The recent advances in the use of new and existing technology are paving the way for some exciting developments in the healthcare sector.
In this article, we explore some of the latest innovations and the trialled-and-tested technology solutions which will impact patient care over the coming years.
Usually associated with gaming and experiential marketing, Virtual Reality is a fully-immersive technology which tricks the users’ senses into believing they are in a completely different environment.
Accessible through an app and using VR Goggles, such as Oculus and Microsoft Hololens, users can visit new environments from the comfort of their own chair.
Virtual Reality has been used recently by Prof Ghezzi and his team at EPFL to simulate the visual improvements which severely sight-impaired patients would experience after receiving new ground-breaking retinal implants. Working in conjunction with smart glasses fitted with a camera, signals are sent to the electrodes in the retinal implants. Virtual Reality is being used to show a simulation of the way in which the retinal implant recipients would be able to perceive the world as objects as light points, in a similar way to which we see constellations.
Another significant advancement in the treatment of partially-sighted patients has been identified in the use of augmented reality, which allows the overlaying of digital information onto the real world.
US-based innovator GiveVision use augmented video feeds to allow patients to see the world clearly using their innovative SightPlus solution. The technology works by processing incoming images through a headset, which then overlays the information with an augmented feed, which is then projected onto the patient’s retina, leading to an improved visual experience in 98% of the cases.
The development of 3D printing technology is having a significant impact on procedures and patient care. From bespoke surgical instruments, which offer improved ergonomics and precision, to 3D models to illustrate surgical options to patients, 3D printing has also contributed to the reduction in cost of prostheses, as well as allowing exciting progress in the field of tissue engineering.
Holograms, which are virtual three-dimensional images created using light diffraction, have been particularly useful in the healthcare field to demonstrate the use of expensive and too-large-to-transport equipment. Hologram models have also been used to explain complex procedures to patients in a visual and illustrative way.
RFID & Barcoding technology
This existing technology has proved vital to the healthcare sector in light of the global pandemic. Using barcode labels and readers, RFID technology offers accurate traceability of perishable stocks, such as pharmaceutical and bio products.
Tracking technology can substantially decrease the risk related to blood transfusion errors, whilst ensuring accurate inventory management for a maximised and efficient control of the supply chain process.
This is our area of expertise and our GS1 UK-accredited StockAssist Medical solution remove all the costly and time-consuming manual processes which could lead to human mistakes, whilst providing a clear and precise overview of the stock, including origin, current location, destination and expiry date.