Technology is a driving force behind innovations in medicine and, when you look at the rate of change and recent advancements, it’s hard not to agree with that observation. Increasingly the availability of medical information is making its way to patients’ hands through phones, apps, and wearable technology.
And more physicians are embracing this as a way to give their patients more ownership over their own health. Below are some of the concentrated areas where medicine and technology continue to intersect in our industry:
Wearables – Wearables are nothing new and have been around for at least a decade. However, their use and adoption are where the gains continue to heat up. Apple released new health features for its watch, and FitBit and Garmin continue to create new inroads in monitoring vital statistics. This wearable technology also extends to hair loss. Eclipse offers the Theradome LH80, a low-level laser light therapy helmet that patients can use at home to support hair growth and reduce thinning hair. It incorporates Bluetooth functionality and connects to any computer to show progress.
Data – the use of data is the major engine behind expanding technology as companies learn more about how we work and live and use that data to develop solutions via technology to meet our needs. It’s how artificial intelligence technology of Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home know what type of information to push to you. It’s also guiding medical practices to understand patient buying behavior, and position treatments and services at the right times.
Precision – the size of devices and its inherent technology continues to reduce in physical size, creating increased precision with less impact. From robotic technology to hand-held devices, physicians are able to achieve a more precise treatment while limiting impact to the area. This all leads to reduced downtime, faster healing, and better outcomes. What once required bulky units and huge price points is now available in the palm of the hand.
Pioneering – the expanding use of technology isn’t constrained to just physical devices and gadgets. It’s also helping to broaden the use of medicine by allowing physicians and researchers to create more trials and examine potential treatments. From patient mapping to predictive modeling, physicians are able to capture more insight into treatments and outcomes. This allows for medical trials to determine how else certain treatments can expand the use of medicine and the potential for curing serious health issues. This work is often done behind the scenes and isn’t as flashy as the next gen Apple Watch, but it has tremendous potential to improve patients’ lives.