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Until the 1940’s, doctors made house calls to patients, treating colds and flus, delivering babies, even performing surgeries. It was around the same time that companies began offering health benefits in order to compete for workers. Since the cost of house calls was so high and health insurance was becoming popular, doctors realized the benefit of treating several patients in one day in private offices and hospitals. This change led to the practice of modern medicine today. And it isn’t until now that this long-standing paradigm is making a huge shift with the convergence of many technologies to make medicine more personalized again.

telemedicine

Enter the modern-day house call. The advent of telemedicine allows you to have a house-call visit with a doctor. All you need is to download an app, and your medical issue could be resolved through a live-video chat/doctor visit. A video visit with a board-certified doctor enables medical treatment for a variety of common conditions like cold and flu, skin issues, sports injuries and eye issues. However, emergencies and chronic issues are better left to your in-person physician.

You could have a mental health visit in the privacy of your own home to discuss stress, depression or anxiety. Just like an in-person visit, a video visit with a doctor includes an assessment resulting in a diagnosis and prescription (if needed.)

On average, Americans spend 2.4 billion hours a year making doctors visits. Telemedicine saves time and has endless potential in making healthcare available to those in remote areas or to patients with limited resources. A vast majority of patients report that they want to be able to communicate with their doctors through email, phone calls and video chats.

Modern healthcare does have its drawbacks, though. The lack of access to quality healthcare is a huge problem, as well as the time it takes to see a doctor. Mental health visits can often take weeks to schedule and nearly half of these patients go without treatment.

The good news is that technological advances in key areas are making a huge difference in the practice, delivery and intervention of medicine. The current model of healthcare is making revolutionary changes, and the synergies of these technologies promise to shape the future of medicine. Listed are some of the areas affording changes in medicine:

Information and Data—The Digitization of Medicine

  • Big Data
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Electronic Health Records
  • Imaging
  • Wearables
  • Wireless monitoring to ubiquitous (always monitoring and managing) apps.

Personalized Medicine – Personal Testing Like That From Pathway Genomics

  • Genomics
  • Environments
  • Lifestyle

Regenerative Medicine

  • Stem Cell
  • Cell regeneration

High-tech Interventions

  • Prosthetics
  • 3D printing
  • Smart pills
  • Gene therapy

The future of healthcare will realize a complete change. Where advanced medicine was previously available through specialists for a minority of patients, we’ll see a democratization of medicine—making it available to all; despite their economy, geography, ethnicity, age or state of health.