Digital Technology’s impact on the healthcare industry
The world’s most silent yet effective revolution is the digital revolution. We slowly see companies and even governments embracing new and innovative digital technologies to make day-to-day work more efficient and effective. It is only logical that the world of healthcare follows suit. Digital technology in the healthcare world, unlike other sectors of business, is not yet entirely visible to both doctors and patients. In today’s world, at the click of a button either on your phone or your computers, a lot of things can be accomplished. A lot of important information can be stored in devices that are smaller than your little finger. However, how many of us know of or have given much thought to the benefits of digital technologies in the healthcare industries? Here are some of the key digital technology developments that are shaping the future of the healthcare industry:
Internet of Things
There are several health applications on the phone that helps us track our heartbeat, blood pressure and pulse rate among other things. There are also devices that help us keep track of our fitness and exercise routines. Now how would it be if all these devices were talking to each other in order to create an overall view of a person’s health statistics? Imagine how efficient this would make a doctor-patient journey. For example, if you are a smoker, a doctor today would simply engage in a conversation with you to help you understand the harmful effects of smoking. How many of us have completely forgotten about this conversation with the doctor when lighting our next cigarette? Now, imagine a world where the doctor is not only lecturing you on the ill-effects of smoking, but also
providing you with a device that tracks your critical health statistics and shows you the improvements in your health because of not smoking on a real time basis. This is the kind of doctor- patient engagement that can be achieved through internet of things and this will be the future of the healthcare industry.
Augmented and Virtual Reality
Often times we have come out of a doctor’s appointment wondering how the medication is going to help and what would be the result of the treatment. For example, think about treating acne. You go to a doctor, who then prescribes you with pills and creams. You see yourself in the mirror after a few weeks, you see that the acne has disappeared, and then you are happy with your visit to the doctor. Until that day, though you trust the doctor, you are skeptical as to the success of the prescribed treatment. Augmented and virtual reality aims to significantly reduce this skepticism. You go to the doctor and when prescribing the medicine, the doctor shows you a virtual reality presentation of what your face will look like within two weeks of taking the medication. Imagine how this would improve the effectiveness of the doctor-patient relationship. Not just this but there are many ways augmented and virtual reality can impact healthcare.
Personalization and Artificial Intelligence
It is a commonly known fact that no two human beings are the same. There are physical, psychological and physiological variations. Doctors are striving towards providing patients with the most personalized treatment. How can artificial intelligence help personalizing treatments and where does digital technology have a place in this ecosystem?
Let us look at one of the most life threatening physical conditions that is impacting the younger generation, Obesity. There are so many generic diets available online and we also see people being prescribed generic diets to combat obesity. Now think about a situation where the nutritionist first prescribes a wearable (like a fitness watch) that will monitor the person’s various health statistics. The nutritionist also provides an application wherein the patient is asked to input general information about his/her health along with basic health related information about the person’s family. Now, through the use of artificial intelligence, the person’s current health statistics is assessed together with the person’s generic health information to produce a customized diet. The application then tracks the person’s progress and provides regular reports back to the dietician. This digital technology would not only increase the effectiveness of the diet, but also improve the efficiency of the nutritionist-patient engagement.
The latest blockchain technology is taking the world by a storm! Blockchain ensures traceability, data security and accountability. The need of the hour, especially in certain countries, is to effectively create electronic health records. Blockchain effectively enables the creation of electronic health records. This makes understanding the patient’s identity better, and at the same time ensures the privacy of the patient’s data. The result of this is effective and efficient communication between a doctor and patient. The doctor is fully aware of the patient’s history and is able to then make a more accurate diagnosis. The patient does not have to go through bundles of past bills and prescriptions, and at the same time can be assured of the information’s privacy because of the technology.
Technology and innovation is at the heart of development in today’s world. Business sectors that more willingly embrace new technologies and innovations will effectively find the road to success! Much like the industrial revolution, the digital revolution is going to shape the future of the business world. The healthcare industry will definitely be positively impacted by the digital revolution. Sky is the limit!
Meopin aims to be part of this digital technology revolution. Find out more here