Healthcare Clinics and the Evolution of Technology

healthcare

Healthcare and the influence that technology will have on its delivery and value is an exciting and ever-changing space. To look at a broad overview of the intersection of healthcare and technology we first need to examine the history of the healthcare and technology interface and define some key technology concepts.

Healthcare clinics and clinicians across a number of professions have used technology at what can generally be considered a basic level for the last few decades. From Exercise Physiologists, through to Physiotherapists and Podiatrists and health professions in between, we have seen a move from paper-based patient note systems to advanced, cloud-based integrated practice management software; the use of ever-improving, technologically advanced exercise equipment; and the use of mobile devices and platforms to provide a more engaged patient and client experience.

A key technology concept relevant today in an ever-increasing manner is the now the 50 year old Moore’s Law, which is the observation that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years. What Moore’s Law highlights simply is the exponential speed at which technology is developing year upon year. Let’s explore that further, a circuit that in 1965 had 1 transistor in it, would today in 2015, have 33,554,432 transistors in it!

Leading on from Moore’s Law we find three areas that already play and/or will play a larger role in healthcare delivery in the future. Firstly, the Internet of Things is the network of physical objects or “things” embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity, which enables these objects to collect and exchange data. Secondly, Artificial Intelligence is the intelligence exhibited by machines or software. It is also the name of the academic field of study which studies how to create computers and computer software that are capable of intelligent behaviour. And thirdly, 3D Printing which refers to various processes used to synthesise a three-dimensional object.

Technology is now reaching the point where all three of these are becoming more and more cost effective for healthcare clinics as each year passes.

One thing is for certain with healthcare clinics regardless of profession. Everyone is looking for more value now than ever before. An impeccable reputation amongst patients and clients is paramount to the success of any clinic. Patients and clients alike are becoming more aware of what healthcare value represents and what it should look like, and are seeking it with their feet. Insurers are also seeking this as they aim to deliver a better member experience with more effective outcomes. And clinicians are also seeking increased value in the ways they can leverage their skillset with a wider patient and client audience, and in doing so, changing the model of healthcare delivered in (and out of) clinics.

Without a doubt, technology will play a significant role in the delivery of this increased value. The question will be which healthcare clinicians will be early adopters of technology (and the right technology at that), who will be the majority and who will be the late adopters? Only time will tell.


REFERENCES

Bold by Peter Diamandis (2015) https://www.diamandis.com/bold/
Exponential Organizations by Salim Ismail (2014) https://www.exponentialorgs.com/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moore%27s_law
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_of_Things
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_intelligence
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3D_printing#cite_note-engineer-1

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