Doctors naturally want to improve their services to patients, and technology is now giving them the ability to extend their reach and improve their quality of care. From telemedicine to the internet of things (IoT) and 3D-printed medication, we look at the top tech items doctors are eager for this Christmas.
The IoT comes to healthcare
The IoT has been making waves in virtually every industry. As the name implies, the IoT is comprised of Wi-Fi-enabled devices, or ‘things’, connected via the internet. Doctors can now make use of IoT devices to help them treat their patients' problems in real-time. The list of possible benefits is considerable.
Firstly, IoT devices enable doctors to monitor a patient's health at a distance. Individual doctors and hospitals no longer have to ask patients to come to them to monitor their health, meaning more healthcare and specialty medical services can be made available to those in remote areas.
Telehealth is becoming a reality
Doctors understand that some patients find it difficult to visit them at their offices or are unable to visit a hospital for a check-up. One viable solution is telemedicine – where healthcare professionals consult with their patients in real-time over the internet using video chat software.
Thanks to advances in IoT, telemedicine is taking one step further and allowing doctors to give patients health check-ups remotely using internet-enabled wearable technology. A patient with a wearable device, such as a smartwatch, can aid the doctor in diagnosing and treating illnesses by relaying information such as their heart rate and blood pressure.
Many types of medication are designed for general use and, as such, their dosages may not be right for some people. This is where 3D printing can assist, allowing manufacturers to custom-make medication for individual needs.
3D-printing technology is now becoming inexpensive enough to be applied to medication manufacturing. In addition to being able to produce a single pill at the right dosage for a specific patient, different drugs can be combined in a single tablet for patients who require several types of medication.
These are just a few of the tech items that are sitting high on doctors’ Christmas wish lists this year. As the associated technology improves, these healthcare solutions will hopefully become more readily available to doctors and medical organizations alike.