Every year, on April 7th, the World Health Organization reveals a theme for the coming year. In 2022, the focus is on the frontline healthcare workers; the nurses, the midwives, the first responders, the physicians, and hospital staff that have worked round-the-clock for the last two years. This is the future. So, we thought we’d look back at the last few years to see how Data has led to medical breakthroughs using AI, Machine Learning, and the Internet of Things just to name a few.
1. Artificial Intelligence
AI projects are creating smooth and efficient processes such as the radiotherapy AI tool which 3D prints a patient’s contour in a matter of minutes rather than hours. Another AI tool catalogs biomedical research papers so providers can more quickly diagnose and decide what drugs are to be used for which patients. But to collect, gather, and analyze patient and provider needs, AI needs Data, and not just Data from the patient.AI is powered by the Data it’s given. The better the Data, the better the results.
2. Augmented Reality
Remember the game Operation? Imagine it now in a mix of augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality. One such benefit is headsets for surgeons to receive real-time information while they’re operating. Another benefit is for nurses in which Are helps them find the veins to draw blood from.
3. Genetic Engineering
Though Genetic Engineering has already been used to treat congenital genetic disorders and sickle cell disease, it’s important to remember there is a fine line to be walked, as its not incorruptible. But the opportunities to treat and cure diseases through genetic engineering could move the medicine light years into the future if properly regulated.
4. Genomic vaccines
Vaccines made from DNA or RNA have been proven already in their success during the pandemic. Could this bring us another step closer to personalized medicine based on a patient’s genetics?
5. Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)
Smart watches, smart pills, telehealth and video conferencing apps, digitized stethoscopes, and radiotherapy AI devices are just the beginning of all the internet of medical things which includes wearables.Providers and patients can manage blood volume, heart rate, footsteps, vitals, and so much more from a watch, smartphone, or even a pill with sensors feeding Data back to your provider and healthcare professionals. Though 39% of people have a smartwatch, that leaves over 60% who don’t who may still need some sort of monitoring device. Enter Bio patches which are also used to monitor vitals without a smartwatch, and for those who need hearing aids, enter smart hearing aids. Healthcare providers can use the Data from smartwatches, bio patches, pedometers, and more wearable technologies to help advise patients and complete diagnoses.
6. Personalized medicine & Patient Privacy
Medicine is not a one-size-fits-all, but our physiological systems are complicated. What medicine works for one patient might not work for another and vice versa leaving scientists a new task. Gather Data from as diverse a group as possible to assess what works best for which patients creating a targeted, personalized medicine based on the individual’s needs. However, more Data requires ensured privacy especially as patient information becomes more centralized and accessible by anyone who might need to access it.
Doctors have returned to house calls except no one has to leave their house. Telehealth, and the advancement of remote everywhere gives patients access to their medical records, healthcare professionals, and the opportunity to check-in if they don’t feel well rather than spend a lot of time waiting in the doctor’s office. Less than 5 years ago, who would have imagined you could make an appointment, talk to your doctor or nurse practitioner, and have prescriptions sent to your pharmacy all from your phone and in the comfort of your home?Over the last few years, health got smart and the digital transformation of the healthcare industry from the discovery of penicillin to 3D Organ printing has led to innovations never before imagined. Ready for the next generation of healthcare? We may have a role for you.
If you’re interested in Bioinformatics, Data Science, Genomics, or Computational Biology just to name a few, Harnham may have a role for you.
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