How is tech benefitting our health? The latest innovations in a nutshell….
There are lots of ways in which tech is benefitting healthcare. Given we work with a host of businesses day in and out in order to convert them from a paper-based environment to a software-based system, we’d definitely say that tech is close to our heart. As a result, we’re always interested in hearing about new developments and the latest innovations and relationships emerging between health and tech.
First off, artificial intelligence is gaining in acceptance when it comes to patient engagement. Research undertaken by PwC has revealed that 39% of people are willing to engage with AI and/or robots for healthcare. There is a greater level of engagement amongst the younger generation, as expected, with the over-55s less willing to embrace AI.
The interesting thing is the variety of uses AI has in healthcare, offering a variety of potential benefits. Figures generated this year, show it could save up to €90 billion in preventing childhood obesity, up to €74 billion in the diagnosis and early treatment of breast cancer, and up to €8 billion euros in the diagnosis of dementia — all with up to 90 percent accuracy.
There are benefits of tech in health beyond the physical, there has recently been a new app launched – Ginger.io that aims to offer 24/7 personalised emotional support to anyone suffering from depression and anxiety directly from their smartphone!
Earlier this year, the UK Space Agency partnered with the NHS and invested £4 million in a host of hi-tech solutions to improve patient care. The aim is to encourage innovators to pitch for funds to transform tech originally intended for space into medical solutions. Examples that have gone before including breast-screening vans that beam images back to assessment centres, wearable monitors for the elderly to help prevent falls and apps that help prevent skin cancer.
Not too far a step from this is an example of AI that allows patients to receive health-based feedback based on a consultation using a symptom-checker app. It’s the brainchild of medical tech company Babylon Health and in a recent trial against real clinicians, Babylon’s AI scored a pass mark of 81 percent, while the average for human doctors was 72 percent.
There’s even a new tech that’s come to light that can predict if you’re at risk of a deadly heart attack years in advance of it potentially happening. Created by researchers at the University of Oxford, the technology analyses computed tomography (CT) images of the fat surrounding the arteries to detect the inflamed plaques that can cause heart attacks. It’s the first technology of its kind that is able to use insight derived from a routine test, already used in everyday clinical practice, that can accurately measure cardiovascular risk, something that is currently missed by all risk scores and non-invasive tests.
All this of this is incredible stuff and demonstrates how tech can help medical professionals make better decisions, provide better care and deliver better outcomes. We’re excited to see what comes next!