Medical technology influences patient outcomes but is often a complicated balancing act between what hospitals can afford to provide. The newest technology is expensive, and deployment can be complicated. Technicians also need training in new devices, and the process can be slow.
From preparing for the operating room to bettering the outcome of recovery efforts, here are some of the biggest advancements in medicine that are affecting patient outcomes for the better.
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Rehabilitation and Recovery
Aiding patient recovery helps reduce the costs of long hospital stays, and empowers patients and their families to take a leading role in care. New technology like VR has become a popular tool for distraction therapy to reduce dependence on pain medications.
Patients also benefit from less invasive procedures made possible by precision medicine. Based on actual x-rays from patients, doctors can simulate a procedure such as a hip replacement surgery and work through complications before ever seeing the operating room.
Changing technology also means more space in patient rooms, changing emotional outlook. Bulky and older equipment has been replaced with more mobile units that accomplish the same everyday tasks involved with patient care.
More Patient Data
Changing healthcare laws have brought their fair share of complications, but they’ve also benefited healthcare. You might notice that the frequency you’re asked about your medical history has reduced. New laws mean more of your data is protected in the cloud, and available to doctors and medical professionals who need it to treat conditions.
Patients also have greater access to data related to how much fat they burn, their diet and nutrient intake, and whether or not they live an active lifestyle thanks to wearables. Wearables record important data like heart rate or footsteps and help motivate a healthier lifestyle. Apps that track diets provide greater insight into what we eat and teach us to seek healthier alternatives. Even cooking databases have helped reignite interest in cooking. It’s good to be a foodie, and it can be healthy too.
The materials utilized in medical device engineering have changed as care shifts toward the home. Often, devices are operated by family members with little technical expertise. Devices must be intuitive, often constructed of flexible or light-weight materials. Even implants have changed as 3D printing and manufacturing standards have changed. Biocompatibility, or the function of the device, is ultimately determined by rigorous testing. More resilient materials that maintain range of motion allow patients to regain mobility that would have been lost even a decade ago.
Home care also adds an additional level of complexity to the sterilization of tools. Doctors and nurses may not be around for every session, so tools made of metals that resist bacteria are becoming the norm.
While medical procedures have become more precise, medical home care has become intuitive. Hospitals have consolidated old equipment and given patients the space they need to recover. Healthcare is improving year after year. Today, patients can receive remote healthcare and wearables that offer round-the-clock data monitoring. Diabetes care and oncology have evolved dramatically thanks to these improved devices.
Patient care has never been better thanks to better access to data, and improved medical technology that better tracks the historical outlook of a patient’s health.