Today, the digital revolution is having an indelible impact on the medical landscape. New technologies are making it easier for patients to receive treatment and to communicate with their doctors. Today, diagnostic systems are being fine-tuned through technology, and doctors can share information with their colleagues worldwide.
Anosh Ahmed, a health expert from Chicago, Illinois, explains how physicians create a higher standard of care through advances in digital technology.
One of the technologies that have the largest impact on the healthcare of the future is artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence or AI has the potential to eliminate misdiagnosis and spot patterns that the human mind may miss.
Medical records are full of actionable data points. Computer systems with artificial intelligence-enabled will sort through these records and provide a complete picture of each patient’s health. AI can automate tasks that humans find repetitive and arduous, sometimes outperforming physicians and medical resources.
Effective AI algorithms are created by feeding structured data to a computer. After the algorithm has absorbed enough data, its performance is analyzed for accuracy. The algorithm can then be modified to create the best possible results.
AI can be used for numerical or image-based data. These data points could include blood pressure, heart rate, and image data like MRI scans. Algorithms are then able to produce classifications and probabilities. With significant accuracy, they can predict the cause of some anomalies in data points. They can also label tissue samples as non-cancerous or cancerous.
Anosh Ahmed believes that social media is beginning to make an impact on doctors’ daily work. Many physicians and their offices maintain social media presences, posting helpful links, articles, and discussions to help their patients connect and learn more about their conditions.
Doctors of the future will need to be conversant with social media because the platform will only continue to gain importance as the years go by.
In the future, doctors will rely even more on telehealth applications. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many doctors began seeing patients remotely. This is especially true of behavioral health professionals like psychiatrists and therapists. Patients could receive continuity of care while avoiding going into potentially hazardous environments like doctors’ offices or hospitals. Even after COVID has eased, telehealth will continue to be important in the American healthcare model and worldwide.
Telehealth is not only good for the doctor-patient relationship, but it also aids doctors in communicating with one another. Remote experts can be brought in to look at a patient, compare notes, and offer opinions on diagnosis. This is especially helpful for hospitals in rural areas which are not close to renowned specialists in any given field.
Digital technologies are at the forefront of preventive care. One of the most popular forms of medical technology today is the smart wearable. These include Fitbits and Apple Watches. The Apple Watch, for example, can detect signs of atrial fibrillation, a condition that kills 130,000 people and causes 750,000 hospitalizations in the U.S. each year.
Electronic Medical Records
Today, the focus is on transmitting traditional paper records to electronic medical records. These records could be cross-referenced and indexed to provide an overall sense of a patient’s physical and mental health, giving doctors more options to treat the person holistically.
Electronic medical records save time and make doctors’ work more efficient. Creating user-friendly electronic medical records is presently a priority in the industry since sometimes these systems can be difficult to convert and install.
Digital technologies are making it much easier for physicians to diagnose illness. They can compare similar records to their patients, seeing what prior outcomes were and how they may be repeated. Artificial intelligence plays a large role in diagnosing illnesses, but other methods are also helpful.
The Change Begins With Education
The use of digital technologies is enhancing the medical field. In medical schools worldwide, tomorrow’s doctors are being taught to use these aspects of technology and many others to help their patients live healthier lives.
Some medical students may worry that computer systems will supersede their jobs, but the human touch will always be needed in the medical field. No computer system can come close to a human when it comes to intelligently and compassionately treating a patient.
Medical technology companies are continually creating new ways to use and analyze data to treat patients better. These companies are at the forefront of technology, contributing a great deal to the cause of medical science.
Anosh Ahmed recommends that today’s physicians and medical students keep abreast of all relevant digital developments in their fields. When they properly train themselves to use these new methods, they can increase the quality of care for their patients and foster faster recoveries and better survival rates.