There has been a strong relationship between healthcare and technology for some time – arguably centuries, when you consider the part played by microscopes in studying medicine. With scientists working to develop new technologies all the time, there’s really no better application for new discoveries than using them to keep people alive and healthy.
The current use of technology as most of us experience it is all fairly straightforward. We can have video calls with a GP, or ask for our prescription to be sent electronically and delivered with help from an app. But the ongoing innovation that is happening behind the scenes could be the most exciting part of the technological revolution. When some of these ideas are put into practice, the world of healthcare and technology could change in ways most of us hadn’t imagined. And it could have benefits for all of us.
The most immediate example of how VR can be used in a healthcare setting is its application in teaching. The doctors of tomorrow can be guided through training in some of the most complex procedures, and their performance measured, using this technology. The benefits of this form of learning, as compared to practicing with cadavers, are almost unending. Chief among them are the ability to model real-life patient reactions and the scalability of the process.
In other cases, VR has already been used to demonstrate to vaccine-hesitant individuals how the process of group immunity works. This has led to numerous individuals dropping their objections to vaccinations, which has undoubtedly already saved lives.
You may already have heard of the 3D printing of a model of a human heart. Now, for full disclosure, let’s be absolutely clear; no human being has ever had a full heart transplant using a 3D-printed heart. The technology has not reached that far, yet, but we are close to a point where printed heart valves may be implanted in a patient. A human bladder has been printed and placed in a patient, and we’re not far from a point where 3D Printing in Dubai could be used to replace joints as a first course of action.
Meanwhile, the pharmaceutical industry may be the next area of the healthcare sector where 3D printing makes a difference. Eli Lilly is already looking at ways that printing could help them deliver more effective medication for gastrointestinal conditions. Considering that the majority of current GI drugs have side effects which can lead to worsening of conditions long-term, any innovation in this area could literally be life-changing for patients.
Technology in dementia care
One of the more intractable health conditions facing humanity in the modern age is dementia. It cannot be cured, and there are signs that treatment pathways have been based on faulty data, so working with patients to slow the onset of symptoms has become all the more important. App-based technologies are a major part of allowing patients to receive treatment in the home, therefore staying in contact with careers and retaining an element of independence which can lengthen the time they have before more acute care is needed. As time goes on and we better understand the needs of patients, this technology will only improve.