The digital age has definitely brought about advances in the systems and practices used in hospitals. This includes everything from the management of anaesthesia to the use of touch screen technology to help with the allocation of hospital beds. But there is still a long way to go. Many health facilities still rely heavily on the use of paperwork, and there is still a shortage of doctors in some areas, due to lengthy training procedures.
The good news is that technology continues to develop at pace, and it has the potential to have great influence over the experience that patients have while they are in hospital and when they are dealing with medical professionals overall. Here are just some of the advances that are at the fore in 2017.
The use of augmented reality (AR)
AR technology enables digital information to be integrated into the environment of a user. In the world of medicine this means that trainee doctors can get experience of examinations and operations in 3D. This provides a far more realistic training experience than reading a text book or watching a video. It means that doctors can get a lot more real world experience before they actually get to deal with patients. This should help to enhance and speed up medical training.
Smart technology for patient access
We have already started to see the benefits of patients being able to sign into a digital system, to interact with health professionals. This means that interaction can be almost instant, no matter where the patient is located. There is the potential for this digital interaction to increase, making it easier for patients to have access to medical treatment.
3D printing – today and in the future
3D printing has become more mainstream in the world of industry. Where we used to marvel at 3D printed parts; we now accept them as part of life. But, when you think about it, the advancement of 3D printing is pretty amazing. It has certainly already been useful in the world of medicine. 3D printers have been used to create prosthetics and dental implants.
It also seems as though they may come in useful when it comes to drug distribution. The first 3D printed drugs have already been created. Large scale use of this type of drug is still a way off, so you may not see them in hospitals this year. But, it’s still interesting to note the possibilities that this advancement could create. It would certainly make it easier for drugs to be customised for personal usage.
Most people do not really consider the technology around them when they are in hospital; they are too busy getting better. It’s only when you take a step back and think about it that you can see just how much technological advancements have helped the medical world. They are set to continue to do so for years to come.