Digitalization undoubtedly has a huge impact on people’s health and fitness. New technologies translate into quality of life for millions of people, but also for the entire health care sector and its employees.
The last 100 years have been marked by great achievements in medicine. The development of hygiene, the discovery of penicillin or the introduction of universal vaccination are successes for which we should be grateful to our ancestors. It is assumed that as late as the beginning of the 20th century, the expected life expectancy was less than 50 years.
Among the modern technologies that can revolutionize health care are currently mentioned genomics, 3D printing or telemedicine. In the following text, we present individual innovations that may become our everyday reality in the future.
Genomics is a science that, with the help of increasingly modern computers with greater computing power, makes it possible to study DNA in detail. This makes it possible to personalize treatment, which significantly improves the effectiveness of therapy. Analysis of genomes allows for detailed identification of predispositions, diseases, limitations and talents. Genome sequencing is one of the most effective ways to detect and treat cancer.
Telemedicine is increasingly being presented as an alternative to meeting with a doctor “face-to-face.” Mobile technologies allow to relieve the burden on the health care system, reduce visits to the doctor and thus shorten queues. However, telemedicine is most relevant to communities without access to medical facilities. Remote health assessment is an opportunity for the poorest and neediest to benefit from health care services.
Big data in medicine has been used for several years now. Access to more and more data resources allows for more accurate comparative analysis of patients. Juxtaposing data from people with similar lifestyles, work histories or even DNA allows for a better understanding of health risks and their impact on different therapies.
Access to vast amounts of data allows researchers to choose the best substances. The sharing of data between pharmaceutical companies has recently led to a significant discovery. It has been proven that dezypramine, an antidepressant drug, has potential use in the treatment of lung cancer.
3D printing is a technology whose use in treating patients is becoming more and more real. Using DNA, personalized organs such as lungs, liver or bones can be created. It will certainly affect the situation of many patients for whom the only salvation is to receive an organ transplant from a donor. Among the low-budget solutions that have significantly impacted the lives of many are prostheses, especially of the hands, created for children. Manufacturers rarely offer pediatric prostheses.
The role of social media and online forums in evaluating doctors, hospitals and other facilities is huge. Patients increasingly rely on the opinions of other Internet users on social media and online surveys. Health care professionals also use this information. Based on this information they can identify problems in the health care. Social media allows information to spread in almost real time, which forces healthcare professionals to react quickly.
Medical robots enable precise surgeries and shorten the time needed for recovery after surgery. Their use also has an impact on the entire process. For example, operations performed years ago by a three-person team can now be performed by a single physician who directs the robot. The use of this technology affects the quality of treatment.
Technological development is noticeable in almost every area of life. Therefore, we are not surprised by the novelties that are already appearing in hospitals and other institutions, or those whose wider application is yet to be announced. Perhaps in the future, modern technologies will allow us to extend our lives by another few or more than ten years.