Health technology

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Health technology is defined by the World Health Organization as the "application of organized knowledge and skills in the form of devices, medicines, vaccines, procedures and systems developed to solve a health problem and improve quality of lives".[1] This includes the pharmaceuticals, devices, procedures and organizational systems used in health care.[2]

Medical technology[edit]

Medical technology, or medtech, encompasses a wide range of healthcare products and is used to treat diseases or medical conditions affecting humans. Such technologies (applications of medical science) are intended to improve the quality of healthcare delivered through earlier diagnosis, less invasive treatment options and reductions in hospital stays and rehabilitation times.[3] Recent advances in medical technology have also focused on cost reduction. Medical technology may broadly include medical devices, information technology, biotech, and healthcare services.

The impacts of medical technology may involve social and ethical issues. For example, physicians may seek objective information from technology rather than listening to subjective patient reports.[4]

A major driver of the sector's growth is the consumerization of medtech. Supported by the widespread availability of smartphones and tablets, providers are able to reach a large audience at low cost, a trend that stands to be consolidated as wearable technologies spread throughout the market.[5]

In the past 5 years running up to the end of 2015, venture funding has grown 200%, allowing US$11.7 billion to flow into health tech businesses from over 30,000 investors in the space.[6]

Allied professions[edit]

The term medical technology may also refer to the duties performed by clinical laboratory professionals in various settings within the public and private sectors. The work of these professionals encompass clinical applications of chemistry, genetics, hematology, immunohematology (blood banking), immunology, microbiology, serology, urinalysis and miscellaneous body fluid analysis. Depending on location, educational level and certifying body, these professionals may be referred to as biomedical scientists, medical laboratory scientists (MLS), medical technologists (MT), medical laboratory technologists and medical laboratory technicians.[7]

Monitoring one's health[edit]

In recent years smartphones have allowed people to monitor their own health. With these smartphones there comes apps that are related to health and how to monitor it. An example of this is Fitbit, which is an app that connects to the Fitbit watch. This watch allows people to track their steps, heart rate, floors climbed, miles walked, active minutes, and sleep patterns. With these advancement in these types of technologies this has allowed people to keep track of their own health. There is already the internet that many use to "self diagnose" themselves instead of going to their doctor. But, now there are these apps and fitness watches to add to that "self diagnose/monitor" category. These advance may eventually have some effect on doctor visits from patients.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Technology, Health". World Health Organization. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  2. ^ INAHTA (International Network of Agencies for Health Technology Assessment). (June 8, 2009). "HTA glossary". INAHTA. Archived from the original on May 26, 2009. 
  3. ^ ADVAMED (Advanced Medical Technology Association). (January 7, 2009). "What is Medical Technology?". ADVAMED. Archived from the original on January 7, 2009. 
  4. ^ Richard S. Mathis (30 April 2010). "The Impacts of Innovation". Science. 
  5. ^ "What is driving the growth of medtech in the UK?". Hot Topics. Retrieved 2015-11-10. 
  6. ^ "What is Health Tech and how will it evolve?". Hot Topics. 2016-06-30. Retrieved 2016-07-05. 
  7. ^ "Medical Technology". 
  8. ^ "A revolution in health care is coming". The Economist. Retrieved 2018-02-05.