Technology is changing every aspect of our lives – and it's making dramatic transformations in the healthcare industry, too. New advances in robotics, analytics, and scanning systems are making surgeries more precise and accurate. Robots are also helping hospitals lower their costs. Digital dispensation programs are being developed to make it easier and faster for prescriptions to be filled on time and with the correct dosage. And communications systems make it faster for patients to get in touch with their physicians. Here's how these advances are changing medicine for the better.
Advances in Robotics Mean More Successful Surgeries – and Lower Costs
Robots performing surgeries may have once seemed like science fiction. Today, it's incredibly commonplace. Human dexterity can only go so far in accessing hard-to-reach areas of the body. Robots are going where human hands and tools can't, which has translated into more successful surgeries. Some surgeries have also become less invasive because of robotics. As reported in TechNative, robots today are doing much more than performing surgeries. They are helping hospitals save money by reducing labor costs. Robot assistants are also now performing routine tasks such as cleaning and food delivery to patients' rooms.
Digital Dispensation Programs Mean Faster Prescriptions
Several startups are leading the way on making prescription apps for smartphones and smart wearables. These apps are designed to make it easy for patients to receive notifications about when it's time to renew a prescription and refill their medicines with a few simple taps. Some pharmaceutical companies are also introducing digital doctor visits through apps. CVS announced that it will be rolling out virtual visits nationwide by the end of 2018. These telehealth visits are intended to address minor injuries and conditions.
Patient-Doctor Communications are Faster
It's now even quicker for patients to contact their doctor directly rather than going through the hurdles of a receptionist and long phone wait times. Many startups are revolutionizing the way patients can interact with their providers – including changing the language they speak. In April 2018, the industry's content marketing platform PharmaPhorum reported on an app called HoyDoc. HoyDoc lets users connect to their providers and access their medical records in a bilingual platform. The current supported languages are English and Spanish.
Faster communication systems have also had a positive impact on medical records. More hospitals and private practices are making the switch from paper to electronic medical records. This has simplified the filing process and made it easier for patients to switch from one provider to another. However, physicians note that electronic records may take the social element of getting to know a patient individually out of healthcare.
Technology means that some things used to be considered unthinkable are now the latest innovations. Tech in the medical world is no different. Robotics, apps, and communication technologies demonstrate that they play a vital role in improving patients' lives. These sectors will continue to develop solutions in medical care in the years to come.