Technology has made a massive impact on our world at large, vastly altering the ways in which we do business, communicate with one another, and perform otherwise mundane tasks in our own homes.
As we all already know, technology has already encroached on the field of medicine. However, new devices, operating systems, and service platforms intend to shake up the realm of healthcare even further, especially in the next year alone.
With that in mind, let us highlight the biggest healthcare tech developments in 2018, and discover just how they will influence the development of future inventions as well.
Although it is still very much in its infancy, artificial intelligence holds incredible promise to solve a myriad of issues within the medical field — from helping patients schedule appointments with their physicians based on their current symptoms, reducing and resolving staffing issues, and keeping home-care assistants updated on the current state(s) of their patient(s).
While such developments may seem to be far off into the future, there are a handful of companies that are making a difference in the patient-facing side of medicine in the here and now. To give a specific example, let us take a look at Kore.ai. This digital assistant that manages healthcare facilities’ appointments, aids patients in receiving prescription refills, and even delivers lab results with recommendations for next steps.
Although this AI bot’s work seems less than spectacular, it takes a large burden off of administrative assistants and nurses, thus giving them the time they need to complete other, more pertinent tasks for their patients.
Similar to the Internet of Things (IoT), the Internet of Medical Things is a term used to refer to a connected infrastructure of medical devices and programs that are adept at communicating with each other, as well as any other overarching IT systems.
Of course, there are massive regulatory hurdles to overcome before an institution could implement such an interconnected system. However, such a transition would certainly be worth the trouble, as the benefits encompass a wide variety of common tasks, like objectively reporting on patients’ conditions, recording activity pertinent to the progression of various disorders, and the system’s ability to make systematic adjustments based off employee- and patient-provided feedback.
Evidently, great changes are on the horizon for doctors, nurses, and patients alike. However, it will certainly be exciting to see the ways in which medicine, a long-standing practice, adapts to accommodate the countless changes in our world’s technological landscape.