How is tech revolutionising today’s healthcare sector?

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The provision of healthcare is changing rapidly. Soon, technological advances will impact every aspect of our medical experience, from the way we are diagnosed, to the treatment we receive, and even the prevention of disease. It’s clear that many major players are demonstrating an interest in the trend; Apple is hiring more medical tech professionals, whilst IBM is working closely with the New York Genome Center on a new cure for brain cancer, and to facilitate their discoveries, better processing power is provided by innovative memory experts SAP HANA.

Wearable tech gives doctors more insight

Performance apparel tells medical staff how their patients are feeling before they even walk into the surgery. The data recorded by T-shirts equipped with sensors reveals a person’s heart rate, blood pressure and temperature, enabling a healthcare team to spot problem areas and provide the best possible recovery programme. Google Glass is another helpful resource; in years to come, doctors could chat with a patient about a current issue whilst simultaneously scanning through their past medical history to spot any relevant information. Another application would be providing care from a distance. Health professionals are often called upon to give advice on the phone, but their understanding of the situation is vastly enhanced by adding a visual aid. 

3D bioprinting of tissue and organs

3D printing enables scientists to create three-dimensional solid objects, just using the data from a digital file. The products synthesised range from town models to vehicle replicas and even working firearms, but the medical uses of this technology are even more astounding. Stem cells have already been cultivated under laboratory conditions, and experts are now within touching distance of bioprinting larger, more complex tissues. The applications for this type of technology are endless; burns victims could benefit from printed skin, heart patients could be treated with patches of cardiac tissue, and, eventually, replacement organs will remove the need for a lengthy transplant list. 

Better administration and clearer communication

Communication between managers, staff and patients can be problematic, but new advances in administration mean these frustrating delays or misunderstandings can be reduced. New cloud-based software will enable GPs to refer patients direct to a specialist’s inbox, cutting out the need for less-reliable paper-based communications or faxing documents. With a background in public law and a wealth of experience gained whilst working as Head of the Mayor’s Office in Tower Hamlets, Murziline Parchment was an ideal choice for non-executive director of the London Ambulance Service. She is passionate about improving the lives of patients in the city and the ways in which technology can provide a faster, more efficient National Health Service.

Technological advances are moving at an astounding pace, but there is still a long journey ahead. From people being able to connect with their GP more easily, to doctors having more collaborative ways of working with consultants and nurses, diagnosis and treatment are becoming ever more effective. Personal interaction is irreplaceable, but it’s clear that we are on the cusp of a new era of medical care.

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