Today we’re going to share with you 7 technological advances that will change medicine in the coming years. Keep reading to find out more!
Telemedicine has brought about a great advancement, marking a before and after in the management of medical care. This revolution has really only just begun: incredible innovations such as exoskeletons capable of reading minds, medicines printed in 3D, nanorobots that cross blood vessels or virtual brain surgeries with the help of 5G networks are just a few examples of the advances that new technologies have created so that, in the not too distant future, our health system will enjoy resources that today are almost unimaginable.
What are the 7 Technological Advances that will change medicine?
At Docline we’ve compiled a list of the most significant changes that coul transform the health sector thanks to new technologies:
1. Telerobotics: virtual surgery through 5G
Although it may still sound very far away for most citizens, surgeries assisted by robots have become an increasingly common practice. Most of them are performed by a type of minimally invasive surgical robot called da Vinci.
However, surgical robotics is only a stepping stone to telesurgery, that is, virtual surgeries that are performed remotely, where doctors do not need to be in the same room (or even in the same country) as the operated patients.
Although this is still difficult today due to the possible lack of a strong Internet connection, the adoption of 5G networks could greatly speed up this process.
2. Connected health within everyone's reach
Although practically everyone (and especially the younger generations) owns a smartwatch capable of recording and quantifying certain vital signs (such as sleep, heart rate or movement) more or less accurately, there are medical devices that promise to go one step further and detect atrial fibrillation, measure blood oxygen levels and record blood pressure, even listening to patients like a stethoscope.
In the not too distant future, it may be possible to record and decipher dreams and enter a meditative state thanks to some even more advanced devices.
3. 3D Bioprinting
Just as virtual surgeries using robots are now a reality, 3D tissue bioprinting is also beginning to be experimented with. This practice could allow new chemical formulations to be tested on synthetic materials rather than on animals or humans.
The refusal to test new chemical, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products on animals is becoming more and more entrenched. 3D bioprinting could be the answer to this, as well as the main solution to the evident global shortage of organs.
4. Blockchain and advanced privacy
The Blockchain system is related to an aspect that, a priori, has little to do with health care: cryptocurrencies. In fact, it is such a complex technology that very few people would be able to describe what it consists of.
In a few words, it is a complex code system that would be equivalent to an immutable database and impossible to alter without leaving a trace.
In health care, implementing such a system could ensure that all patient records and clinical trial records are in a 100% secure environment and even ensure strict compliance with privacy-related regulations. In the pharmaceutical industry, the use of Blockchain would help fight drug counterfeiting and secure the supply chain.
The term «Metaverse» was coined by Neal Stephenson in his novel Snow Crash back in 1992, but has recently had a massive uptake in interest following Mark Zuckerberg’s rebranding of Facebook to Meta. This concept refers to a new reality capable of revolutionizing the technology sector and, consequently, also the health sector.
In this article about Metaverse and Digital Health we talk more about the applications of this “new dimension” in the health sector.
6. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial intelligence (AI) transforms and improves health care in countless aspects, but its main trend is to evaluate and record numerous patient data through machine learning, thus creating personalized algorithms.
Through these algorithms, programmers imitate human thought in a very true to reality way and, thanks to this, design programs that can apparently think, learn, make decisions and act.
Although this trend does not imply that medical care is being replaced by the work of intelligent robots, the reality is that it does serve as a support for health personnel to make more precise diagnoses and offer treatment plans more adapted to the individual needs of each patient.
By having technology that analyzes data in a robust and comprehensive way—sometimes even more accurate than a person—, doctors can spend their time delivering quality care to patients while speeding up waiting times. In this way, it is possible to decongest the health system so that more people have access to a decent, efficient and effective health program (as with Sustainable Development Goals by ONU).
7. The role of virtual reality (VR) in mental health
During the last year, new technologies have emerged that can help with the mental health needs of patients. While most initial evaluations and treatments still need to be prescribed by a physician, these technologies serve as great additional tools for patients to continue improving their mental health between visits.
Although a few years ago it might have seemed unthinkable, the classic and widespread cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can today be carried out successfully in digital format.
A clear example of technology that has revolutionized this sector is video games. Proof of this is EndeavorRX, a video game that can only be accessed with a prescription and whose mission is to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children between 8 and 12 years of age.
Results from clinical studies involving this type of therapy were very promising: 73% of participants reported an increased ability to pay attention after just one month of treatment, with no adverse side effects reported.
An additional technology
As you can see, these 7 technological advances that can change medicine are closer to reality than we think. As a complement to these technologies, both the electronic prescription, patient management or having a telemedicine platform are excellent options to bring technology to all those businesses related to health and increase the efficiency or profitability of your clinic.