Technological advances also positively impact medical advances. And it is that the development of technology has helped the creation of new drugs and treatments, improving medical research and simplifying processes. In fact, investment in the digital health industry has grown considerably in recent years, since only in 2010 1.1 billion dollars were invested globally, while in 2019 this figure increased to 13.7 billion dollars. dollars, according to data from Statista.
“Medicine and technological advances tend to go hand in hand, which has made it possible to transform this industry through technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data or the Internet of Things (IoT) “, says Gustavo Parés, CEO from the Mexican company specialized in developing solutions using Artificial Intelligence, NDS Cognitive Labs. “Thanks to this, today we can see from small devices that help us measure and take care of our health, such as smart watches, to large robots that help doctors to perfor
m complicated or remote surgeries, such as the Da Vinci robot ”, he points out.
Technology is important in medicine not only because of the development of these types of tools , but also because of the benefits that they bring, such as increasing accessibility to medical care or increasing people’s hope and quality of life. .
According to NDS Cognitive Labs , here are some examples of how technology has helped and benefited the medical industry:
Chatbot as a health consultant
Every day many people have questions about their health, which they often search for a solution on Google or on websites with questionable credibility . In this sense, chatbots can be used as health consultants, which makes them a great ally to combat misinformation and encourage patients to carry out the corresponding studies or attend a medical consultation, if necessary.
Virtual assistants are of great help to answer frequently asked questions from patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma or HIV. OneRemission, for example, is an Integrative Oncology application that features a chatbot that plays the role of a physical , mental, and social health consultant . If a user has a negative thought, they send a message to the app and receive an explanation of their feelings. If you need advice on nutrition, sleep or exercise, OneRemission becomes a personal advisor. It is also able to help family members or friends of cancer survivors learn how to treat and support people with this condition.
Telemedicine takes the digitization of healthcare to the next level, allowing patients to see specialists virtually anywhere they are, as long as they have an internet connection.
It is a technology applied to the health system to overcome distance barriers and facilitate medical care, by storing and forwarding images and other data to a specialist to facilitate asynchronous consultations, that is, it does not require that both parties remain present or online at the same time. This can significantly reduce the waiting time for patients; accelerating treatment delivery processes.
Doc.com, for example, is a smartphone application that offers professional medical assistance and guidance, as well as 24/7 psychological therapy. The application allows you to contact health professionals to receive a timely diagnosis and treatment.
Virtual reality medical training
Virtual reality has the ability to help see areas within the human body that would otherwise be impossible to see. With this, medical students can learn and practice on elements that are difficult to obtain, such as the heart, the nervous system or a whole body. In addition, thanks to virtual reality they can see minute details of any part of the body in an impressive 360 ° CGI (computer generated image) reconstruction and create training scenarios that reproduce common surgical procedures, just as the Medical Realities platform does.
Medical Realities, for example, is one of the pioneering companies in the use of virtual reality to provide high-quality surgical training. The company films a real-life surgery in 4K 360 ° video from multiple angles that is then combined with CGI models of the anatomy, to provide an immersive and interactive experience for students.
Significant clinical data for analysis and treatment
The technology helps produce a wealth of data that can be used to improve patient care, for example, pacemakers and stents send automatic updates over the Internet that allow doctors to know important factors such as weight or blood glucose levels.
Likewise, there are tools in common use that can perform the same functions, such as wearable devices, which send statistics of exercise, sleep patterns or heart rate, useful information to control chronic diseases such as insomnia or hypertension.
In addition, much of the data is synchronized with Big Data to produce reports and analysis that detect population trends and gaps in health care management . An example of the potential of this technology is Embrace, a smartwatch developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that uses Artificial Intelligence to help manage seizures suffered by patients with epilepsy, automatically alerting a medical professional or designated person. to help him.