The healthcare IT market is a large market that is likely to grow exponentially in the coming years. Discover why technology and healthcare are closely linked and what the future will likely hold for this synergy.
Often, we think of health and technology as being opposites. The assumption is that technology usually involves sitting at a computer and getting overweight, while health is all about moving and avoiding luxuries like processed foods.
This is not quite accurate. In fact, technology can be both a force for good and evil in the healthcare industry and it has a range of different important roles in healthcare. And this is true not only when it comes to institutions and organizations, but also when it comes to the commercial applications and opportunities for patients and hospitals to work together to improve general health.
IT is used in many different ways in healthcare. For one, it is used to operate a wide range of machinery from life support systems, to MRIs and other scans, to databases that contain the huge amounts of notes and data that doctors and nurses collect. This data itself is actually invaluable because it allows for machine learning algorithms to be applied which in turn can enable smarter solutions to a range of problems and better detection.
IT is used in the form of ‘upright computing’ often around hospitals, where staff will walk around with tablets and this can then let them search databases for symptoms and even update visitor records.
In labs IT is even more important where it is used for studies and research that can help to present new treatment options. Today many of these tools are even used for personalized treatment recommendations and other applications.
And in future, better technology will make many more things possible as nurses will have exosuits to help them lift patients and doctors will be able to visit more patients via telepresence units. Surgeons may even someday be replaced by remotely operated tools with superhuman precision.
IT isn’t just found in hospitals and facilities though, it can also be used around the home to improve health. Here are some examples of commercial solutions that you can use to improve your own health, as well as options that healthcare professionals can recommend and encourage for use around the home.
The obvious form of tech for improving health is the device designed specifically to help us improve our wellbeing: the fitness tracker. These will count calories, steps, activity and more while tracking our sleep and encouraging us to do more. Can then really make a difference? Yes actually: by encouraging you to eat better, to keep moving and more. And this is something that many health organizations are looking into leveraging in a more formal manner, to encourage patients to adhere to their doctor’s orders and reduce health risks.
For the elderly or those with disabilities, there is a very real danger of falling and not being able to get back up. A personal alarm system can completely eradicate this danger by allowing them to call for help from a friend or relative, or even to call an emergency service. Many of these devices will work using a
One of the big challenges when it comes to staying in shape is that it requires you to spend hours performing monotonous movements that use up energy and that are no fun for anyone. The solution is to make exercise fun and a great way to do that is by buying a Nintendo Wii. These are very cheap now that the Wii is two generations old but they're still hard to beat when it comes to finding fun ways to stay in shape. There are plenty of games here to appeal to any taste, most of which involve flailing your arms around like mad and burning a ton of calories in the process.
Another argument people make as to why they can't keep up a training program is that they have no time for exercise. The solution then is to multitask and a great way to do that is by buying a handsfree kit for your phone. There's no avoiding making certain calls or staying in touch with friends and relatives so this is time you're already using up. If you do these things with a hands-free kit though then you can go for a walk or perhaps even ride a stationary bike and meanwhile be burning calories and/or getting some fresh air.
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Brain health is just as important as health for your body, so why not get some exercise for it using a number of different apps and programs? In fact almost any computer game has been shown to have immense benefits for our brain function, but if you want something more specifically aimed at that purpose you can try a site like BrainHQ or Luminosity. Brain health is definitely just as important as other forms of health.
Of course if you head down to the gym you’ll find a whole host of technology from cardio machines to resistance machines, all of which can improve heart health, help lose weight and even strengthen muscle and bones to prevent falls and accidents!
There are all kinds of gadgets you can now get for your home that will give you countless health benefits. One great example is an infrared sauna that will help you to relax and combat stress while at the same time sweating out toxins, relaxing your muscles and clearing your sinuses.
Another example of a similar piece of technology that will help you to relax and detox is a hot tub which can relax you with warm water and bubbles. Or, for something a little smaller and less invasive, you could get a massage chair that will give you a backrub whenever you feel like you want one. Reducing stress makes huge differences for your health.