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Could we live a technological revolution in medicine due to the pandemic?

COVID-19 and the advancement of science generate changes that a few years ago could have been unthinkable in the field of medicine .

Doctor typing and using a computer

Medicine would be evolving a lot through a kind of technological revolution. Photo: Freepik

LatinAmerican Post | Ariel Cipolla

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Leer en español: ¿Podríamos vivir una revolución tecnológica en la medicina por la pandemia?

The pandemic forced medicine to evolve by leaps and bounds. We could see it with the race for the vaccine. However, there are also other aspects where the medical area could use technology to see an unexpected growth of new functions.

According to Deloitte, during this 2021 virtual consultations in health centers will grow by 5%, with the aim of reducing the contagion caused by the coronavirus. That is, a situation that was unthinkable years ago, where the possibility of a doctor attending through a screen would have sounded like something from science fiction.

Another of the revolutionary aspects would be on the mobile applications themselves, where health issues would reach a value of 211 million euros in 6 years, which implies an increase of 33%. In other words, a trend that would indicate that medicine would be evolving a lot through a kind of technological revolution. 

The technological revolution in medicine

Although telemedicine is not something new, the application of this technology had been progressive, something that changed with the arrival of COVID-19. Another report on Predictions in Technology, Media and Telecommunications for 2021 by Deloitte indicates that by 2021 there will be some 400 million visits to the doctor through video. In other words, online medicine will represent a new reality for people.

The same will happen with immersive technology that will allow a better experience for doctors and patients. In particular,  portable virtual, augmented and mixed reality viewers, will grow by 100% in 2021 compared to 2021 levels, with the aim of being used in an educational and commercial way.

Also read: Could mental health influence the effectiveness of vaccines?

Another interesting aspect is that pointed out by a study by Forrester Research, which indicates that emergency visits fell by 42% at the beginning of the pandemic. The same happened with visits to outpatient clinics, which fell by 35%, while hospital care also decreased by 22%, being numbers that explain the interest in online consultations.

The physical visits came hand in hand with the "tests" launched by the states themselves. That is, governments and private companies implemented different testing systems to track infections or to indicate the presence of symptoms. For this reason, the health sector offered, initially in a rudimentary way, different solutions: video calls, conversations on WhatsApp and even apps to monitor some diseases.

Without going any further, the future could be marked by this trend. More specifically, from Business Insider they comment that there is artificial intelligence that can diagnose a patient without having to travel to a health center. Through machine learning, they can reveal some patient data, with smartwatches and bracelets that monitor activities.

This is achieved through public visibility. For example, Iker Casillas, the historic goalkeeper and captain of Real Madrid and the Spanish National Soccer Team, decided to bet on Idoven, a startup in the country that specialized in this field, which seeks to improve health care for certain pathologies, as can happen with heart attacks.

Another aspect that would mean a technological revolution for medicine are robots. Although it is not yet consolidated, we are talking about a trend that is constantly growing. From Credence Research they mention that this market will exceed 16 billion euros by 2023, due to the current interest that is increasing.

This fact would imply that the mortality rate produced in surgeries would be reduced, since, according to data from the National Institute for Health Research in the United Kingdom, some 4.2 million people on the planet lose their lives every year after surgical intervention. Therefore, robots could be used to use 3D vision or instruments much more precisely than humans, 

So, we are looking at the foundations of what the medicine of the future could be. Accelerated by the pandemic, this trend to further technological medical functions would imply improvements for both patients and professionals. 

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