The COVID-19 pandemic spurred a wave of digitalization that saw rapid vaccine development and increased demand for virtual healthcare options. But the healthcare industry has constantly been evolving and implementing new technologies even before the pandemic. Researchers and healthcare professionals worldwide are continually developing new treatments, studies, and methods for fighting some of our most challenging diseases and healthcare mysteries. Here are seven innovations in the healthcare world that are revolutionizing healthcare and helping us overcome some of humankind’s most persistent afflictions.  

Regenerative Cell Therapies

Regenerative medicine focuses on developing treatments and drugs that restore and regenerate human cells to replace damaged or diseased cells. Regenerative therapies aim to completely restore health and proper function at the molecular, cellular, and tissue level. Methods include stem cell therapies, tissue engineering using biomaterials, or medical devices. Regenerative medicine could help us overcome hereditary conditions, heart disease, cancer, etc.

Wearables and Big Data

Wifi-enabled wearable health tracking devices such as smartwatches change how we think about our daily activities. These devices often track our 24/7 heart rate, activity levels, and other critical statistics about our everyday health. This data allows healthcare providers to create more individualized care plans for their patients. Further, if this data became accessible to researchers and healthcare professionals, it could help us inform everything from research to public health policy. Some of these devices can send warnings before health episodes and include emergency calling functions with just the click of a button.

Telehealth and Wellness Apps

The pandemic increased the need for virtual healthcare appointments as most of the world was forced to stay home. Along with greater access to telehealth appointments, users were also given more wellness apps and at-home exercise videos. Today, telehealth is the norm for many recurring appointments, and wellness apps are widely used for many people struggling with mental health or staying fit while staying at home.

Extended Reality and Healthcare

If video calling wasn’t enough, some healthcare providers now utilize extended reality (augmented reality and virtual reality) in their care settings. Surgeons can use virtual reality headsets to see patient vitals and other critical information in real-time while using both hands. Further, these headsets can live stream and record surgeries so surgeons can get real-time assistance from other professionals watching their perspective. Extended reality is primarily used for training purposes, allowing new professionals to practice complex surgeries virtually. But, the applications for VR and AR in the healthcare world are only just being developed.

mRNA & Vaccine Production

The COVID pandemic saw the rapid production of several highly successful mRNA vaccines. The speed of research and development of these vaccines was unprecedented. Companies like Avantor, which supply vaccine manufacturing products, were integral to the rapid response to the pandemic. According to Avantor, “new vaccine concepts- such as mRNA vaccines- focus on immune-oncology applications. In turn, this leads to the growing use of processing applications employing primary cells or cell lines.” Complex mRNA vaccine production requires high levels of quality and safety to produce a reliable and effective dose. Innovations in vaccine production and distribution can help prepare us for another pandemic.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is another technology that is transforming healthcare. AI can streamline healthcare workflows, saving time and money in administration, diagnostics, and more. Digital chatbots can help telehealth patients prepare for appointments and even diagnose patients directly. Artificial intelligence was critical during the pandemic for tracking and predicting the spread of the virus, temperature-checking crowds, and facial recognition to identify individuals despite mask mandates.

Security and Data in the Cloud

A final new technology trend in the healthcare world is using cloud hosting to store and access patient information and hospital records. Cloud hosting can offer secure and reliable functionality to any large-scale healthcare operation. Workflows are streamlined, and patient data is easily accessible and shareable between clinics. Easier access to patient health histories and other information from the health center can improve rapid response and quality of care for individuals.

The healthcare world is constantly evolving and introducing new technologies to help us overcome our health challenges. These innovations in health can prepare us for future pandemics and find solutions to chronic conditions.