10 Big Advancements in Healthcare Tech during the Pandemic

462
Tech in healthcare industry

The coronavirus pandemic has taken the world by a shock. During this challenging time, the primary focus of all countries was on improving their healthcare system and providing the best medical care to their people. The healthcare staff has been working tirelessly, and so have been some of the tech agencies to provide us with the best machines, gadgets, and technology to deal with this global phenomenon. 

Since the past year, tech industries have come up with many advanced and innovative technologies, which have made coping with the COVID-19 pandemic a lot easier. Some of the significant advancements made during this time are:

UV-C Disinfection


Ever since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus a pandemic, everyone has been encouraged to disinfect and sanitize themselves and their surroundings. It has been found that infections caused by visiting healthcare facilities are the hardest to control and increase the rate of patient deaths and cause longer stays at the hospital. The most common disinfecting methods include using liquid or sprayed sanitizers which are an added burden to use.

UV lights can destroy up to 99.9% of bacteria or viruses when appropriately used on a specific area. Therefore, ultraviolet rays in the range of 100 to 280 nanometers have been used by engineers to make disinfectants. These UV-C disinfectants are being used to sanitize ICUs, patient rooms, electronic devices, personal belongings, and air purifiers.

3D Printing


3D printing can build items using different materials and designs. This makes it easy to produce products that are not currently available. Many hospitals have experienced a shortage of masks or PEEs during the pandemic, and 3D printing has been their friend during those times. This advanced printing technology helps make simple items that can be assembled. Tons of surgical masks have been printed for doctors to use during shortages, which effectively prevented virus exposure and kept the doctors safe.

 Portable protection for the pandemic


Personal protective equipment, such as protective clothing, was designed and manufactured with the help of surgical drapes and plastics. To reduce surgical gowns and medical supplies, diagnostic testing booths with HEPA filters were created. This booth is more comfortable for healthcare workers and reduces the risk of infection during gown removal. Many novel face shield solutions have been developed. Face shields made with 3D-printed frames and thin plastic binder sleeves to fashionable consumer face shields are among them.

Robots


During the current pandemic, robotic technologies were used in a variety of ways. Robots were designed to communicate between patients and doctors from a distance to disinfect surfaces with UV light, deliver essential medical supplies, monitor vital signs, remind people of infection prevention measures such as social distancing, and scale up the production of diagnostic tools.

Artificial Intelligence for Diagnosis


Artificial intelligence (AI) has aided in the rapid diagnosis and risk prediction of COVID-19. In China, a cloud-based AI-assisted CT service was used to detect COVID-19 pneumonia cases. This technology, according to reports, processes CT images in seconds, distinguishing COVID-19 from other lung diseases and significantly speeding up the diagnostic process.

 Drones


Drone engineers and developers use drones to monitor social distancing measures in large crowds and deliver critical medical supplies to remote hospitals and clinics. Virus-detecting drones were also used as early diagnostic tools, taking people’s temperatures and detecting the spread of infection.

Engineers outfitted drones with speakers to remind people of quarantine procedures. Although drones are not medical devices due to their intended use, their role as support tools should be recognized in our health care system.

Vital signs monitors


COVID-19 patient vital signs must be monitored both during illness and during the recovery stage. Vital sign monitors constantly monitor the patient’s blood oxygen saturation, heart condition, breathing, and movement. Because COVID-19 affects the lungs, blood oxygen saturation must be monitored.

Wearable vital sign sensors provide assurance about a person’s health while in quarantine at home or recovering from the disease at the hospital. Some companies have already launched wearable vital sensors, while others are still in the development stage or clinical trials.

Portable dialysis machine


Dialysis is required for COVID-19 patients in intensive care units. Dialysis machines and supplies are usually in short supply due to a large number of people admitted these days, as reported by the emergency room doctors. Aside from kidney failure, the patient’s strong immune response to the virus frequently causes blood clots. These blood clots clog the dialysis filters.

Companies in Europe have designed and marketed home dialysis machines. Nurses will visit each home by appointment to administer the dialysis procedure in this home use model. Others created a wearable model that could be attached to the body during the process. StarFish Medical was involved in the early design of the HD+ home dialysis system, known as Tablo from Outset Medical, and was approved by the FDA in April 2020.

Telemedicine


Meeting people, going to crowded places, and even visit a doctor. Communication innovation, including teleconferences or online consultations, has grown significantly. Telemedicine was promoted several years ago, but it failed to gain traction. During the COVID-19 pandemic, however, telemedicine is now providing medical care remotely to millions of people via communications technology. Telemedicine will continue to gain popularity in our healthcare system as more sophisticated technologies such as videoconferencing, and other new emerging applications are used.

Online Medicine Delivery Services


Many major pharmacies shifted towards online selling of medicines due to the lockdown orders, and it was a huge help for the people as well. Customers began purchasing medical supplies from online pharmacies ‘ medicine delivery apps, whether long-distance couriers or on-demand platforms, which grew in popularity during the COVID-19 crisis drastically. You can now easily buy medicines online in Pakistan at the cheapest rates.