Health Science & Technology

Health and Technology: What is Trending?

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Farheen talks about the emerging trends in technology, particularly in the health sector, in the weekly column, exclusively for Different Truths.

We have been reading almost every day about the technological advancements. So, we have 3D-printing, robotics, nanotechnology, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and other technologies.

Such technologies are paving way for the future for not only one but almost every field.

We, of course, cannot put a cork on technological development; because we see how our lives have been transformed through digital technologies. So, what can we do? We can start adapting to the changes that these technologies are bringing on from time to time.

Yes, from the time we used the old mobile phones that had absolutely no feature that would allow us to send a picture or an audio file to now the advancements that allow us to do almost everything using smartphones.

We do see a change that even our elders are happy to use the mobile phones for their good.

We have welcomed the “apps culture” smoothly because we see a positive side to it.

Similarly, we have been noticing technology taking a boon on the healthcare industry in a gigantic way.

Let us believe in the saying: Any change is a good change.

IBM’s research labs are on the go to combine technologies, such as IoT, AI, constant connectivity, big data, and machine learning, technologies. The work is underway for incorporating AI and machine learning with hardware that is in use for these technologies. ‘Watson’ that combines AI and sophisticated analytical software for getting some amazing output.

IBM’s bought Merge Healthcare in 2016 and this helped IBM to lay their hands on the treasure of 30 billion medical images from hospitals and clinics across America.  IBM will feed Watson these images so that any information that physicians might have ignored would be noticed by Watson. Watson’s functionality will allow it to spot patterns that evolve from this big data.

Watson is a way forward because its cognitive platform will certainly help to identify, diagnose, and treat rare childhood diseases, such as steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome (SRNS). Watson will learn nephrology – the study of kidney function – by reading medical literature and pulling together information on mutations of the disease.

India has less than one doctor per 1,700 patients. Availing ideal healthcare treatment in India can be a herculean task. This is the reason for IBM collaborating with Manipal Hospital (the third-largest healthcare network in India). They intend to use Watson to help diagnose and treat cancer patients across Manipal’s 16 facilities. This means that Watson will be treating approximately 200,000 cancer patients each year.

How about replacing the doctors with the robots? The future is here; yes, we will see surgical robots taking over operation theaters in the coming years. Healthcare and robotics will create new opportunities in the healthcare industry. To know more, watch this video:

There are way too many gadgets, trackers, wearables and sensors that allow a person to keep a tab on their health; precisely, to control over their own lives. We come across people who have wearables on them that help them to stay motivated and improve your health by tracking their daily activities, exercise, food, weight, and sleep.

There are many companies working on AI in the healthcare sector. But, to be exact there are 106 startup companies that are making their presence felt in this sector.

Two of the major players in this industry are:

  • iCarbonX is developing an artificial intelligence platform to facilitate research related to the treatment of diseases, preventive care, and precision nutrition. This approach is considered as an essential element to enable the future development of personalised medicine.
  • Flatiron Health is a healthcare technology company and operator of the OncologyCloud platform. Integrating across the entire clinical data spectrum, Flatiron Health allows cancer care providers and life science companies to gain deep business and clinical intelligence through its web-based platform.

There are more than100 companies that are applying machine learning algorithms and predictive analytics to reduce drug discovery times, offering virtual assistance to patients, and diagnosing ailments by processing medical images, among many other subjects.

Healthcare and technology are already working together to bring about a big change. With the new trending technologies, we will have to choose the best example among many to believe our eyes what this combination can offer.



©Farheen Viquas
Photos from the Internet

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