In 1867, Joseph Lister used carbolic spray during operations, reducing the risk of infections and saving patients’ lives post-surgery. Around 20 years later, we had the first X-ray image, making it possible to diagnose pneumonia and treat broken bones. In 1928, Alexander Fleming made a revolutionary discovery changing the course of history forever. For most, the date doesn’t seem like anything special, but it was this year marking the invention of penicillin which will go on to save the lives of millions in the decades to come. And in 1977, the first MRI was performed, making it possible to have a deep and thorough scan of the human body, thereby reducing the risks of many diseases spreading and having deadly outcomes for the patients.
Thankfully, with the advances made in medicine, we are now able to provide new services to patients like never before, as in the span of just 200 years, we made more discoveries and inventions than in the last two millennia prior to it. And, we never ceased to make progress and are constantly working on new tech even now. In the text below, we’ll discuss some “out of this world” solutions to improve patient care.
We have heard of video conferences and have always thought of them as something used rather in the business world than in medicine. But remote monitoring of someone’s health has become increasingly popular as the same technology we used during a business meeting can be utilized for medical purposes as well. Even more so, new devices, phone apps, and gadgets are allowing doctors to have an overview of all the patient’s vital signs miles away. This is especially useful when your patients are constantly traveling and moving around, commute to work daily, and yet have health issues that require your attention and care. It also proved useful for patients who live far away and cannot simply jump to the nearest medical facility for a regular check-up. So, through video conferences and remote monitoring devices, doctors now can provide diagnoses and treatment options to their patients without them having to be present at the moment.
Of course, serious issues and treatments must be conducted in a medical facility but for minor issues, telemedicine has proved more than effective.
Hygiene is always at top of the list
As a healthcare provider, during the long hours and daily rush sometimes minor details can easily slip the mind. It’s no wonder, shifts in regular hospitals are known to last for 12 hours and sometimes more during an operation. Now, cleaning one’s hands is one of those things you’ll find in every 101 books on how to be a healthcare provider but it’s always good to have some kind of reminder between lunch and dinner. Therefore, in recent years, hand hygiene monitoring tools have become an integral part of every doctor’s or nurse’s uniform, even second to the traditional stethoscope. There is a good reason for it. The pandemic has shown reduced risks of virus transmission, and although most doctors are taking good care of their hygiene after several hours of serving patients, it is easy to forget. These monitoring tools are giving you a heads up on when the time is right, even changing colors to indicate the urgency with red often sending a clear message “Stop and wash your hands!” It’s good to have such a little helper in your pocket just in case.
On a similar principle, EHRs (short for electronic health recorders) are being used in medicine today to make communication between doctors easier and more effective. EHR is a digital system making the transfer of the patient’s records a piece of cake, ensuring other specialists have a thorough understanding of their medical history and all the tests that have been done so far. Healthcare providers have finally access and share all the data reducing the risks of possible errors from ever occurring.
When we talk of AI, usually the last thing that comes to mind is its use in medical purposes, as it is most often associated with the IT industry. But AI has long been utilized as a means of achieving higher and more precise diagnoses (diagnostic accuracy). It is also being used for personalized treatment plans according to the patient’s needs and overall health. Imagine having someone giving you the best possible treatment according to the data input. Such methods have allowed for more successful treatment plans. This is especially important as the wrong treatments are known to worsen the patient’s health. And, believe it or not, AI has been used to even predict the patient’s outcome according to all the data, even successfully assuming the recovery period if everything goes according to plan.
Now, we can see why the use of AI has become so useful and we can only hope that in the near future, the possibilities the technology offers will be used to their full extent and potential.
Now, this is something the patients ought to wear and have at all times. These “tracking devices” have by now saved the lives of millions as the data gives a chance to doctors to immediately act if there is an urgent need. Some of these allow the patients to check for themselves, like glucose monitors, and the data can easily be transferred to your phone via a simple app. Your healthcare provider will have a constant overview of all the vitals, including heart rates, physical activity levels, sleeping patterns, and more. It gives a chance to respond quickly to any changes which occur.
Some devices have proven successful in detecting pre-heart attack conditions and others are great at detecting the disbalance of your hormone levels. The devices are becoming more and more sophisticated as we speak, allowing you to improve your health outcomes and reduce the risk of premature death.
It seems like the stuff of sci-fi, but robotic surgery has been implemented in medicine for quite some time. Recent developments have allowed for minimally invasive surgery with the help of device-controlled robots and the end result is a successful procedure with an outstanding recovery. Robotic surgery has proven successful in the case of prostate cancer, gastrointestinal disorders, head, neck, and heart conditions, and even gynecologic conditions. It helped save patients’ lives and made it possible to perform delicate surgeries which would usually require more invasive methods.
We can see how technology and constant progress have improved the living conditions of many. The services provided by the new tech will allow for safer and quicker procedures and health monitoring as opposed to before. We can only wait to see what the future brings.