Healthcare and Technology Working Together
For years, the healthcare industry has often been a major player in the use of new technologies. In the digital age, this relationship looks to be expanding.
From areas of research such as using computers to crunch the data for things like "protein folding", and brain-computer interfaces to augment prosthetics usage, to the use of software to assist in the analysis of mammograms, even extending to things like the use of social media in the effort to assist with wellness goals, there is a broad symbiotic relationship going on here.
Another major use of computer resources in particular is in the digitizing of health records, a project that has been in the news quite a bit of late. The main goals are both to do away with bulky paper records, and to make potentially life-saving information much more readily available and transportable.
With the ability to more easily analyze diagnoses and treatments in digital form, the hope is that trends in both diseases and cures can be more readily spotted. Even the "Jeopardy" - winning supercomputer "Watson" is thought to be a candidate to "learn" medical literature and be able to assist physicians in the diagnosis of diseases and in effect act as a "consultant" - a pretty remarkable application of computing power.
While one hopes that physicians and nurses can maintain the "human touch" side of medical care, it's also exciting to see what fruit this relationship will bear in the coming years.