5 Technological Innovations Changing Medical Practice
Opportunities abound for entrepreneurs and investors who want to help mankind while building strong, profitable businesses.
With technology, the past decade has been a revelation. Tech developers are breaking new ground, doing what we once thought was impossible. For engineers, researchers and developers, it seems the question to ask now is not if it can be done but how.
Virtually every sector of the economy is experiencing the refreshing impact of technological innovation. Particularly in the health sector, there are plenty of business opportunities for savvy entrepreneurs and investors. Here are some of the hottest areas of the industry.
1. Robot-assisted surgery
This is often a mix of a sophisticated robotic surgical system and the special skills of highly trained surgeons. It is usually adopted for minimally invasive surgery. That is, where tiny incisions are made within the body and a laparoscopic machine inserted into the opening. The machine includes a high resolution camera, which captures the insides of the patient in 3D and guides the movements of the surgeon. The photographs from the camera are then magnified to permit the surgeon make elaborate movements in tiny spaces.
While this innovation is sure to cost more, it comes with notable benefits for the patient. There would be less scars, the patient will experience far less pain, and will only spend few days within the hospital as the recovery time is usually shorter. For the doctor, he can operate with more precision and vision. Overall, Robot-assisted surgery is beneficial to everyone involved and it's becoming increasingly preferred among individuals who go under the knife.
A few years back, it might have been difficult to imagine seeing a doctor without actually seeing a doctor. Those days one had to wait in long queues even if only to get a quick consultation. But with the presence of advanced communication tech, a wide range of online multimedia platforms, and even virtual reality, individuals can get healthcare wherever and whenever they need it.
Someone could be seeking guidance on symptoms they’re having, and they can get answers right from their phone or laptop screen without ever visiting the hospital. Telemedicine is also helping to bridge the gap between medical practitioners in developed nations and people in third world countries where healthcare structures are often quite poor.
In the words of Saleh Stevens, CEO of Continental Clinical, LLC, "The reliability of secure multimedia communications coupled with precision devices able to transmit real-time data are changing the landscape of the clinician patient relationship such that standard of care does not de facto rely solely on office visits."
The smaller the better. Computer-manufacturing companies and other makers of tech hardware strive to make their products as light and sleek as possible, without compromising quality and user satisfaction. That design philosophy is coming to a hospital near you soon enough, and not just for aesthetics.
Already patients can insert microscopic device into their bodies to get diagnoses. A few years ago, an Israeli company began developing a pill camera which can be used to monitor the large intestine and detect polyps as well as early signs of cancer in individuals. Today, this technology has been accepted in over eighty countries and is in high demand.
4. Artifical Intelligence (AI)
The intelligence of machines and software offers limitless possibilities for medical practice. AI algorithms can be employed to emulate human knowledge within the analysis of complex medical data. It can be used for diagnosis and predictions based on its own logic.
With AI, it is expected that performance and productivity will be optimized, and waste brought to a bare minimum. This will improve overall efficiency in the health care delivery sector. According to Sergey L. Mikheev, MD, CEO of Swiss Medica, “When applied to big data from across various sectors, helpful insights can be derived on several issues, such as predicting the spread of pandemics or deducing a cure for a disease based on the cell therapy, which is what we are pioneering in the fight against multiple sclerosis.”
Another interesting technology the health sector is leveraging is blockchain. Recently, a major American healthcare provider, the Mayo Clinic, collaborated with a UK-based blockchain company for the deployment of an open and decentralized medicare platform which keeps a patient in control of their personal data.
This platform is used to link patients with researchers and pharmaceutical companies, manage health records and improve security of data, thereby bolstering the trust of patients in the healthcare system. Blockchain also holds limitless possibilities for the healthcare sector, including financial and other sub-sectors.
Thankfully, most of these technological innovations are not futuristic; they are already being used to boost productivity and improve overall performance in medical practice. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or investor looking to enter this space, keep in mind that healthcare is always going to be a human need, and innovation there will always be rewarded handsomely, apart from the fulfilment of helping humanity.
Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor