The world is revolutionizing how it provides most of its services; healthcare is no exception.
For any country to be considered advanced in any real way, it needs, among other things, to have proven an ability to take care and improve the plight of its most vulnerable constituents. It also needs to have mechanisms of protecting its population in general so that it can remain productive.
The coming of the Coronavirus has challenged many countries’ healthcare progress. Are countries really as advanced as they think when it comes to their health delivery systems? How much does it take for their facilities to become overwhelmed in times when there’s a heavier than usual influx of new patients?
If anything, the Coronavirus must serve as a wake-up call to stakeholders on the need to revamp and recapitalize the health sector to be better able to anticipate disasters of this or greater magnitude. To achieve this level of efficiency, the health sector will need to employ as much technology as it possibly can. Some ways might include the following.
Use Advanced Personal Protective Equipment
Health facilities should have as much protection as possible against cross-contamination. This is an area that has been under a great amount of spotlight since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Health facilities should consider upgrading their protective equipment and opt for clothing that offers all their staff protection against infections. The importance of medical scrubs has heightened. They’re one of the most fitting forms of protective clothing outside of full PPE. Scrubs are made with the wearer in mind; for instance, scrubs for men are made to fit the general male figure, giving them maximum comfort and protection.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has great potential to offer clinical decision assistance and disease management, as well as monitor patients’ safety.
Introducing or increasing the use of artificial intelligence could reduce human error margins in many aspects of healthcare. It will also increase the speed at which the health personnel can work. AI is showing promise that if given a good chance, it can change how cancer, eye problems, strokes, skin cancer, and other conditions are diagnosed.
Also called virtual medicine or telehealth, telemedicine allows health professionals and patients to interact remotely. Patients and doctors can use mobile apps or video conferencing to touch base.
If there’s a need for the doctor to monitor a patient’s progress relatively closely, they may speak with the patient to consider using wearable technology that can help with remote monitoring of the patient. The data generated by these devices can then be shared with the physician in real-time.
Adopting this kind of technology will lessen the traffic at hospitals as a doctor can still attend to a patient while they’re in the comfort of their own homes. And, sudden but dangerous changes in a patient’s body that aren’t perceivable by just looking at a person can get detected in time and save many lives.
If most people would shift to using telemedicine instead of opting for face-to-face visits, that would free up a huge number of doctors, as well as save millions of dollars each year.
Nanomedicine is a branch in healthcare that involves trying to combat diseases through the control of molecules and atoms at the nanoscale of 1-100. This is an extremely minute level of control that can, if used extensively, prove to be beneficial in combating complex diseases, such as cancer.
Virtual reality is another way the healthcare system can be improved. Although it has made serious waves in the entertainment industry, virtual reality is starting to get recognition and wide use in the health sector as well.
Surgeries are risky exercises, especially for new surgeons. Virtual reality can be used in the training of doctors to simulate real surgeries and help immerse them in an exercise that looks and feels real. It’s a great training tool as it retains high educational value, while drastically lowering the stakes as surgeons can practice without the need for real patients.
It can also be used for therapeutic purposes on patients with mental disorders and who are experiencing acute pain.
To modernize the healthcare system, using 3D printing technology would be a positive step. From creating customized poly pills to prosthetics at comparatively very low prices, it can offer health professionals faster prototypes.
Adopting the usage of 3D printing as part of the health delivery process will change how organ transfers and tissue repairs are done.
A lot of lives are lost due to the current lack of precision in most surgical operations. Robotic surgery allows for more complex operations to be conducted with reduced risks and margins of failure.
During robot-assisted surgery, surgeons operate a device with a camera and mechanical arms. This gives them a clearer, high-definition view of the surgical site. This:
- Improves precision, control, and flexibility.
- Reduces chances of cross-contamination during surgery
- Makes surgery less invasive, and surgical scars resulting from such operations are less obvious.
Introducing robotic surgeries for most surgical operations will come as a huge improvement and will revolutionize surgeries.
Deliver Better Health Care
The health sector has gone through many significant positive changes over the years, but perfection is still far from sight. There are still a lot of things that can be done to make health services delivery smoother and more effective.
Modernizing the healthcare system is likely going to be an ongoing job of updating the sector to keep up with advancements in technology. A good place to start is in updating health personnel’s PPE so that they’re not unnecessarily exposed to infections, as well as using artificial intelligence and virtual reality in healthcare.
Other good ways to modernize healthcare are through the use of telemedicine in monitoring some patients, using nanomedicine to control complex diseases, such as cancer, 3D printing, and robot-assisted surgeries.
Introducing or increasing the use of these methods and tools will not only modernize the healthcare system, but will also greatly improve its performance.