Healthcare has always been at the top of the list of priorities for the American government. As time moves forward, new technologies and social attitudes keep bringing about changes to how we perceive healthcare. As such, certain changes have to be made.
The last decade alone has seen medical institutions adopt an entirely digital method of storing patient medical records. This has led to an increase in the speed at which patients can be diagnosed and treated. Faster treatments mean that more patients can be seen by a doctor. This decade has also seen an increase in government spending when it comes to healthcare. In the year 2020, the US government increased its healthcare spending by almost 2.7%. With that said, you can expect to see some big changes happen to US healthcare in the next ten years. Here are some of the changes you can expect to see.
Biotechnology is a type of medicine that utilizes living cells to create medicines and diagnostic tools. This branch of medicinal practice has always been used in the manufacturing of vaccines but now research into this field has made more advancements possible.
CRISPR tech is a tool used in genetics and can accurately splice human DNA strands. Using this tech, doctors can now identify and treat more genetic disorders than ever before. This kind of technology has also helped doctors make huge leaps forward in cancer diagnosis treatment. By having access to specific strands of DNA, medical professionals can locate, predict and remove specific gene mutations. These mutations are responsible for the cell mutations that can lead to more aggressive forms of cancer. Cancer is a disease that is easier to treat the earlier it is caught. Therefore, the ability to identify cancer on a genetic level is going to greatly improve the survival rate of cancer over the coming decade.
Another advancement in technology that is currently having an impact on almost every field is artificial intelligence. AI is a tool that can automate certain procedures. As such, doctors can run programs to quickly find the best treatment plan for their patients. This automation can also be used on administration tasks. Therefore, you are likely to see another upward trend of faster treatment times and the number of patients seen by a doctor.
Artificial intelligence can also be used to provide patients with a virtual healthcare assistant. These assistants are intelligent enough to search through hours’ worth of information to answer any questions or queries that a patient may have about their condition. Access to this information can help ease a patient’s worries and help them speed up their own recovery by learning how best to act when living with their current health condition. AI in healthcare is explored in this online short course provided by the MIT Sloan School of Management. Artificial intelligence may be the future of healthcare, and you should ensure you are familiar with the tech.
Receiving appropriate healthcare from the comfort of your own home is made more possible with virtual assistants that artificial intelligence can provide. However, other technological advancements in other fields have also made it possible for patients to receive remote healthcare. For example, the advancements made to video call technology allow people to have a face-to-face discussion with their doctor about their symptoms to speed up the diagnosis process. Also, the rise in smartphones allows patients to gain access to a medical professional in all manner of ways. You can choose to speak to these individuals on the phone, via text message, or through another type of messaging app.
Of course, this kind of remote communication is most useful for those with minor health complications. However, this process can provide housebound patients with the appropriate medical care, provide doctors with more time to see their patients, and allows doctors to refer their patients to an adequate healthcare professional. All of these benefits can lead to a better and much faster healthcare service.
Wearable Healthcare Tech
Smart technology hasn’t only improved the way in which we communicate. It has also had a profound effect on the type of gadgets that you have access to.
You have probably seen or been in contact with some kind of fitness watch before. These wearable wristbands have the technological capabilities to measure your heart rate, calculate sleep patterns, and monitor stress levels or other vital life signs. This data is essential for doctors when it comes to diagnosing certain healthcare issues. As such, wearing this kind of healthcare technology can help speed up diagnosis times. What’s more, this type of technology can help point you in the right direction when it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle.
Consuming too many calories will lead to weight gain, which comes with its own set of health complications. Knowing how many calories you consume can help you to better manage your diet to lead a healthier lifestyle so that you require less medical advice. There is no telling how far this kind of wearable medical technology will advance, but the tech that people are using today is already a massive advantage when it comes to speeding up diagnosis times.
An Ageing Population
Healthcare in the USA has advanced so much that is posing new problems for healthcare professionals. America has a rapidly aging population, which means that the country is home to more senior citizens than ever before. Studies have shown that the average citizen in the United States is 35% more likely to reach the age of ninety than they were in previous studies. This is because medical science has advanced so far that more people are living through illnesses that would be fatal.
While this may seem like a positive, experts believe that there will be a large rise in the number of patients that are afflicted with illnesses that are more likely to be contracted at an older age. As such, more of the US population is likely to be diagnosed with diabetes, cancer, or dementia as the population continues to age. Also, it is likely that doctors’ time will be taken up treating injuries caused by falls in the future.
While all this information seems like a negative, more people being diagnosed with these types of diseases means that more research will need to be conducted into the illnesses to find a cure. Therefore, an aging population makes it more likely that a younger patient with these illnesses is more likely to survive in the future. Also, better treatments mean that more people will age past the current average life expectancy. As a result, doctors have a better chance of researching the medical conditions that are likely to affect this part of the population. Thus, the cycle continues.
As you can see, the rapid advancement of technology is having a profound effect on the changes being made to the US healthcare system. However, that does not mean that the older methods have become obsolete. Doctors still need to treat, diagnose, and research the conditions of their patients. The only difference now is that these tasks will be made much faster in the future.