Technology changing the healthcare landscape
23 March 2017
It’s being touted as the next big thing in healthcare. Robots and computers are no strangers to transforming health services; the latest advances in technological development are beginning to shape a new, high-tech reality for those working in the health sector. Machines are expected to redesign the way we provide medical diagnoses and treatments in the future.
Data is being generated, collected and analysed more so than ever before. A game-changer in the health sector, big data is being mined to leverage better health outcomes, from improving patient flow in hospitals to matching patients with particular diseases to the best treatments.
Big data could make standardised treatment a thing of the past. In the US, a data alliance is compiling individuals’ data, from wearable devices, genetics, electronic medical records and social media, to develop customised healthcare plans. Programs are also being developed to analyse vast amounts of medical research and a patient’s genome to discover the best, personalised treatment for patients.
Artificial intelligence (AI)
With advances in technology, AI has moved beyond the realm of science fiction to reality. Harnessing the power of algorithms and software, many AI healthcare tools are now being utilised to improve patient outcomes.
Thanks to AI, robots help conduct around 600,000 surgeries a year in the US. Surgical robots, like the da Vinci robot, are enabling surgeons to perform more precise surgeries, without the hand tremors. A new wave of cutting-edge surgical robotics, like the Verb, is now being developed to perform more minimally invasive and complex surgeries.
A groundbreaking niche area of AI, machines are accessing and learning from data to recognise patterns and forecast outcomes. While still in its early days, machine learning is tipped to revolutionise medical prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
Medical experts predict machine learning will eventually use data from electronic health records and claim databases to significantly improve prognoses for patients. Machines could also have the ability to analyse digital images, like x-rays, and boost diagnostic accuracy.
A range of research projects is now exploring the potential of machine learning. Researchers are investigating a blood tests that can detect cancer early in people at high risk of developing the disease, while machine learning is also working to analyse medical images and pinpoint disease progression.
In another exciting development, researchers have created an algorithm that uses bone marrow data and medical histories to accurately predict which patients diagnosed with a blood and bone marrow cancer will relapse and which will progress into remission.
Today’s health sector stands on the cusp of a dynamic new era of high-tech machines. Want to bolster your knowledge and expertise to prepare for the tech-savvy healthcare industry of tomorrow? A Master of Healthcare Leadership online or MBA in Health Services Management provides you with 100 per cent online learning, flexible to your schedule.
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