The next time you need to talk to your doctor, the exchange could be done simply by Skype.
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The health sector is surprising but not without drawbacks. While doctors and researchers work tirelessly to find cures and solutions for common and uncommon diseases, some inefficiencies end up costing hundreds and even thousands of dollars to patients.
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According to CNBC, Americans spend a total of about $ 3.4 trillion in medical assistance each year, or about $ 10,500 per person in the year. And, in 2016, a report by the United Census Bureau revealed that 91.2% of the US population had health insurance, even though the cost was still too high for some.
But not all health-related problems are cost-related. Other problems, such as the lack of communication between health workers, outdated systems, the inability to access affordable health care, and other factors prevent the industry from providing the services needed by patients in need. Fortunately, however, with the development of technology, some of these problems have improved.
An article, "Your doctor will call you Skype now", explained how health professionals used technology to make health care more efficient for consumers. For example, instead of having to take time to see their doctors in the office, many of them now make Skype calls and offer phone diagnoses and prescriptions when appropriate.
Advances in technology have also created new hopes for those serious diseases like cancer. Second DocWireNewsResearchers are working to make it possible to cheat cancer cells by killing each other, which could result in a better alternative to currently available cancer treatments.
Technology is constantly evolving and, as it is, it is redesigning the health care landscape at a faster and more positive pace. Some of the latest technologies, including artificial intelligence, blockchain, wearables, 3D printers and facial recognition, have already catalyzed significant changes in the healthcare industry so many of us Americans use.
Here's how some specific categories of technology affect health care.
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Artificial intelligence (AI) is already starting to play a role in everyday life, from collecting and analyzing information from the ads you click on, to give you directions to the concert you've just bought tickets to . Overall, artificial intelligence has hundreds of useful applications – and it has also been incorporated into the healthcare segment.
Artificial intelligence can play a vital role in everything from marketing to healthcare professionals to medical diagnosis assistance. Diagnostics is a fundamental part of patient care, but because of human error, not all diagnoses are accurate. With the help of artificial intelligence tools, diagnoses can be made more precisely for faster and more effective treatment.
Apparently they all have some kind of wearable device, from a smartwatch to a fitness tracker. While some wearable devices on the market are already affecting health care by encouraging people to take charge of their health, wearable devices also have the potential to improve even further.
For example, wearable devices that monitor patient health could be used by high-risk patients' physicians to monitor their activity, environmental factors, and other risks. Such monitoring could not only promote better health in general, according to TechRadar it could also prevent serious illness and even save lives.
Blockchain is a relatively new technology that many are just starting to discover. Although young, its applications in various areas have already been explored. A blockchain is a log that records transactions and stores them on an encrypted ledger that is both decentralized and secure. So, how could you help in health care?
There are several potential blockchain applications there. Bernard Marr, a technical consultant, suggests that data management is important: the goal of physicians to take notes in individual systems, patient data could be shared among providers, promote efficiency and help them to co-operate. – manage diagnosis and treatments. Another potential application could be supply chain management: there are too many counterfeit drugs out there, but with better maintenance of safer records and transactions, supply chain management would improve significantly.
The 3D printers have all captured by their potential and the health industry is no exception. From printing medical instruments to models of the human body and its parts, 3D printers have the potential not only to save money and promote learning, but also to improve patient care by offering suppliers the opportunity to consider multiple procedures and practices before working on patients. According to the Harvard Business Review, 3D printing has already begun to change the health sector.
From the classroom to the operating room, the potential uses for 3D printers in the healthcare industry are far reaching.
Facial recognition technology is fascinating. Although people have concerns about some of its potential uses and impacts on society (such as privacy and ethical use), they have the potential to do good. And has already examined a health application; Researchers at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) are exploring its usefulness in the diagnosis of rare genetic diseases.
Paul Kruszka, M.D., M.P.H., explained that the malformations will occur only in various parts of the world. This can make it difficult to identify and treat rare diseases in advance, making it more difficult to keep the disease manageable. Facial recognition technology has the potential to identify different indicators and can identify them even before a doctor can do so.
Related: As healthcare technology wearables accompany data privacy concerns
Technology is changing our world, both the way we interact and communicate with each other or the way we provide and receive healthcare. As technology continues to develop, its potential uses and applications in the healthcare sector will only grow, which means you can expect to see some surprising changes in the future.
What other changes do you expect to see in healthcare technology?