There is no denying that 2020 has been a very difficult year for the healthcare sector, and with the COVID-19 pandemic showing no immediate signs of letting up anytime soon, the start of 2021 is likely to be more of the same.
Yet, despite being incredibly stretched at this time, the healthcare industry continues to expand. The main growth of healthcare is with the natural progression that technological advancements bring to any industry. The local prediction is that technology makes work a lot easier for healthcare workers, from things like robotic assistance to machine learning in administrative sectors. Here are a few ways to demonstrate how the healthcare industry continues to expand.
There are plenty of real-life examples of machine learning expanding various businesses across multiple sectors, as this list by Future Insights demonstrates, and healthcare is right up there with the best of them. Unlike what the name suggests, mechanical-based elements, (like the growth in prosthetics in healthcare) don’t play a huge part in machine learning. In fact, the term has more to do with the application of algorithms to enhance predictions in inpatient care and trends, and how artificial intelligence can be incorporated into healthcare. In China, for example, the shortage of Radiologists has led to the trial and implementation of artificial intelligence-based detectors of lung cancer cases in patients.
Algorithms are being used in other parts of healthcare too, including helping patients to book and be informed of doctor’s appointments, and accumulating big data in combination with chronic illness learning. This can through an algorithm that helps provide information on medical oncology for cancer research, helping specialists in their work towards more effective treatments and cures.
More Effective Search Engines
The provision of therapy, such as that given by psychologists or counselors to help those mental health issues, will always have to involve intrapersonal interaction. COVID-19 has necessitated the movement of some psychologists to move their mental health issue treatment plans online, via teletherapy sessions on a smartphone or tablet, but this still involves a direct interaction between psychologist and patient.
However, finding a therapist has also been made easier through the installation of newer technologies and machine learning algorithms. Through sites like WithTherapy, potential therapists can be found through a search engine that takes into account treatment plans, and the specific mental health issues of the patient. This ensures that the right therapist is found for the right patient, whether that is for a specific issue, or on the recommendation of a mental health professional without the need for an official referral. With a stigma still attached to mental health, having a search engine that connects to mental health professionals via a query and a chatbot, will allow people (particularly those with anxiety disorders) to find a good therapist without letting too many people know.
Oncology, Chemotherapy, and Radiotherapy
Of course, not much cancer care can be performed remotely, but technology is still having an influence on this type of therapy as well. As well as inventing new ideas, traditional methods are also being enhanced through the implementation of clinical research and different approaches from technological advancements. A number of ways that cancer care in Rockville, MD, by Regional Cancer Care Associates, has benefitted from new technology are through its fusion with existing medicine.
If you were a stock market analyst looking to start investing in healthcare, then it’s a surefire bet that technology is the way forward, as it is with all things in the current digital aid. Although automation tends to be the end-goal for most other industries looking to use breakthrough tech, the human element is still as necessary in healthcare regardless of how advanced the technology is. The fastest expansion in the healthcare industry will always be the human element, but technology is always a close step behind.