How Tech Will Shape Healthcare Jobs In The Future (Infographic)

For centuries, it was technology that shaped the way we understood the human body and the care it needs. Developing new ways of treating conditions, diagnosing diseases, operational procedures, and beyond, new technologies are still emerging to push healthcare into the future. And we need it now more than ever; by 2030, 171 million Americans will be living with some kind of chronic disease. By that time as well, the current outlook of a future shortage of up to 100,000 physicians, healthcare workers everywhere are looking towards technology to help bridge the gap before it gets too wide.

When we imagine the future, some of the first technologies that come to mind is of course artificial intelligence. Its predicted applications are already far reaching, and its uses as an invaluable healthcare tool have not gone unnoticed. These developing technologies can help doctors and other healthcare providers by offering powerful diagnostic tools and give patients quick and accurate diagnosis when it counts. Chances of stroke, complications from heart disease, spotting eye diseases like glaucoma, and even solutions for catching skin cancers more accurately than just a dermatologist on their own can greatly streamline the diagnostic process. In a survey of healthcare leaders, AI within medical facilities is expected to grow across the board from decision support, population health, and disease management.

In a study of radiologists, 93% of participants who viewed arteries through 3D virtual reality technologies were more confident later on when diagnosing splenic artery aneurysms. MedStar-operated hospitals in the Baltimore-Washington area utilize VR as an essential training tool to prepare healthcare workers, emergency room staff, and first responders for the job. As a tool for not only training, VR opens a new world of treatment for patients with a myriad of conditions. Physical pain management can be treated via immersion into virtual worlds and has been shown that these experiences help to lower levels of pain and anxiety with relaxing effects. VR-based exposure therapy to assist patients through frightening situations, support mental health, and help patients accept emotions, traumatizing experiences, and face their fears. All told, within five years the value of virtual reality in medicine will grow over 30 times from $8.9 million in 2017 to $285 million in 2022.
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While already a somewhat common practice in operating rooms, robot-assisted surgery capabilities can only grow. Today, we see this work in operating systems with cameras and mechanical arms with attached surgical tools being manipulated by surgeons. With the help of nearby computers, surgeons are able to see high definition and magnified views of the surgical site, allowing them for minimally invasive procedures. Greatly reducing complications, healing times, and risk of infection, robot-assisted surgery makes procedures more precise and controlled. Though at first it may be scary for patients to be confronted with the idea, but after learning about what robotics really do on the operating table, 56% of patients would choose for robot-assisted procedures.

3D printing presence in hospitals is also offering new and improved means of healthcare. These new, hospital-grade printers can create tools using any buildable material from plastic to stem cells themselves. Surgical reconstruction that calls for artificial bones can be customized and printed to a patient, as can prosthetic limbs, scoliosis braces, and supports for amputees. Small organs, known as organdies, can also be developed under 3D printing conditions. These layered stem cells can grow inside the body of a patient and take over for when an old organ fails. Between 2010 and 2016, hospitals with 3D printing capabilities increased by 3200% from just 3 hospitals in 2010 to 99 hospitals in 2016.

From robot-assisted surgery in the operating room, to 3D printed super pills, to check-ups in VR, the future of healthcare really isn’t so far off. Are you ready for the new tools of the trade? Take a look at this infographic for more detail on medical care technology, why these developments matter, and how the growth will lead to a better, healthier life for everyone.

Thanks to advances in medical technology, the healthcare jobs of tomorrow may require applicants well-versed in virtual reality, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, and more, as outlined in this infographic.

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