Advances in technology now move at a sweep-you-off-your-feet and mind-bewildering pace, such that few can fully keep up with it. But that doesn’t mean the average person can’t or doesn’t benefit from it. And one of the areas where high-tech innovations are making the biggest practical impact on our lives is in the arena of health.
Here are six key ways that new technologies can benefit your health, whether directly or indirectly, and help you live a longer, happier life:
1. By Providing Safer, More Precise Medical Devices
The advent of a flurry of non-invasive medical examination and treatment devices, often with tiny inbuilt cameras and slender forms that slip in through the tiniest of incisions, has both reduced the need for many surgeries and made such surgeries safer when they do become necessary.
That’s the benefit of safer design and greater precision of movement and targeting, which is dependent on advances in medical knowledge and in high-tech software.
But there is also improvement in the device components themselves. Components of medical devices ranging from surgical equipment to forceps to glucose monitoring instruments to IV catheter products all rely on high-tech metal stamping (by companies like Weiss-Aug) and other precision manufacturing processes that were non-existent in decades and years gone by.
2. By Helping You Find Ways to Get More Affordable Care
There are factors that make the costs of healthcare rise, such as out of control litigation and tight government regulations, but technological advances improve the efficiency of the cost of producing drugs and medical equipment, counteracting those price-hike trends at least to an extent.
But modern apps and online comparison tools also help you reduce costs by making it easy to find the most affordable care in your region with only a few keystrokes and mouse clicks. (Click on the link to learn more on how to reduce healthcare costs you pay out of pocket.)
But the point we make here is that the more affordable care is, the more likely you are to use it and resort to it sooner rather than later. That means you get more care and more timely care: so cost savings driven by technology really can (if indirectly) improve your health.
3. By Making Doctors and Nurses More Efficient
Another obvious technology based health benefit is that busy medical practitioners on the “front lines” of healthcare can save time by using handy handheld devices to instantly record and share important data. Medical histories are updated almost automatically and are constantly accessible to the proper channels.
That saves time, which saves lives and improves care. And it also means medical workers can care for more people without sacrificing quality.
Lab results, vital signs, and a host of other crucial data are collected by mobile devices or automatically and then sent to a central hub that makes analyzing patient data and discerning the practical implications of it faster and more reliable.
4. By Enabling Better Communication Among Medical Workers
Similar to the innovation in data collection and interpretation is the improvement of communications in the medical world.
On digital medical platforms like MyChart, for example, appointments are set and messages are shared among medical staff.And communication between physician and patient is also sped up by our “smartphone and techie focused age.”
Delays in communication can be quite costly in many medical situations, and therefore, your health is that much safer in the hands of medical personnel who rapidly communicate by digital means and check messages regularly and/or when an alarm alerts them.
5. By Enhancing Medical Research Efforts
One area where “big data” is making a huge, positive impact is in the arena of medical research, particularly as directed at disease prevention goals. The WHO’s database of diseases, causes, symptoms, and trends makes it easier to spot outbreaks before they become epidemics and provides researchers with an invaluable tool in tracking and analyzing all of the world’s known diseases.
High-tech software paired with this massive and meticulously organized stash of WHO data makes medical research faster, more accurate, and less expensive. All of those benefits eventually materialize in better disease prevention and management and in finding long-elusive cures.
6. By Boosting Your Ability to Track Your Own Health Habits
The swarm of modern apps and devices that help you track your nutrition, fitness, and sleep habits is yet another means by means technology can improve your health. Wearable technology can monitor vital signs, count your daily steps, count calorie intake, and sense your body movements to measure physical activity levels by complex formulas.
Also, devices you wear can inform you of your body temperature (so you don’t go into hypothermia when out shoveling snow, for example) and alert emergency services if you slip and fall or if you have a stroke or heart attack.
Finally, apps like SleepBot help you monitor your sleep patterns and automatically turn off Wifi and smartphone ringtones until you awake (to eliminate potential disturbances.) And SleepBot also acts as an alarm clock and gives you input on the positive or negative results that might be stemming from your current sleep-habit trends.