Nobody can expect technology to grow as rapidly as it has without affecting our world for the better. Neither can anybody deny that the Internet of Things is making our lives easier. Luckily, technology’s growth is expanding to the healthcare industry.
For example, 3D printing is paving the way for orthodontists. Soon they will be able to create, design, and 3D print teeth aligners for you.
Additionally, perhaps you’ve heard about Express Scripts embracing the cloud. This action allows them to offer lower rates on frequently used drugs. It also slashes medicine prices and helps people to purchase the pharmaceuticals they otherwise might not be able to afford. The move by this healthcare giant is just one example of how technology shapes the future for healthcare. Let’s take a look into a few more ways.
1. Advanced Data Mining
With billions of people requiring healthcare, it’s not easy for providers and others to find the specific information they need in all those records. The records we’re referring to here include patient charts, Medicaid files, citizenship eligibility and income documents, as well as insurance and other records.
Technology helps medical staff mine data and keeps records of all providers within the delivery system. This makes it easier for professionals to know, instantly, what is right or wrong for any particular person.
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2. Genome Sequencing
Back in 2003, the cost of sequencing a human genome was roughly $2.7 billion. Now, thanks to DNA-sequencing titan Illumina—and their machine called NovaSeq—that price is expected to be less than $100.
Illumina’s CEO Francis deSouza revealed in TechCrunch that NovaSeq can now genotype (or sequence your DNA) in less than an hour. This advancement in genome sequencing will show you your drug sensitivity, monogenic medical conditions, and, interestingly, your family history.
3. Innovations in the Drug Development Process
People who are very ill often need the newest drugs in the healthcare pipeline. However, developing new drugs and shepherding them through the regulatory process is expensive. What’s more, it can take several years.
These days, though, computer simulations can speed up the development and regulatory evaluation of pharmaceuticals and medicinal products. This can make the process more efficient for drug developers and manufacturers. This eventually helps patients, as well, especially those who desperately need newly developed drugs to treat their illnesses.
4. Virtual Reality in Healthcare
There are countless uses for virtual reality (VR) in healthcare.
For example, have you heard about IrisVision? This is a new technology created by Dr. Frank Werblin in association with CitrusBits. It is a VR product that restores eyesight to people who have low-vision problems, including some who have certain diseases of the eye. Whether the patient has optic nerve damage, macular degeneration, or another low-vision condition, this product could help.
Another product that makes use of VR is Osso VR, a product that benefits surgeons and their medical staff. This VR device lets them practice sensitive surgeries on virtual “patients.” What’s more, these simulations are meticulously realistic, even though they happen to be in a training environment. In other words, Osso VR lets surgeons experiment with new techniques without harming anyone, or worse, causing a fatality.
And There’s More
The future of healthcare doesn’t stop here. Artificial intelligence, wearables, and smart devices are just a few of the most recent developments in healthcare. Further, nanotech is on the horizon. This is an up-and-coming technology which can detect molecular biomarkers for osteoarthritis and other diseases. When it comes to technology and healthcare, the future looks bright indeed.