We are living in a time where innovative advancements are outpacing our lives very quickly. Previous technologies and innovations have already reached their pinnacle. Recent innovations are gearing up to sketch drastic influences on our lives. In fact, it is safe to say that they have already started to showcase their power. There is not a single modern-day industry where recent technological and global advances have not intervened. Now it seems Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, rightfully expressed his concerns about decelerating technological innovations.
It would be absurd to think that this disruption might not have impacted the healthcare industry. In fact, it has seen the most vivid technological and modern-day innovations than any other field of life. The modern health care industry has entered into a paradox. Now in this contemporary world, we have numerous sources of terminal diseases like cancer. Then, at the same time, we have better healthcare facilities to deal with these problems too. The area of concern is the net benefit. What is the point of increasing comfort at the cost of high risk?
Therefore, the entire modern healthcare industry faces specific challenges and also provides probable solutions for them too. This article discusses three areas where the current healthcare industry has huge challenges and provides some viable solutions.
1. Availability of Healthcare Professionals
There are 9.2 million doctors and 18.1 million nurses worldwide. Any sane mind can quickly gauge the deficit of healthcare professionals considering the global population of billions. One of the leading causes of this challenge is the inefficiency of healthcare institutions. Lack of proper resources has made it challenging for students to acquire quality healthcare education. Moreover, exceptionally high medical education costs proved to be the last nail in the coffin to worsen the situation.
However, we see a rise in online medical education and different professional level MOOCs to fill this gap. Aspirants seeking higher medical education can weigh the merits of DNP vs MD and choose their path accordingly. Similarly, healthcare diplomas and vocational training programs have gained popularity over the past decade. With the increasing role of IT and technology in healthcare, the field of engineering has started to contribute and add more healthcare professionals to the industry. There have been some initiatives in medical education as a solution to increase the availability of healthcare professionals. However, these solutions are not strong enough to satisfactorily tackle the challenge.
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2. Radioactivity, the necessary evil
The third leading cause of death in the USA is misdiagnosis. According to WHO, medical errors harm more than 138 million patients globally. It collectively costs about $42 billion to the healthcare industry. The field of diagnosis has been facing extreme challenges since our lives have become more complex. Now there are a plethora of reasons for a disease and a medical anomaly. Doctors can easily misdiagnose a medical situation since there could be a dozen of causes for it. It adds to the agony of the patient. S/he wastes time, money, and other resources uselessly when his diagnosis is flawed in the first place.
Radioactivity became the savior of this situation. In the modern healthcare world, doctors do not need to open up your body to identify what’s wrong. Ultrasounds, X-rays, CT scans, and other radiation-based procedures are enough to study your internal organs and diagnose the problem. The application of radiation in medical science has revamped the entire landscape of the diagnostic industry. However, the increasing use of ionizing radiation has also exposed people to potential carcinogenic sources. Therefore, radioactive diagnosis methodology proves to be a necessary evil.
3. Data Management in the Healthcare Industry
A single patient can produce tons of data that hospitals must manage and store carefully. This data can be patient record files, treatment history, visit schedule, and other necessary details of the entire medical interaction. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities find it challenging to manage and safely store this data. Data mismanagement is one of the leading causes of medical errors. Where data mismanagement might cause your business to lose some millions, someone’s life is at risk here. So the stakes are very high.
In such a scenario, the modern healthcare industry has realized significant digitization. Now we have Health Data Management (HDM) portals that can store and manage huge healthcare datasets accurately. We even have big data applications in healthcare to incorporate data analysis. The latest data analysis techniques nourish the entire medical procedure through data-driven insights. Now doctors can make better decisions for patients with the help of data-driven analysis of their medical history. Hospitals are storing and managing data in a much better way with accuracy. Now the chances of a medical error due to data mismatch are minimal.
A solution to a problem that itself creates a dozen new problems. It has become quite the norm of the modern world. The same goes for the healthcare industry too. Where we have an increasing number of healthcare institutions, the doctor-to-patient deficit still keeps on growing. Where we have cutting-edge diagnosis infrastructure, the diseases to be diagnosed are also increasing. Where we have efficient healthcare data management, the mortality rates and life expectancy are still alarming in most countries. Care is better than cure; this proverb has never been more meaningful than it is today.
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