What seemed to be science fiction, has started to become a reality. With the advancements in technology, the future is set to be exciting and challenging
Artificial Intelligence is monitoring a patient’s body and learning about previous medical conditions. Robots are helping in the operating chamber while Machine Vision is detecting neurological illnesses.
These are not scenarios from a sci-fi movie but the changing face of the Healthcare Industry. The impact of technology on healthcare has been profound and revolutionary at the same time. With a growing population, increased economic power, and expansion of public health care systems, the future is set to witness a few key shifts. Here is a rundown of five key trends to look out for in healthcare:
Artificial Intelligence to play a bigger role
The computational power of AI is much higher and more accurate than any human being. Add to this, its ability to ‘learn’ and evolve, makes AI the perfect assistant who can run diagnostics, analyze historical data, and recommend tests based on predictions. Today, AI is already helping doctors test molecular combinations and in predicting a cause-effect relationship between biological mechanisms and disease symptoms. By mining the Big Data related to an individual’s health, a complete health-checkup can be done at regular intervals to provide timely tests and medications. Moreover, customized medications can be created using each individual’s unique dataset.
Wearable tech to augment personalized care
Wearable is now ubiquitous. What was once a novelty has now become a part of our lives and is somewhat assisting us in leading or adopting a healthy lifestyle. These devices monitor and report real-time data, and for each individual, the data changes generating unique sets of symptoms. These subjective symptoms can help doctors in performing a customized diagnosis on a patient and, consequently, suggest personalized medications. The wearables would continue to act as a daily health-monitor encouraging users to play a more active role in managing their health.
Robots to evolve and perform medical procedures
The precision and adaptability of a robot are superior to humans. Though iterations will be required to perfect their performance, robots can open new avenues in healthcare. For example, a remote area that is suspected to be the epicenter of a virus outbreak can have robots sent to examine the health of people residing. Telepresence Robots are already assisting doctors in examining and treating patients, transporting medical supplies, and disinfecting places. Another area where robotics will contribute is advanced prosthetics and surgery. While the former has evolved over the past few years, the prospect of having a ‘nano-bot’ that can target therapy to a specific part of the body will be exciting.
Applications of Virtual and Augmented Realities to increase
Virtual Reality has been around for some time now but mostly for entertainment and educational purposes. However, in healthcare, it is poised to be more than just a distraction. Besides being used to create surgery simulations, VR has been shown to help alleviate pain by giving patients tasks to perform in the virtual environment. It also opens avenues in treating mental illness and understanding the relationship between chronic illness and factors such as mental health, diet, and lifestyle. Augmented Reality can help a doctor project critical information of a patient while performing surgery, say showing the veins, and thus will reduce the chance of an error. It has been shown to assist surgeons during brain surgery and connecting blood vessels.
Gene Therapy and Genomics to advance
Gene therapy involves identifying a missing or non-functioning gene in an individual’s DNA and replaces or adds a working gene to make the needed protein. With AI and wearables monitoring real-time data, gene therapy specialists could getter a more detailed picture of how the immune system is reacting to the new gene. AI and ML would also assist Genomics in determining an individual’s customized treatment needs. Genomic medicine is already helping healthcare professionals in different fields like oncology and pharmacology. Machine Learning can help map a patient’s genetic mutation to the medical condition enabling doctors to understand how diseases occur and preparing them to treat the condition better.
The future of the healthcare industry is filled with possibilities, and with that will come new questions. What seemed to be science fiction, has started to become a reality. With the advancements in technology, the future is set to be exciting and challenging. If you are aspiring a career in health sciences, UPES School of Health Sciences offers not just industry-ready education but emphasizes experiential learning through state-of-the-art labs.