Technology has been transforming medicine
and healthcare in a big way for decades. Our very own Christiaan Barnard
changed the medical field forever when he performed the first successful heart
transplant on December 3, 1967. South
Africa is among the countries that quickly adapted within the digital
transformation era to develop amazing healthcare technologies and services such
as health insurance solutions and medical
Today, using big data and technology like
smartwatches, mobile phones, live streaming, and better doctor-to-doctor
communication has made technology the fastest growing area in health according
to the Global Observatory for eHealth Report by the United Nations. Start-ups
are tackling numerous problems with quality care and healthcare access by using
technology to improve the industry. How do these industry disruptors affect your healthcare?
Data mining is the process where computers
analyse massive data sets to find patterns and solve problems. It’s a
no-brainer then, that the medical field would jump on this technology to
improve medical care.
Constant advancements in medical technology
could make diagnosing patients a quicker and more accurate process. A research
team at IBM developed a supercomputer that helps doctors give patients improved
diagnoses and treatments. It does this through years of data mining and
creating formulae for detecting and solving general medical examination issues,
such as prescribing the right medication or performing improved diagnosis.
Brian Eliason, healthcare expert at Health
Catalyst, believes data mining holds amazing potential for the future of
healthcare. ‘Some believe the opportunities to improve care and reduce costs
concurrently could apply to as much as 30% of the overall healthcare spending
in the US alone,’ said Eliason.
Advancing medical technology could mean the
average cost of production of medical equipment, medicines, and medical
facilities in general, could eventually decrease as the need for certain
outdated equipment decreases.
Advanced translation programs have improved
communication among doctors, as well as between doctors and their patients.
Omnifluent Health is one such program. It reduces translation costs for doctors
and hospitals and improves efficiency by overcoming the language barrier.
Patients have also benefited from online
medical programs such as Sherpaa, where doctors can consult with patients
within minutes through an app, assisting with over 1,500 medical problems. With
the help of this app, doctors can also order blood tests, fill prescriptions,
and recommend local specialists.
Remember when your watch only gave you the
time, date, and possibly compass directions? Today, wearable tech enables
people to monitor their every move. Smartwatches record steps, calories, heart
rate, and sleep cycles. Depending on your personal preferences, a smartwatch can
remind you to exercise, drink water, or to get up from your desk and walk
around at specific intervals. Medical professionals can use this data to create
more accurate medical evaluations of individuals. One day, your smartwatch
might even be able to pick up on clues that you may be heading for a heart
attack and contact the nearest hospital for emergency assistance along with
your medical aid.Technology is now so widely used in the medical field that you or someone you
know has probably been helped by it in some way. So, the next time you visit
your doctor, you might be amazed to think that a stranger in another country
may have helped to make you feel better.
Prices quoted are correct at the time of
publishing this article. The information in this article is provided for
informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, legal, or
World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations/health, www.healthcatalyst.com
This post and content is sponsored, written and provided by Hippo.