that will not invade privacy, cause undue alarm, or become engulfed in negative and ethical discussions.
3. Artificial Intelligence algorithms and Radiology
Today’s daily schedule of many radiologists is checking of hundreds of X-rays, slowly and manually seeking for minute signs of abnormalities and illness. New advances in the field of Artificial Intelligence have already started showing how this field of medicine will be transformed in the near future. IBM’s Medical Sieve platform has managed to become so powerful that it can scan hundreds of radiology images in seconds and seek for the commonly accepted signs of many diseases, the presence of malignant tissue and medical conditions, eliminating repetitive jobs that current radiologist have to endure.
But radiologists do not need to fear that they will be replaced by large computer mainframes. They will still be needed to monitor and validate the work that AI’s have done, supervise scanning algorithms, and be more involved in research, innovation, and interactions with patients via direct or remote consultations.
4. Sensor advances in human vision wearables
Science fiction authors have always been fascinated with eye augmentations that would enable us superhuman feats such as enhanced vision, integration of the eye movement with computer systems, painting computer graphics directly on the retina and more. Today, these visions are not only slowly starting to become true (Samsung is, for example, working on integrating cameras into contact lenses, while other researchers have managed to expand human vision by creating contact lenses that can help us see into infrared light spectrum) but are even surpassing the expectations of the medical community and the public.
The latest developments in the field of ophthalmology involve contact lenses that have built-in batteries, communication antennas, onboard processing and sensors that can, for example, measure the level of blood sugar and send this real-time data to the nearby wearable computing device such as smartwatch or smartphone. When all those components are made to work together, we will be able to truly live in the incredible world of the science fiction.
5. Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine
Activity trackers are now common pieces of technology, but the accuracy of their sensors and the increased capabilities of AI systems that are number-crunching vast amounts of collected data are becoming better and better with each passing year. Sports medicine is currently going through the years of the Renaissance, where sports researchers and companies are getting detailed insights into moving patterns, and force outputs of the athletes. As time goes by, even the ordinary consumers will start to reap the benefits of this large investment wave, enabling them to receive much more precise coachings for how to maximize the potential of their exercises and more.
6. Personalized Oncology
One of the medical specialties that are receiving the most attention and financial investment is, of course, the field of Oncology, where new techniques and procedures for prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment of cancer are being upgraded with each passing quarter. Today, oncologists can employ the technology for examining the genetic background of patients, testing tumor’s molecular makeup and create customized therapies that aim to provide best possible care to the individual user.
New technologies that are developed for this field of medicine are being tested all around the world, ranging from new ways of detecting cancer cells from simple blood tests, to the building of incredibly complex AI platforms and cognitive data processing systems (such as IBM Watson)that can sift through thousands of test results and compare them to millions of studies, giving doctors an overview of patient’s state that serves as the excellent starting point for devising customized treatment plans.
A word from Telehealther
Many believe that upcoming wave of automation and AI-powered online systems will cause mass layoffs in the medical industry, but that’s most likely won’t happen. These innovations will be used where needed, and the human touch will forever be a crucial part of health care.
Telehealther is the home digital health space, and here you can get informed about all the developments that can expand the capabilities of numerous medical specialties that may one day help you or your loved ones to get the health that your deserve.
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