As health technology improves, so does quality of life. Today we not only have longer life expectancies than our ancestors, but we are able to enjoy those years more fully too because of technological advancements. From cutting-edge laparoscopic medical procedures, to everyday smartphone apps, health care is rapidly evolving and patients only stand to benefit.
Take a look at these five major improvements in health technology and what they mean for us
- Laparoscopic surgery. This minimally invasive procedure is generally applied to surgeries of the abdomen cavity. Laparoscopic procedures have made surgery safer and recovery faster and easier.How can surgeons operate on important structures without being too invasive? A small incision is made, and the surgeon uses a highly specialized and very small instrument that he or she operates outside of the body. A small video camera helps the surgeon see and navigate all inside the abdomen.
The obvious benefit to the patient is less interference with non-effected organs, and less exposure to infection. There are indirect benefits to laparoscopic surgery as well, like a reduced need for pain medication following surgery and shorter hospital stays, which allow patients time to recover in the comfort of their homes.
- Activity trackers. Activity trackers are not your average pedometer. They give so much more information and insight to the wearers. People who use activity trackers can set goals, follow and encourage friends, and review their own statistics over time.Activity trackers automate records of what a wearer is doing to provide a plan for health improvement or simple health maintenance. They are eye-opening devices to some people who are actually doing a lot less activity than they realize, and serve as motivation to do more in simple ways throughout the day. As smartwatches rise in popularity, expect to see even more people taking advantage of activity tracking software to set daily goals and improve health.
- DNA kits and testing. Prevention is often called the best medicine. Understanding what health problems may lurk in your future is the first step to keeping them at bay.Anyone can now order a DNA kit for less than $100 from companies like 23andMe and send back their sample for analysis in a lab. While it might seem straight out of a sci-fi movie, the tests are very simple and can give you insightful and useful information about what’s possibly in the stars for your health, which means you can make smart preventative health choices for yourself and your family.
- Smartphones. Most people may not realize it but they have a wealth of health information in their pocket or purse. Smartphones give users instant access to things like calorie counters, nutritional information, reminders for taking medication, activity tracker apps, and many sites to track health symptoms and their potential causes. Smartphone technology makes day-to-day health maintenance more convenient, but can also serve as an important resource in an emergency. By using the technology at hand in a health-savvy way, smartphone users can lead better lives and stay in the know.
- Laser pain therapy. Instead of relying on pain pills for years, Erchonia’s low-level laser pain therapyhas made it easier for patients to find relief for things like plantar fasciitis, tendinopathy, joint disorders, chronic neck and shoulder pain, and osteoarthritis. In recent studies, laser therapy for pain has been shown to improve lower back pain and speed up recovery time for wounds. In addition to pain relief, the benefits of laser therapy include noninvasive procedures and no need for pharmaceuticals. Once the treatment has been performed, patients can walk out with little to no recovery time and no medications needed.The importance of eliminating reliance on pharmaceuticals for pain relief cannot be overstated.Abuse of narcotics is one of the most common forms of unhealthy drug use in the U.S. Finding ways to avoid this line of pain relief completely is the best way to avoid addiction and to also find longer-lasting relief in healing and not just covering up pain.
In addition to these specific items, the communication improvements brought on my technology makes a positive impact on lives. People can interact with their healthcare professionals more easily with email, secure healthcare websites, and even through mobile applications. People can find the answers they need more quickly and in that respect, have faster access to lifesaving information.
What health-improving technology would you add to this list?