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Why are Innovations Important in Healthcare?

by GMDP September 10 2021

Why are Innovations Important in Healthcare?

Over the past few years, healthcare innovations have helped improve diagnosis and treatments,  life expectancy, quality of services, data storage, medical records, and the overall accessibility to the healthcare system - thanks to information technology.

Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, big data and electronic medical records are just some of the trends that proved their insurmountable contribution in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. 

Healthcare innovations are crucial for doctors, nurses, other medical practitioners and patients as well. These enable them to provide services and develop new products making healthcare operations more convenient. These innovations serve as the driving force in the continual search for means to balance cost-effectiveness and quality.

Hospitals going digital have reduced mortality rates by prevention of medical errors and by proper diagnosis, disease management, and treatment. Big data and analytics contribute to medical precision. E-consultations, real-time diagnosis, and telemedicine bring the clinic to the comfort of our own homes through the Internet. Even without the immediate presence of our healthcare workers, we can monitor our condition and are assisted by applications we can access and communicate with remotely.

Electronic medical records, one of the most remarkable innovations in the health industry, made record keeping and handling easier and more efficient through paper-free transactions. 

An electronic health record replaces the traditional way of keeping files in a folder, which are bulky and difficult to access, by having data encoded and saved in a computer database. These are now widely used among hospitals around the globe.

 Electronic medical records are also used in the Philippines. EMR in the Philippines has been used, which integrates existing hospital systems and provides quick access to patient records, viewing of results, and keeping track of the hospital’s and physician’s performance.

 An example of an electronic health record in the Philippines is the CHITS, or Community Health Information Tracking System, which allows healthcare workers to save time sorting out records and spend more valuable time on patient care and management.

Healthcare innovations shape the future of medicine, not just that it aims to efficiently reduce work and save time but to eventually create a healthy community with healthy individuals. Read on to know the importance and benefits of these innovations.

  1. Technology in Health Industry enables Remote Care

The rise of the COVID-19 pandemic has made going to clinics and hospitals for checkups and admissions risky. The chance of acquiring the virus through exposure and human contact is unavoidable. Thanks to remote patient care and monitoring, we can interact with our physicians at any time and place. 

Wearable technology, big data, and video conferencing through various apps enable our doctors to monitor our conditions and make diagnoses even at a distance. Patients with chronic illnesses need not endure long periods in the hospital room. They can now be monitored in the comfort of their own home and surrounded by their loved ones.

  1. Healthcare Innovations help reduce labor costs and increase production rates at the same time

Producing prosthetics, prototypes, skin, tissue, and medicines is relatively costly and time-consuming. 3D Printing, one of the most remarkable and widely-used medical breakthroughs, the production of these materials is done resourcefully- wherein designs can be custom-made and done precisely according to the patient’s needs. 

3D Printing proved very efficient in the treatment of burn victims too. Skin grafts are undeniably painful and have a hideous finish, but through 3D Printing, medical professionals use human skin and plasma biopsies from the patient to produce new human skin. 

  1. Precision Medicine and Genome Sequencing advanced diagnosis and treatment of diseases

Not every patient has the same needs. Some might need intensive care, while some just need simpler medications. One amazing technological advance in the healthcare industry that aided physicians in making an accurate diagnosis is through Precision Medicine.

Precision Medicine provides treatment of diseases and preventive measures based on the patient’s lifestyle, surroundings and genetic makeup. Genome sequencing gives light to DNA mutations the patient is susceptible to. Through this, the doctor may be able to come up with a specific treatment plan to prevent the disease from inflicting more damage to the organs. The ability to come up with an accurate diagnosis and predicting upcoming diseases helps reduce time and expenses for treatment.

  1. Medical transactions, file storage, and patient data handling have gone paperless

Accessing a patient's medical history records traditionally requires going through a pile of folders and sorting names. Sounds like a time-consuming, headache-inducing task, right? Thanks to EHRs, these tasks can be done with just a few clicks on your device.

Electronic Health records, with the help of IoT, big data and interconnectivity of devices, the patient receives up-to-date data about their point of care, medical history and patterns suggesting overlooked medical conditions.

Healthcare professionals and patients can reach each other through secure networks and devices. It saves time and effort and provides a comprehensive look into the patient’s history.

  1. The lives of patients and physicians changed because of Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual Reality (VR) is not only for gaming and entertainment purposes. The healthcare industry maximized its purpose as educational media for both actual and future surgeons in practicing surgeries.  A study recently conducted by Harvard Business Review revealed that VR-trained surgeons were faster and more accurate in performing operations compared to traditionally-trained ones. Surgeons trained via VR had a 230% boost in their performance.

VR is also used for pain management in patients suffering from post-surgical, cardiac, gastrointestinal, and neurological pain, even helping women undergoing labor pains. Soothing landscapes are proven effective in reducing pain levels and anxiety.

  1. Modern tools help healthcare professionals maximize productivity and save time

Gadgets have been very efficient in helping medical practitioners save time while being very productive. One of these tools is the medical tricorder, wherein a patient’s vital signs and diagnosis are recorded in just one move. It might sound like one for the movies, but it is actually a figment of reality the modern healthcare industry enjoys. 

High-power microscopes with smartphones are also existent. Photographs of skin lesions can be analyzed, sensors pick up DNA abnormalities, or identify antibodies or proteins. These technological advancements propelled healthcare to a higher level where once impossible solutions are gradually taking form and used to generate human survival.

  1. Healthcare innovations revolutionize drug development and novel solutions

Drug development, lately, is arduous and undeniably expensive. However, through the help of artificial intelligence and in silico trials, pharmaceutical operations speeded up, including marketing.  Not only that it saved costs, but it saved a lot of lives.

In silico drug trials, an astonishing healthcare technology, are individualized computer simulations utilized in the development or evaluation of a medical product or device. Drug testing in traditional ways takes up a lot of time, but virtual patient models make the job a whole lot easier and more accurate.

  1. Mental health treatment becomes more effective with the help of robotics

Patients suffering from mental health issues, chronic illnesses and loneliness are kept in good company by robot companions. These robots we have seen on television going on wars are actually allies in the medical field. Some of these have sensors, cameras and mics that enable owners to interact with them. Some of these robots help lift bedridden or weakly elderly patients and assist patients with injuries in the spinal cord.

Ikki, a robot from an Australian startup, helps children suffering from chronic illnesses monitor their breathing rates, temperature, and keeps them entertained through music and storytelling.

These great, creative ideas for improving the system and ensuring a good patient experience are products not only of curiosity but of the dire need to provide modern-day solutions to age-old problems. Now, if we want these innovations to flourish and later generations to enjoy their benefits, we must strive to form a culture wherein innovativeness is nurtured and medical practitioners and patients are empowered to contribute.

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