The health and medical industry is arguably one of the most crucial businesses in the world, not only for its economic importance but more so because of its role in keeping the human race alive. Like food production and power generation, it will never get obsolete but would instead, continue to evolve.
For many years, the advancement in technology has led the way to outstanding growths in different fields and industries, not only improving our way of life but also promising new and better things to look forward to in the centuries to come. In fact, several advantages from these developments shaped a better world and their benefits can be seen most especially in how the combination of technological feats and healthcare research revolutionized medicine in the last decade. Let’s discuss some of the most innovative healthcare developments in the past 10 years.
3D Printing in medicine
Medical 3D printing is probably one of the most industry-changing technologies of the century. This type of three-dimensional printing initially made headlines because of its innovations in manufacturing and production until its popularity took another spotlight when scientists achieved the impossible and successfully created human organs and simple body parts using 3D printers.
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Another breakthrough in medicine contributed to the necessary development in cancer therapies is through cancer fingerprinting. This approach analyzes the how particular cases of this disease react to specific treatments. According to experts, each cancer case displays a unique identity code and the process of “fingerprinting” can allow medical staff to observe and study the mutated genes of tumors, letting them measure the sensitivity of specific cancers to different types of chemotherapy.
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Heart failure is one of the leading causes of death around the world but recent progress in research related to this disease provided hope for people suffering from serious heart conditions through a new synthetic version of relaxin, the “serelaxin,” a type of hormone that can boost survival rates in patients by 37 percent. This type of treatment can open up blood vessels and have shown anti-inflammatory effects on the human system. Although several medical trials are still being conducted, this is one of the strongest candidate to finally pave the way to new and advanced avenue of research.
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Truly, we have come so far in our search for a more optimistic and healthier life and these developments will go on to lead a brighter and healthier future for all of humanity.
Interoperability is at the heart of the blockchain technology and for the health care industry, this ability could power a more accessible yet safer way of health information exchange. For instance, taking advantage of this innovation for electronic medical records sharing will not only provide patients with real-time information but also deliver a faster way of data sharing among institutions and healthcare providers.
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The technology could give rise to new health information exchanges (HIE) models that will create more efficient electronic medical records. Although it still in its early stages, here are the potential uses of Blockchain technology that will revolutionize the healthcare industry.
- Health record management
The technology has the potential to build a less complicated and more updated digital record-keeping system. As a ledger technology, it can promote interoperability, ensuring integrity and privacy for patient records.
- Patient-centered approach
Patients can have the full control and real-time access to their own medical data so that they can easily share it with other healthcare providers like hospitals, insurance companies as well as laboratories.
- Secured sharing
With its real-time access and control capabilities, patients can share data to various groups or individuals. Data sharing are pre-approved so that it will only be shared with the patient’s chosen group of individuals or organizations.
Transferring a patient’s medical records between institutions and healthcare providers will be faster and will cost less. In addition, compliance costs will be reduced and the digital nature of this technology will make auditing easier.
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Blockchain technology has not yet reached its full maturity in its possible applications in other industries and there are still issues that need to be addressed. However, many experts believe that it has the revolutionary potential to transform the health care industry in the future, which can spell a healthcare boom, higher client satisfaction rates, and even increased value of healthcare stocks—the latter a major plus for investors.
Digitalization has not only encompassed modes of entertainment such as movies and music. It has also made its way into the hospitals and the healthcare system. This has numerous positive implications for the industry. Not only will service delivery become faster, but it will also translate to a more efficient working framework. This is a most welcome change for one of the pitfalls of healthcare is that it is highly cluttered. That’s why the numerous startups that are popping up in this field are something to truly watch out for.
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Zocdoc is one of the pioneers in this field. On average, patients struggle just to acquire a doctor’s appointment. Zocdoc wants to solve this problem by giving patients real time access to their healthcare providers through their app. During their early days a few years ago, they were able to raise $15 million.
Force Therapeutics, meanwhile, is drastically improving patient outcomes by giving them direct communication with their doctors. They take it a step further by educating them through video recordings. They mainly deal with patients with musculoskeletal problems.
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The co-founders of Flatiron Health had a first-hand experience of what it means to fight cancer. That is why they launched their cloud-based startup which mainly focuses on the digitalization of oncology. They were able to raise an incredible $175 million in funding.
StartUp Health on the other hand has made their goals a little bit bigger. In a span of 25 years, they are planning to improve the global healthcare system by elevating the wellbeing of all through their network of Health Transformers.
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Many more positive changes in the healthcare industry will happen in the next couple of years or even decades, and most of them will be largely based on technological advancements. Thus far, hundreds of millions of dollars have already been spent to develop apps or tools that could streamline data management within the industry.