Innovative technologies are redefining healthcare services. They have a major impact on the accessibility of healthcare and organizational efficiency.
Hospitals must cope with declining reimbursements, rising costs, and performance pressures. They need real-time data and accessible analytics to monitor their processes and make better decisions.
Drone technology can help hospitals solve logistical problems.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)
It is difficult for healthcare professionals to keep up with the constant influx of data, and AI is helping them make sense of it all. AI algorithms and other applications can help them extract meaningful insights, which can be used in medical decision-making and patient monitoring.
This enables them to automate clerical work, allowing staff to provide care at the top of their licenses. It can also detect fraudulent insurance claims and prevent medical data theft.
One such use of AI in healthcare is remote patient monitoring (RPM). This technology allows medical professionals to monitor a patient’s condition remotely, which can be especially useful for elderly patients with chronic conditions. The system uses digital health equipment, IoT sensors, and mobile apps to detect changes in a patient’s behavior or medical history. It can then notify the appropriate healthcare professionals of any issues. This can help prevent serious complications and save lives.
Immersive technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are transforming the healthcare industry by providing innovative training and simulation solutions. According to Rock Bordelon, President Allegiance Health Management, these technologies offer various benefits such as risk reduction, cost-savings, improved contextualization, and enhanced memory retention.
VR creates fully digital environments that surround users, giving them a sense of being in another place or world through headsets and other hardware. Its roots can be traced back to the invention of the stereoscope in the 1830s, which used slightly different images for each eye to create a 3D effect.
Medical professionals utilize VR for surgical planning, physical therapy, and addressing mental health issues like phobias through exposure therapy. The technology is also being incorporated into workplaces to support process-driven roles, such as maintenance engineers, by providing easy access to technical information and manuals without taking equipment apart. These technologies also accelerate product development by allowing R&D teams to develop and test virtual models instead of physical prototypes. This can reduce the time from concept to secure delivery significantly.
Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM)
RPM is a form of remote care that allows patients to stay home and avoid constant healthcare visits. It uses connected devices — such as heart monitors, blood pressure cuffs, and weight scales – to record daily patient health data. The data is then uploaded to a cloud-based platform and can be accessed by doctors or other healthcare providers.
This allows physicians to maintain consistent measurements of their patient’s progress rather than only receiving snapshots during occasional office visits. Additionally, it provides a more comprehensive overview of a patient’s current state of health, which can lead to more informed decisions about various treatment options and solutions.
In addition to reducing the need for frequent office visits, RPM can help reduce hospital admissions and other costly medical procedures. It can also improve patient retention and overall quality of life by improving medication and healthcare plan adherence. This is especially true for patients with chronic conditions, such as diabetes or cystic fibrosis.
Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality
AR and MR are enabling a range of healthcare applications. AR provides a virtual overlay of information and 3D models over the physical world, while MR creates an immersive experience that blends the digital and physical.
These technologies can revolutionize medical training, telehealth, surgical procedures, patient engagement, and rehabilitation. By bringing a new level of efficiency and effectiveness, AR/MR can help healthcare organizations meet their goals of improving patient outcomes and reducing costs while providing better care and increasing medical knowledge.
Surgeons are using AR to navigate complex operations with increased precision. This technology reduces error and improves patient outcomes by superimposing a digital roadmap on the patient. AR can also be used to train medical students and nurses, allowing them to practice procedures in a risk-free virtual environment.
Augmented reality can also be useful for telehealth, such as in remote consultations where physicians can see the patient and view their vital signs through an augmented camera. Similarly, AR can be used in physical therapy and rehabilitation to give patients visual feedback and motivation during exercises.