Technology and healthcare work directly together in order to make advancements in care, treatment, and diagnoses of various health issues. With the increase of use of technology, it is being used in order to improve and expand what healthcare is able to do and the care that is provided to those who need it. In an article on “The Medical Futurist,” the writer argues that “the future of healthcare lies in working hand-in-hand with technology and healthcare workers have to embrace emerging healthcare technologies in order to stay relevant in the coming years.” The article goes on to talk about the different advancements that have been made, and how they work. Things such as artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, wearable robotics, nanotechnology, and many others are all great examples of when technology and healthcare work hand in hand to provide better treatment and training to patients and medical staff alike. (https://medicalfuturist.com/ten-ways-technology-changing-healthcare/).

Artificial intelligence can be very useful in medical care due to its ability to complete tasks quickly and efficiently, with less margin for error. Artificial intelligence is also able to “help medical professionals in designing treatment plans and finding the best suited methods for every patient. It might assist repetitive, monotonous jobs, so physicians and nurses can concentrate on their actual jobs.” One of the main uses for artificial intelligence in healthcare is to keep track of and store health records of patients and pull them up efficiently when they are needed. This is a change that healthcare has already made, and long gone are the days of paper records in most hospitals and urgent care offices. Artificial intelligence in recent years has been used to assist in recommending treatments and care from a patient’s health records, in a thought-process similar to that of humans. With artificial intelligence able to keep records, designing treatment plans, identifying possible illnesses, and more, it will be a huge part of healthcare and the medical field going forward. (https://medicalfuturist.com/top-artificial-intelligence-companies-in-healthcare/#).

Virtual and augmented reality are also up and coming in the medical field. Most commonly, virtual and augmented reality are expected to be used in the training of medical staff, but can also be used as part of patient care. “You might watch operations as if you wielded the scalpel or you could travel to Iceland or home while you are lying on a hospital bed. VR is being used to train future surgeons and for actual surgeons to practice operations.” With this hands-on, close up training, surgeons are even better prepared for the actual operations when they are doing them. Virtual reality assists in training better, more prepared surgeons. Augmented reality is being used in much the same ways. These technologies are also being used for various forms of mental and physical therapy, such as spatial awareness. (https://medicalfuturist.com/ten-ways-technology-changing-healthcare/). Another example of virtual and augmented reality being used in healthcare is aiding those with poor eyesight. With the use of a virtual reality headset and a smartphone, those with poor vision are able to see and read clearly again. “Among companies using technology to address vision problems, IrisVision is working to go a step further: Its device, in addition to improving sight, is expected to be able to diagnose conditions and test and even treat patients remotely within the next two years.” (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/07/health/vision-problems-technology-headsets.html?fbclid=IwAR0vYBRoXV8B1j_7cv2A4XGFluBYvhDwzugOMYl98ZS-_Uio-ablTyiCtso).

Wearable robotics are things such as step counters, heartrate monitors, sleep monitors, and more. Often, these can all be consolidated into one device, like a bracelet or a watch. These devices allow people to keep an eye on their health and monitor their habits in an efficient, convenient way. “With the ability to monitor one’s health at home and share the results remotely with their physician, these devices empower people to take control of their health and make more informed decisions.” These devices are not only helpful in keeping track of your general health and habits, but also to encourage and remind you to take steps to remain healthy and take care of yourself. They allow you to notice what you are doing well as well as what you could improve on in order to live a healthier life. In keeping track of your steps each day, your heart rate when you’re exercising, and how much sleep you get each night, you can keep a closer eye in order to make you more likely to see if an issue were to arise. (https://medicalfuturist.com/ten-ways-technology-changing-healthcare/).

Nanotechnology is a huge advancement in several fields within healthcare. Nanotechnologies, including microbots, pillcams, and other nanodevices and particles, are able to provide healthcare in a variety of ways. The advantage to these nanodevices is how non-invasive they are in comparison to traditional techniques. One example of this is in surgery. Due to developments in nanobots, some surgeries are able to be done with much smaller incisions and less invasive tools. As opposed to a surgeon making large incisions to have room for all of the tools and techniques needed, a small incision for the bot can be made. The nanobot is then remotely controlled, and able to perform the surgeries at a much smaller scale. Smart pills and pillcams are also incredibly useful. “In late 2018, MIT researchers created an electronic pill that can be controlled wirelessly and relay diagnostic information or release drugs in response to smartphone commands.” Another example of nanotechnology advancing healthcare is smart patches, applied to the skin. One such patch, created this year, is put on wounds in order to monitor their health. It also has a core that stimulates the healing of the wound itself. (https://medicalfuturist.com/ten-ways-technology-changing-healthcare/).

As technology and healthcare work together in order to create a more efficient system, we can look forward to more and more advancements that aid in our personal health, our treatment, and the training of the medical professionals that take care of us when we are sick.

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