Technology and Health: How Innovation Helps Healthcare this Pandemic
The healthcare industry is one of the essential services in the whole world. In the US, the industry is on top of the most influential and affluent industries. It’s valued at $146 billion in 2019 alone and has accumulated $1 trillion in overall revenue. It continues to grow to this very day with a healthy compound annual growth rate of 16%. Last year, when the pandemic started, the healthcare industry received thousands of patients. It questioned whether this trillion-dollar industry could handle such a disaster.
The healthcare industry struggled during the first few months. Many hospitals were stretched too thin. Patients both with and without the virus needed help, and there wasn’t enough space or medical professionals to help them. Many professionals were stressed by the tremendous pressure of it all, and there was nowhere to help them. Eventually, as many hospitals got control of the situation, they could implement new measures that could help medical professionals and patients alike. Technology was in the front of this war against the virus. Here are some technologies that are helping the healthcare industry during this pandemic.
Telehealth was first invented way back in the 1950s. It was a way to take care of patients that couldn’t visit hospitals and clinics. Since then, telehealth was limited in what it can do. However, as more years pass, it was developed and honed to be better at what it does.
Today, this particular technology now offers many services, such as medical billings, off-site diagnosis, and scheduling appointments. This isn’t just specific to the medical field either. It even made its way to the mental health field. Many counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists use this technology to keep in touch with their clients and patients. Telehealth was also a tremendous help last year when the pandemic started.
Many patients used telehealth to contact their doctors during the pandemic. Many individuals with Medicare used telehealth to contact medical professionals, which increased telehealth usage by 43%. A number that hasn’t been seen ever since. More than 10 million patients with Medicare used telehealth as their primary communication point with medical professionals. It helped the world against its fight versus the pandemic.
Without telehealth, there would have been considerably more patients in hospitals. More infections would have happened, leading to more deaths. Many Americans from far away places wouldn’t have the healthcare they needed to combat the virus. Our healthcare system would have been revamped without this technology. Thankfully it was right by our side when the pandemic hit.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Many have been trying to integrate artificial intelligence into healthcare ever since its creation. Before the pandemic, inventions like IBM Watson Health have helped with diagnosing tumors from patients. During the start of the pandemic, AI was used in keeping track of infection rates all over the world. It was then used to help the healthcare industry because it can’t handle all the infections without it.
AI was implemented to handle administrative work in hospitals and clinics all over the US. It has also been used to screen patients with the virus. The technology was used to look into the lungs of COVID-19 patients and see whether the virus will be lethal in the long run or not. AI has also improved to the point that it can diagnose various diseases automatically. Although the technology is still quite faulty, many doctors in the field are using it as a reference point.
AI helped reduce the workload of many medical professionals last year, and it is still doing it up to this day. It has saved lives, including the lives of many doctors. It has opened up treatments we wouldn’t have access to before. It is a miraculous technology that has helped us control the virus before it could have gone worse.
There are now apps worldwide that help many medical professionals keep track of people who might be infected with the virus. This is one example of how apps are becoming more integrated with healthcare and how they help us combat the virus.
Apps are part of our daily lives, and they used to be something we would use for entertainment or work. But during the pandemic, it was used to be one of the primary technologies to keep the virus in check. These apps are instrumental for first responders as they can determine and track individuals wherever they are. This is important to have today as we tend to move from place to place quite frequently.
Technology has always been at the forefront of human evolution. It certainly showed how it could help combat a disaster like a pandemic. It has also helped improve the lives of many medical professionals. Moreover, technology has helped the healthcare industries reach new heights it might not otherwise have without it.