The thought of surgery being performed by a robot might be a bit too close to science fiction for folks to stomach. However, the healthcare industry is quickly approaching the intersection of once far-fetched medical technology and a global need for better healthcare.
Mobile technology is a huge part of this growing trend in health sectors across the country, and the world. In fact, mobile advancements in healthcare are predicted to play a large role in saving lives, and influencing preventative medicine. Here’s a closer look at some of the specific mobile advancements on the cusp of this fast-approaching technological horizon:
Healthcare and Gamification
Along with making medical technology more available, creating ways to empower and proactively engage patients for long-term success is just as important as medical prognosis.
Gamification involves adding game elements to the outpatient process and preventative repertoire to help patients stay on track with a diet, take their medicine, and maintain healthy habits.
We’ve already seen great examples of this in mobile apps like Luminosity, for brain stimulation, and HAPIfork, which monitors healthy eating. By incorporating mobile technology into the medical paradigm, doctors can help patients well after they leave the hospital.
Mobile is also a unique tool in healthcare because of the communication access it delivers and its ability to spread information democratically. The Internet and digital resources play a large roll in this as well, but mobilizing these resources has added millions of new Internet users to the healthcare network.
In 2014, mobile Internet access surpassed desktop usage—in other words, the mobile community is farther-reaching than ever before, making it possible to share, crowdsource, store, and gather pieces of medical information on a globalized network.
Aside from these abstract healthcare improvements, mobile technology has the ability to save lives immediately. For example, UNICEF has implemented a mobile communication system in one of the most dangerous and densely populated areas in the world: the Gaza Strip.
Using mobile technology, school children in these areas are able to attend school more regularly, and safely, by allowing school administrators to communicate with parents directly. School administrators can send out SMS messages warning parents of potential treats, as well as let them know when school will resume. Since 2011, 29 schools have used this program regularly, and more than 11,000 students are benefiting from the results.
From 3D printing and robotic nurses, to wearable tech and live-streaming surgery, the future may be in fact be closer than we think, and mobile technology has found a relevant niche within this growth to do its part in making the world a healthier and safer place to live.