Technology & Healthcare - An Update

Technology & Healthcare - An Update

Dr. Adit Desai, Managing Director, KD Hospital, 0

Dr. Adit has been associated with KD Hospital for over two years now, prior to which he held the role of Chairman at Indian Medical Association Junior Doctors Network, and President at MSAI.

It is a fact today that technology has become an integral part of the core of healthcare. Considered to be an accessory to healthcare, technology today has the power and capability to assist as well as completely replace healthcare professionals around the world. With the introduction of Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Machine Learning, Tele medicine, Blockchain, Data Analytics, Customer Relationship Management software(CRM) and customized Hospital Information Management System(HIMS), technological giants have given healthcare a complete face lift.

Today, healthcare is not just about providing treatment to the patient, but it also about analyzing the data and deriving a conclusion which helps a healthcare provider to effectively improve the mode of treatment and ensure utmost patient satisfaction. A good healthcare provider is the one that uses the technology at his/her disposal and provide a line of treatment that will safeguard the patient. A competent and practical doctor is the one who combines technology & medicine and utilizes this combo towards the benefit of the patient, the institution and oneself.

AI has given hospitals the power to convincingly diagnose a disease and as a result lockdown the correct line of treatment. With companies like IBM (Watson), Google AI, and Apple working rigorously towards streamlining their AI products they have provided tools to doctors and institutes to efficiently operate and diagnose a patient. Products like the IBM Watson enables institutes and doctors to store & control patient data, analyze and interpret patterns with speed and scale. It also optimizes and customizes healthcare programs to provide affordable healthcare to patients. It helps in reducing readmission rates and improves the quality of treatment provided in the hospitals. On the other hand, Google AI is working towards quick diagnosis of diseases such as Diabetic retinopathy, assisting Pathologists in detecting cancers through machine learning, which colludes and analyzes a vast pool of patient data using deep learning as a tool to study, and Genomics to provide better results to researchers.

Apple AI is providing tools like custom hospital and patient software to be used by the hospitals. Apple Watch has taken a step further, as it includes heart rate monitoring and notifications, irregular heart rhythm notifications a single lead ECG and the waveform, results, date time and any symptoms are recorded & ready to use any time.
Augmented Reality(AR) has a wide area of application from student lectures to simulation rooms for doctors. The major hurdle faced by medical students across the world is visualizing the theoretical data to actual practical applications. AR acts as a bridge and helps students as well as experienced doctors to improve on their technical skills and perform complicated surgeries in a simulated environment. The practical application of this technology is limitless. Students can visualize the anatomy and physiology of a human body inside the classroom itself without the need of cadavers and the formalin. Doctors on the other hand can scan the body of the patient and practice the surgery in the simulation room with the help of AR and identify the complications as well as the best way to successfully operate the patient.

The way to the future goes through thorough research and conclusive findings, and the only way to get through these is through a solid pool of credible data

Data is the new currency in today’s world, and data storage centres are the new banks of the world. The way to the future goes through thorough research and conclusive findings, and the only way to get through these is through a solid pool of credible data. Data helps an organisation and an individual to assess, analyze interpret, rectify and conclude what’s right and what’s wrong. Healthcare has always been and will always be a sensitive area for doctors as well as for patients. CRMs assist an organisation by studying the data and helping it identify & rectify customer (patient) grievances and improve on the service part of healthcare. Also, Blockchain helps by securing the data and ensuring the privacy of the data shared by individuals. Both these aspects are of utmost importance when it comes to customer satisfaction.

Telemedicine is currently the talk of the town. From remote imaging & pathologicaldiagnosis to performing complex procedures, the possibility is unending. We have entered an era, where the physical availability of a doctor is not the primary concern. A doctor can sit in one part of the world and treat the patient on another end. This is the marvel of technology which enables the healthcare industry to perform wonders. Robotics and internet seem to be the perfect match in today’s world. Telemedicine is connecting the world in a way that has never been done before.

The discriminatory factors of the world have diminished. The rural is not rural anymore, and the urban is not urban. We are living in a world where physical boundaries are the least of concern. Yet, we as a community and as a society, are not able to optimally utilize the power of technology. We are struggling and not ready to adapt to the changing world around us. Adaptation forms the core of our genetic balance, and yet we fear the inevitable. The moment we embrace what’s in front of us is the moment we will move forward as a species. We must always remember to utilize the technology in our hand for the betterment of the society and to help and improve the current healthcare scenario of the society.