Melissa Powell, COO of The Allure Group, discusses the new developments in healthcare technology.
Technology and healthcare have always been inextricably linked. Even more so than industry or exploration, human need has driven advancements in technology throughout the decades.
That will continue to be the case this year. As the world’s elderly population steadily climbs, major developments in healthcare technology can’t come soon enough. Here are seven trends in healthcare technology that are shaping the future of healthcare.
1. Patient monitoring systems
One of the most important advancements in recent years is patient monitoring systems like The Allure Group’s EarlySense. EarlySense, first introduced by Allure in 2017, uses sensors and advanced algorithms to monitor and analyse cardiac, respiratory, and motion parameters in patients to assist clinicians in the early detection of distress.
In the first six months alone, the EarlySense system showed results in line with those that had been seen elsewhere — a 45% reduction in patient falls, a 60% reduction in bedsores, and an 80% reduction in code-blue events. Along with that is the time-saving component — the manner in which healthcare professionals can, in effect, be in two places at once. That is crucial, given staffing shortages and the increasing number of elderly patients.
2. Robotics for healing
Another major step forward in the healthcare industry is the use of robotics to assist with patient recovery. Robotic devices and therapies have already shown tremendous promise in their power to help patients recover from trauma such as surgery or stroke, and more applications are emerging every day.
The Allure Group remains at the forefront of implementing such cutting-edge technologies in its facilities. From robotic devices that work to restore motor skills such as the Armeo Spring and the H200, to innovative physical therapy tools like the Lokomat and the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill, Allure is committed to the continuous discovery and realisation of robotics to better serve our community of patients.
3. Companion robots
While rehabilitation might be the most commonly thought of application for robotics in healthcare, this developing technology offers other benefits as well. Social isolation and loneliness remain as major challenges facing our ageing population today, both of which increase the risk for mental and physical ailments.
Support robots, already in use in countries such as Germany and Japan, can perform important tasks like keeping track of medicine intake, providing wake-up calls, and transporting food. Along with these practical tasks, support robots can provide a sense of companionship and engagement through the use of memory games, and in the near future we can expect to see the implementation of support robots in daily tasks and household chores as well.
4. Apps to stay connected
While access to support and companion robots may be limited for many individuals right now, apps that can improve the lives of seniors are but a smartphone click away.
From communication apps like Skype and FaceTime to connectivity and entertainment apps like Words with Friends and Audible, the average smartphone app store now offers a wealth of apps to keep seniors feeling connected to the culture around them and the people they care about.
Another emerging trend in healthcare for the elderly is the use of telemedicine. Telemedicine, or the remote diagnoses and treatment of patients using telecommunications technology, is expected to grow significantly in the coming years with the expansion of robotic healthcare and data-driven systems. At The Allure Group, for instance, we use Telehealth Solution.
For seniors who have limited mobility and can’t travel very far, telemedicine will be a revolution in the way we care for our ageing population.
6. Big data and analytics
Big data is sweeping through the various industries of our world, and the healthcare industry will be no exception. The healthcare industry is privy to a wealth of information about patients, treatments, and results, and with the use of analytics that data will be put to good use.
From being able to make predictions about the health of patients to modeling the possible outcomes of treatments, big data and analytics will result in more efficient and safer medicine, and better outcomes for patients overall.
7. Precision medicine
Thanks to the potential of big data and analytics, precision medicine is finally on the horizon for the healthcare industry. Precision medicine operates on a simple truth: No two patients are alike.
From genomic structure to environmental factors, the many variables between patients mean that treatments and drugs can have variable outcomes as well. But with our new ability to utilise vast quantities of data like genomic information, we can leave behind the “one size fits all” model of medicine and move toward customised healthcare.