Until you need healthcare, it’s easy not to realise how progressive the medical industry is and the types of technologies that are making healthcare more cost effective and efficient than ever before. The next few years of technological releases and developments are going to make a huge difference to the quality of our healthcare, how fast we are treated and the effectiveness of treatments.

One sector of the medical industry that has seen huge developments and advanced technologies already being utilised is oncology or the treatment of cancers. With the implementation of incredible machines including advanced MRI scanners combined with efficient Linear Accelerators and machines that facilitate the delivery of proton beam therapy. Although cancer diagnoses are yet to see a drop in the annual number of new cancer cases, these treatments are making it easier for healthcare centres and hospitals to provide fast, efficient treatment that reduces that severity of side effects for patients.

Real-Time Monitoring

Smart wearables such as watches and fitness trackers are already popular lifestyle devices that have provided individuals a more convenient way to track health and fitness goals however they also have another use that could potentially see public health care costs for each patient drop by up to 60%.

Using smart wearable devices to provide real-time monitoring allows health professionals to see exactly if or when patients are taking medication, track if an unsteady individual has had a fall or monitor patients with irregular heart patterns. By offering these devices to older patients or patients with restricted mobility, it frees up the patient’s time to enjoy more of their day to day life and healthcare professional’s time to treat patients more efficiently.

Gamifying Physical Therapy

When you’ve got an injury that requires physical therapy to get you back to full strength, the monotonous cycle of getting on a treadmill or performing the same exercises can be off-putting and affect your body’s ability to fully recover. By utilising equipment such as Virtual Reality headsets, hospitals can provide patients a gamified experience that makes recover fun.

One such example, is the use of ‘mirror therapy’ where patients who suffer from constant pain, even after an injury has fully healed, enter into a virtual world where they are consciously and subconsciously required to flex, move and position their ‘damaged’ limb and help the brain visualise flexible movement without pain or restriction. These applications can also be used to assist patients with musculoskeletal conditions undergoing rehabilitation therapies and contributes to making the experience more enjoyable.

The Internet Of Things

IoT or the Internet of Things is a network of communicating internet connected devices that make it easier to provide automated systems. They are becoming more common across both domestic and commercial environments and as 5G becomes more readily available across the globe, could soon be the standard for smart-homes and smart-offices.

In the medical sector, the Internet of Things devices can help to reduce patient waiting times by supporting more real-time patient monitoring devices, improve the efficiency of equipment by alerting professionals when it needs maintenance or replacement and enhance the features of necessary equipment such as contact lenses, hearing aids and asthma inhalers.

Support For Mental Health

Mental health seems like a buzzword at the moment for the sheer amount of discussion around the topic, but it is important and a conversation you should be having with those around you. Mental health problems such as depression can affect everyone and can have plenty of damning effects on your day to day life. Tech-leader Apple has recently advised they are developing a feature to track and monitor patient depression via their smart-watch, allowing healthcare professionals to see a clearer journey of the patient’s mental decline and making useful suggestions to patients when they hit certain levels. Researchers are also looking at combining the depression level monitor with apps that track and advise improved sleeping and fitness routines, to help the patient take control of their mental health and make the most of their day. Although, there is the option of professional guidance that can help you cope up with stress and depression. There are several offline and online guidance sessions that you can go for. One of those being www.betterhelp.com.

While we are still a fair few decades away from a ‘take-one-a-day’ cure-all pill, the medical industry takes huge leaps in development every day and we are coming closer to seeing previously life-changing diseases become more of an inconvenience than devastating. Make sure to check out what local medical research is done in your area and show support by spreading excitement of our advancing medical world.