Improving patient care with healthtech
With the ability to save lives, improve quality of life outcomes and better the overall patient experience, the healthtech industry holds huge potential to the shape of the world as we know it. A vast sector spanning medtech, bio tech, wearables and cloud databases, we’re continually seeing new and innovative applications emerge to address the health challenges faced today.
From mHealth to wearables, there are now apps utilising AI-enabled chatbots to answer medical questions at all hours of the day, 3D printing of bespoke braces and orthotics for children with cerebral palsy, and even social network platforms for health. Technology now offers patients an alternative to waiting for a doctor’s appointment and Googling symptoms with scary prognoses, and can provide personalised aftercare to aid recovery.
Backing the rejuvenation of the healthtech industry are a number of crowdsourcing fundraisers, as well as the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who is behind the digitalhealth.london accelerator scheme. This first-of-its-kind programme is helping 32 companies design technology solutions for the NHS, aiming to speed up the adoption of innovation at scale, and ensure that the maximum number of patients benefit from emerging new tech.
The IoT driving efficiency
The Internet of Things (IoT) is also making its way into the healthcare industry, connecting everything from hospital beds to handheld devices. It is very easy to recognise the value of a doctor being able to show a patient their X-ray results on a tablet immediately following a procedure. The efficiency helps to minimise delays and reduce the time patients spend waiting for results.
A successful healthcare system relies on a quick diagnosis followed by rapid administration of the accurate care required – be it drugs, a surgical procedure, physiotherapy or psychotherapy. There is no doubt that a connected world enhanced by technology speeds up this process, but what about securing and protecting it?
Heightened need for security
The digital transformation of any sector throws various spanners into the works. A connected environment enables the free-flow of information, but when this is jeopardised (either through a cyber hack or a malfunction), the whole network can be affected. Earlier this year, the NHS suffered a huge ransomware cyber-attack. Attacks of this scale illustrate just how important securing a network is, and if more devices were connected to infected computers, just how far could a security breach go?
Innovation powering transformation
But that is enough negativity. Technology is constantly improving the way healthcare organisations deliver high-quality patient care. We’ve seen exoskeletons bring freedom and movement to disabled people and robotic surgery eliminate the geographical challenge of having a surgeon at the hospital.
As innovation and invention continue to transform industries, we can all look forward to reaping the benefits of a secure, connected and technologically advanced health sector.
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