When a new technology hits the market, the immediate question is how it can make our lives easier. And while that’s a good selling point, an even better one is how they can benefit the healthcare industry. A lot of big advancements in health have been made due to advancements in technology. Take a look at the ones we think are most impressive.
Virtual reality is currently being used as a means of allowing physical therapy patients to work harder and yet, easier.
Training yourself to walk again isn’t going to be the most fun thing, and that’s where VR comes in. VR can already turn exercise into a game, so it makes sense to offer physical therapy patients a VR experience to work through.
It can also speed up the process, which will do more than removing some frustration for the patient. Stroke and traumatic brain injury patients need to get started as soon as possible with their physical therapy in order to have the best chances – and the harder they work, the faster they’ll recover.
And the cherry on top is that VR games can be personalised to suit the patient, upping the challenge, or tailoring the activities to suit.
As of now, 3D printers are so affordable and accessible that some people have one in their homes, which in turn makes what the 3D printer creates far more accessible.
In healthcare, 3D printed prosthetics are becoming the norm for artificial limbs. The reduced cost and labour of making the prosthetics make them far more accessible to patients. Plus, they can be personalised to fit the patient better for more comfort.
Organizations like the Tej Kohli Foundation and the Victoria Hand Project are using 3D printing to offer patients affordable and useful prosthetics. This also helps children, who will have to have more prosthetics made as they grow.
Smartwatches and other wearable tech
Smartwatches already do a lot for healthcare. With a watch constantly monitoring our heart rate and blood pressure, prompting us to exercise when we’ve sat for ten minutes, and counting our calories, we’re bound to see healthier lifestyles and lower rates of heart disease and strokes.
But a smartwatch comes under the umbrella term of wearable tech and is only one gadget in a range of gadgets designed to monitor patients.
This allows for remote healthcare, which has become vital in the past few years but is highly useful even beyond the idea of viral diseases. Doctors can treat patients in remote and rural areas, it will be easier to treat patients with doctor shortages and GP waiting times will go down.
Heart monitors, blood oxygen and stress detectors and more, allow healthcare professionals to monitor a patient’s vitals in real-time, without needing to be physically in the room.
GP’s have already adopted a similar idea, conducting a lot of patient appointments over the phone. It’s only a matter of time before the wearable tech is being used to report back to your healthcare professionals on your ailment.