It is a fact that technology in medicine is transforming health care and the way doctors relate to patients. The automation of procedures, strengthened with the arrival of the Internet of Things (IoT) , Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) , deeply interfere with the way medicine is applied. These transformations impact from the teaching of the profession, through the practice of the physician to the prevention and treatment of diseases.
We already talked here on the blog about the 7 medical specialties that benefit from telemedicine . The issuing of online reports, with more agility and precision, is only one of the medicine of the future . In this article, we will discuss which specialties gain advantages with technology in medicine and will have potential for expanded assistance with the advances that are yet to come.
What specialties can advance more with technology in medicine?
It is a fact that all specialties are impacted by the advancement of technology, but some in particular will undergo more considerable changes. To describe some of them, let’s base ourselves on the doctor’s studies Bertalan Mésko , internationally recognized by research in futuristic medicine. Mésko is also a reference when it comes to the impacts of technology on medicine and, in his view, specialties that will benefit greatly from the technological revolution .
For him, the innovations of digital health ( eHealth ) will enable physicians to focus on research, be more creative in finding solutions, and be able to focus attention care and patient care delegating to technological automation the repetitive part of the work. According to Meskó, these are human skills that no device can replace.
And just as in other sectors impacted by innovation, there will also be, in medicine, areas or jobs more affected than others, and specialties that will thrive more than others.
Among the specialties that will be further advanced with the help of technological tools, we will highlight the following:
Established trust, care based on clinical history and a holistic view of the patient make family physicians a highly sought after specialty. With the support of sensors and remote monitoring devices, these professionals can follow, even at a distance, the vital signs of their patients. This will facilitate from simple counseling to emergency care.
But the big question is that these doctors will have a large “library” with long-term data to establish more accurate treatments or give a more effective referral to other specialists. Imagine that, in the not too distant future, bots (robots equipped with artificial intelligence to machine learning ) can provide first-line care through specific applications and thereby answer simple questions based on each patient’s stored information.
Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation
Again, the technology, through applications for remote monitoring, is highlighted. Applied to high-performance sports, apps like Fitbit Blaze , GymWatch and Wahoo , capture data with extreme precision and enable sports doctors to adjust treatments and assist in increasingly personalized training for athletes. Added to the genetic studies, they can reveal a global vision to prevent increased risk of injuries and even nutritional deficiencies.
When we talk about rehabilitation, the possibilities are endless. Exoskeletons, mechanical hands and arms, 3D prints, all available to stimulate movements or give back skills to those who lost them.
The analysis of images with the use of artificial intelligence algorithms should be broadly extended. Today, more advanced diagnostic and telemedicine systems use Google’s TensorFlow to identify and flag test abnormalities, and then machine learning can completely free up radiologists from technical and repetitive tasks. In addition to TensorFlow, there is Medical Sieve , IBM, and Arterys .
Great evil of the century and increasingly challenging by the different mutations, cancer gains opponents more prepared to anticipate diagnoses and treat efficiently the organs and tissues affected. There are already therapies based on the genetic background of patients and the molecular composition of their tumors.
O spin off of the Illumina, called GRAIL , is developing fluid biopsies, for example. These are blood tests capable of detecting all types of cancer from a very early stage. IBM has developed the Watson to help with cancer research; Google has your project Deepmind Health ; it’s the Hanover from Microsoft, groups all jobs to help predict which drugs and combinations are most effective.
Nanotechnology will greatly help medical gastroenterologists diagnose diseases in a minimally invasive manner. Including, with the innovation called PillCam , this can already be done. It is a kind of capsule endoscopy, in which the patient swallows a camera the size of a tablet. The disposable capsule allows visualizing the small intestine, esophagus and colon and diagnoses gastrointestinal disorders without sedation or invasive endoscopic procedures.
We have listed here only five of the many specialties that have gained much from advances in technology in medicine. There are also many positive results that will soon be achieved on several fronts of health.
Innovations will be responsible for bringing many opportunities to physicians who, with the acquisition of knowledge and new skills, can quickly improve their current practices and rely on this great ally in disease prevention and control.
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