Healthcare centers, whether private or publicly funded tend to have a core goal – helping society to live to the fullest by providing key health services that support us during illness or get us back onto our feet after an injury.
The healthcare sector has come leaps and bounds in the last few decades with developments in treatment drugs and medical technology being made every year and with a greater number of people coming back from diagnoses that previously would have been untreatable or incurable. Even today, we are able to receive quality treatments with little impact to daily life or gain access to state-of-the-art medical technology such as proton beam therapy that provides treatments with fewer or less severe side effects that would have previously been difficult to cope with.
The future of healthcare is even brighter, with artificial intelligence, 3D bioprinting, health wearables and remotely controlled technology becoming more readily available to hospitals and healthcentres across the world. However, even though these technologies and developments are becoming more available to medical professionals, their availability to the public is still sparing. Private clinics and hospitals make it easier for these modern-day technologies to become more financially viable for publicly funded health centers but fortunately, this is where good employers can help fill the gap by supporting staff with quality health insurance.
How These New Technologies Support Health
For those that aren’t as excited about the latest technological trends, discussions about 3D-printing or artificial intelligence in the medical sector could have easily passed you by and it might be confusing to try and understand exactly how these developments can mean better healthcare for you. We explore some of these technologies below and how they could support your recovery in the near or distant future.
Artificial Intelligence & Deep Learning
“To er is human” – a commonly mentioned expression when someone makes a mistake and we’ve all made mistakes in our time that were just a side effect of ‘being human’. When it comes to diagnosis and healthcare however, you want to be confident that even with humans planning the treatment, mistakes are kept to a minimum. Here is where artificial intelligence can shine, using deep learning tools/machine learning technology, artificial intelligence systems can predict and identify diagnoses with much greater accuracy than trained healthcare professionals. This could also mean systems are potentially able to catch certain conditions and diseases much earlier during check-ups and imaging, allowing patients to receive treatments faster and have a much greater chance of returning to full health.
3D Bioprinting An amazing medical feat we already have available is the ability for organ transplants which can save someone’s life. Unfortunately, as many as 50% of organ transplants that take place can face rejection which could see the receiving patient needing another transplant or worse, becoming sicker. 3D bioprinting could change organ transplants for the better, using cells from the ill patient or adult stem cells (think of these as ‘blank’ cells that can be programmed to grow into any necessary cells and tissue) and used to ‘3D print’ anything from skin, bones and cartilage to fully working organs. Not only does this dramatically reduce the risk of rejection but prevents year-long waiting lists and patients that sadly never get to receive their organ donation before they become too ill for surgery.
2020 was the year we all went into lockdown as the pandemic spread across the world. While everyone begins to accept the ‘new normal’ many people have faced greater hardships due to existing health problems or conditions that needed regular face-to-face appointments for better management. As we still have to take socially distancing seriously and many vulnerable people may still be under temporary lockdown, getting to see their doctor, specialist or GP has become almost impossible. Health wearables could make things much easier for these vulnerable groups by allowing medical professionals to keep track of their condition from a distance, monitoring aspects such as heart rate, sugar levels, activity levels and more. Warning systems can alert medical staff to issues that need immediate or fast attention and ensure the patient receives the medical attention they need when they need it without having to risk going to their local GP surgery.
Supporting Staff Through Healthcare
Everyone wants to live their life to the best of their ability and this extends to their loved ones as well. Living with a health issue can be exhausting in more than the physical sense but draining on emotional and mental health too and can even affect our ability to work productively. Employers who provide support to their staff through team-building, group support and regular check-ins already have an increased sense of loyalty from their staff. By going the extra mile to provide quality health insurance that provides staff peace of mind could be the small step needed to establish long-working and productive relationships with employees.
Health insurance can ensure that staff receives the best available medical help when there is a health issue, be it receiving physiotherapy within a short timeframe, advanced cancer treatments or support for mental health struggles. Access to private clinics often results in being able to get additional support through healthcare collaborations which wouldn’t normally be available through publicly funded centers. Health insurance helps patients get seen quicker and get access to treatments faster, meaning they can be feeling back to their regular selves sooner and by an extension (although never the aim) be able to return to work in a shorter time frame.
Your staff are the frontline for your business and deserve to be supported in their physical, mental and emotional health. Talk to your staff today about how you can better assist them, especially if your staff are working remotely away from the office where they would have easier access to management and HR to raise issues. The pandemic has made health struggles in all capacities more visible and rather than failing staff by expecting them to take care of themselves, businesses can foster better and more loyal relationships with their workforce by ensuring there is a consistent and quality level of support available to them.