Even though the human race might credit itself to advancing to a significant degree when it comes to technology, the reality is far from what it seems. Nothing is denying the fact that we have indeed made some credible progress in coming up with domains like artificial intelligence and machine learning. But, when it comes to their applications in the needy walks of life, such as the healthcare industry, we still have a long way to go.
The reality is that we do have the technology, but it is limited to a handful few. Today, when we look around, almost everyone either has someone or knows someone in the close circle living with a debilitating illness. Be it cancer, heart disease, diabetes, lung disease or any other, the list of such conditions are exhausting. The society needs more stakeholders who can make technology accessible to all. This practice would facilitate global research, and better outcomes to battling these diseases as more valuable brains contribute to work.
However, we’ve still been able to find and understand a lot about these diseases than we did a decade back. Let’s take a look at the current common health care scenarios and how are they all set to change in the future-
The existing healthcare system draws its foundation stone from somewhere in the middle of the last century. We might have observed a lot of progress in the diagnosis and treatment of a disease, but the reality is that there haven’t been any radical changes when it comes to delivering health care. A vast majority of people still visit a facility either when they are sick or experiencing vivid symptoms. Today’s healthcare system isn’t designed to battle chronic diseases, but the fact is that they account for as much as 80 percent of the entire healthcare spends.
According to research by Deloitte, by the year 2040, the healthcare application development system that we know today won’t exist. While diseases will never be eliminated, there will be a deeper understanding of their diagnosis, progression and prevention etc. It would lead to better care for the patients since medical professionals will look out for alarming signs through data analytics and ensure well-being before a situation escalates from the hand. It would impact the doctor-patient dynamics since doctors would adopt a preventive treatment plan by making patients aware and helping them take more proactive steps towards their well-being.
Prevention of Heart Diseases
When it comes to cardiovascular diseases, the healthcare industry does deserve a pat on their backs for identifying and making progress in the field. In spite of this, even today, 17.5 million people die from heart diseases each year before reaching the age of 75. As a statistic, this would mean nearly 30 percent of the deaths. Thus, battling heart diseases is still a big problem.
As we move into the future, we see more researchers working on understanding casual risk genetic factors that lead to heart diseases in many people. This practice throws light on the vulnerability status of a person when combined with other factors such as lifestyle and environment. Similarly, the culture of wearable devices is helping researchers gather detailed and real-time data. A large amount of data obtained from this source can be then utilized for personalized treatments. Even though the battle to fighting cardiovascular diseases might seem like a tough one, positive changes are on track in the coming future.
Robots for Healthier Lives
A significant chunk of the population on Earth is on the verge of ageing. The task for the healthcare sector is to provide them with an enhanced quality of life so that they can live independently. Although we hear robots accomplish quite many things, a large part of it is still limited to sci-fi movies. But, it isn’t like nothing has been done. Researchers are developing companion and assistive robots to allow people to live longer and independently.
The changes are already in the picture. Companion robots like MiRo now behave like smart pets. They can move around a room, talk to you and carry out a variety of tasks with ease. When people talk to it, MiRo responds, which also helps satisfy the psychological challenge that older people face while living alone. Although robots cannot replace a person, they can remind people for medications, take a coffee from one room to another and alert someone, if something happens to a person. But, this is just a beginning. The quest is to design such robots that can work and understand multiple modalities, just like humans.
The Scenario of Respiratory diseases
Be it environment factors in many countries or the receding green cover in urban areas; respiratory diseases are still a big problem for the healthcare sector. According to WHO, they are also the leading cause of deaths and disability in the world. Although we have treatment plans for diseases like asthma and lung cancer, none of these eliminates it from lives.
Making changes to the current scenario is not easy for the healthcare sector. But, significant progress is being made as researchers are looking forward to long term control over diseases through immunotherapy rather than chemotherapy, radiotherapy or even surgery. Medical experts are also working on designing a vaccine for asthma. In the years to come, algorithms will be monitoring a patient’s condition in real-time and keep a check on their health.
Nanoscience is a relatively new subject for the healthcare industry. It deals with materials at the nanoscale. When a material is broken into nano parts, it undergoes significant changes in its property.
For the healthcare industry, understanding how nanomaterials change property can help in treating as well as diagnosing diseases. Currently, nanomedicine techniques are used in gene mutations but are rather a toxic form of therapy. With time, it can be advanced and revolutionize healthcare.
The healthcare sector might not have accepted technology at its very inception in the field. But, as we progress into a future where diseases and lifestyle conditions will become more prominent, technology becomes inevitable. Not only has it proven radical changes in enhancing the quality of life and providing treatment plans, but also eased the task of medical professionals. The world thus looks forward to a future with technology working hand in hand with medical experts for delivering better health care.