IA, VR, IoT medical and other technologies have transformed traditional healthcare into a smart ecosystem. Thanks to innovative systems, medical professionals can better diagnose and treat patients’ conditions. With more advances on the horizon, the future looks exciting, and who knows, maybe modern technology could soon eliminate deadly diseases.
The application of AI helps to detect skin cancer at an early stage
The incidence of skin cancer has increased significantly over the past few decades and, according to the World Health Organization, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer at some point in their life. However, if the condition is identified at an early stage, the patient’s chances of survival are higher.
To make this early detection possible, a team of researchers developed a christened AI solution Dr. Hazel. The solution takes the form of an application that analyzes an image of a patient’s skin and compares it to a large database of images with skin under cancerous conditions. In case there is a match, the app immediately suggests that the patient see a doctor in person.
Today, the solution offers 85% accuracy, but as your image database grows steadily, accuracy also gradually increases. Once launched on the market, Dr. Hazel it will be a convenient and economical approach to skin health care for both doctors and patients.
The AI solution improves efficiency in the operating room
Surgery departments can also benefit from AI. In 2018, a technology startup called Digital Surgery created a AI solution which helps surgeons in the operating room by playing the role of a navigation system. Based on a camera and computer vision, the system monitors what happens during surgery and then “checks and correlates the anatomy and actions with the largest library of surgical roadmaps,” guiding the surgical teams. Thanks to machine learning algorithms, the system also predicts the next steps a surgeon must take, making surgery much safer.
Digital Surgery is known for its contribution to the healthcare technology market. Previously, this company created a surgical training app with more than 200 different simulations currently used by more than two million surgeons worldwide.
VR therapy helps to treat eating disorders
Conditions such as obesity, anorexia and bulimia are becoming more common and, although the main cause is not known, it is he believed that a combination of factors – nutritional deficiency, poor self-esteem, childhood trauma, genetics, as well as careers or sports focused on maintaining a slim body (modeling, ballet or gymnastics) – can lead to its development. VR simulations help to address these eating disorders regardless of the cause.
With the VR environment, patients can face face-to-face image problems. For example, a patient can virtually recreate their body shape as they imagine it, allowing a therapist to see how they perceive themselves. A therapist can then create another virtual model, based on a patient’s actual body measurements this time. By comparing both models together with a patient, a therapist will be able to achieve a deeper level of understanding of the problem and offer better guidance.
Another way to address behaviors caused by eating disorders is to place patients in a virtual environment, such as a restaurant, where they are forced to order a meal. Through simulation, patients are trained to overcome their anxiety.
IoT provides nursing staff with patient follow-up 24 hours a day
Slingeland Hospital in the Dutch city of Doetinchem welcome an IoT solution developed by Fujitsu. The solution consists of a patch equipped with sensors that can be connected to a patient’s chest. The patch measures heart rate and blood pressure and sends the data to linked medical devices used by hospital staff. Thanks to additional sensors in hospital beds, healthcare professionals can also learn more about patients ’sleep patterns.
Because all data is available to nursing staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a day, there is no need to do frequent checkups that can sometimes upset patients. “Even when [the staff] they are extremely busy, they can prioritize any patient whose health is deteriorating, thanks to data-driven decision-making, ”says hospital general manager Chrit van Ewijk.
Both Slingeland Hospital staff and patients appreciate this IoT solution, and hospital officials already plan to use the same technology for remote post-surgery follow-up.
3D printed implants can help patients with spinal cord injuries
Another innovative technology designed to reshape the world of healthcare is additive manufacturing, commonly known as 3D printing. Recently, engineers at the University of Minnesota have done just that published a newspaper article Advanced functional materials, explaining the procedure for developing a 3D printed implant for patients suffering from spinal cord injuries.
The researchers combined 3D printing with bioengineering techniques to design a silicone spinal implant with neuronal stem cells. Once the implant is the patient’s body, it acts as a “bridge between living nerve cells above and below the area of injury.” In this way, the neuronal cells of the implant can help patients regain control of their muscles, bladder, or bowel. For people suffering from long-term spinal cord injuries, this technology is truly revolutionary.
Over the past few years, we have witnessed incredible technology-driven changes in the healthcare sector, but more is yet to come. As technology continues to advance at an astonishing rate, the future of healthcare it has never seemed more exciting. So don’t be surprised when even greater medical breakthroughs become our reality.
Are you looking for a solution to your healthcare IT challenge? Our experienced healthcare consultants are here to help.