Healthcare workers have been the heroes of the past year and a half. Fighting the battle as the frontline warriors against COVID-19, they have been saving lives worldwide. While the pandemic took over the world and everyone was locked indoors to stay safe, it was the brave healthcare workers or the COVID warriors as they are being termed that relentlessly struggled to save lives even as they struggled in the multi-layered PPE kits.
Healthcare quality has been paramount for every country, but the past year has increased the need to take a closer look and understand the modern healthcare sector in detail. The United States alone spent around 18 percent of its gross domestic product on healthcare facilities in 2020. While a part of this could be attributed to the pandemic, spending on improving healthcare continues to stay high. Isn’t that an interesting fact to know? Here are seven other important things that you should know about the modern healthcare system.
The pandemic has made it necessary for the healthcare sectors to focus all their resources on COVID-19 care. But that does not change the patient’s needs entirely. We need to visit the doctor for numerous other health reasons, just like in the pre-pandemic era. But visiting the hospital often for regular consultation would increase the strain on the healthcare workers. So, it is important to avoid unnecessary hospital visits, tests, and elective surgeries. However, this does not mean that you should put off doctor consultation until something serious occurs.
Technological innovation makes it possible for people to book a virtual consultation for non-covid concerns. Reliant Urgent Care has specialized staff trained to handle virtual patients and other emergency cases reporting to the healthcare facility beyond COVID-19. The prevalence of long-distance clinical health care is the need of the hour and makes healthcare accessible and available beyond geographical boundaries and pandemic restrictions. As these services fall under the HIPAA act and are covered by most insurance providers, you can get your insurance cover even for virtual healthcare.
Technology-driven services are driving the healthcare space. Patients can use technology to find the best healthcare partners, doctors and practitioners can use advanced technology to diagnose accurately. Machine Learning and AI in healthcare increase the possibility of an accurate diagnosis, saving valuable time and healthcare costs.
Research suggests that technology that could help patients win a battle against cancer is also available. Electronic health records or EHR make it possible for healthcare professionals to access patient records at the time of emergency without having to wait for the patient’s friends, relatives, etc., to be present and provide physical copies of the health records. Other popular technologies making significant contributions are, Genome Sequencing, wearable technology, and remote monitoring tools.
3. Patient-Centered Care
The Healthcare sector is moving towards patient centered care with the advent of precision medicine. The patients share their preferences and needs, which increases the cooperation levels and enhances the relationship between the individuals and the healthcare providers. This form of medication focuses on the active participation of the patients in their treatment procedures. As the patient is aware of the medication and treatment being offered, they are more willing to cooperate, which increases the speed of recovery and rehabilitation. But the lack of trained staff and resources to provide personalized attention to each patient makes it a challenge to implement patient-centered care universally.
4. Wearable Healthcare Technology
Monitoring heart rate, the oxygen level in the blood, and pulse required a visit to the doctor and a few minutes of waiting to get your turn. But wearable technology has replaced the need for this by making health assessment a possibility in a few minutes. You can monitor your vital stats, medication, post-surgery recovery, and sleep patterns using wearable devices. Your smartwatch collects data and information about your health and communicates the same to your doctor in real-time.
Data from your wearable device could be effective in predicting the possibility of diseases and lifestyle disorders too. research found that the wearable market device would grow from 8 million dollars in 2017 to 27 million dollars in 2023. The exponential growth can be attributed to the data from the wearable devices and its ability to predict and major health events.
5. Precision Medicine
No two patients are similar so are their bodily conditions. So, the medicine that works for one patient, might not necessarily produce the same results on another patient battling the same ailment. However, medication is administered if the pros outweigh the cons as there has not been enough advancement in the healthcare sector to prescribe patient-specific medication.
Hospitals are switching to precision medicine, where medicine, treatments, and prescriptions are all different for different patients. In other words, the treatment changes according to the patient and not just the illness. Hospitals are moving away from the one‐drug‐fits‐all model. This helps the patients when they are allergic to certain drugs or have a higher tolerance for certain medicines.
Blockchain is a technology that is revolutionizing every aspect of our life. The encrypted ledger technology helps in the seamless transfer of medical records, medicine supply information, and details of the healthcare providers. Blockchain in healthcare secures patient information and prevents fraud. As transactions have a timestamp and the data can be accessed only by trusted sources. Global healthcare fraud amounts to around 260 billion dollars annually.
All this could be significantly avoided with the implementation of blockchain in healthcare. Besides, it would make patient data easily available to authorized healthcare providers who could use it during an emergency to find details of the patient’s medication, allergies, and health records.
7. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence-powered tools in the healthcare industry could amount to around 34 billion dollars by 2025. This includes the robot nurse, AI chatbots, and other hospital assistant roles that the machines will take over. As AI can accurately predict the illness and prescribe the right drugs, tests, and medication, it could save the healthcare staff ample time. AI is also being programmed to handle personalized therapies based on the genetic makeup and lifestyle of people. As AI could also effectively provide an early diagnosis of diseases, it could save many lives and reduce the wastage of resources. This makes AI a worthy investment in the healthcare sector.
Which of these modern healthcare trends do you think would redefine healthcare? Let us know in the comments section.
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