In healthcare, technology is becoming essential, and the dynamics are shifting fast. Some of the most dynamic health system applications include artificial intelligence,3D bioprinting, nanomedicine, personalized medicine, and robotic surgery. For both technologies, intensive research is at its center, which makes these applications some of the most growing and innovative methods in healthcare. However, medical technologies, including artificial intelligence and nanomedicine, have safety, regulatory and ethical issues. 3D bioprinting and personalized medicine need more improvements to reach the desired quality standards. Either way, technology in healthcare is something that practitioners will not do without in the future and a major factor that administrators should look out for.
Artificial Intelligence for health
Artificial intelligence (AI) can be described as computer technologies that simulate or imitate human intelligence, including interactions, deep learning, understanding, and reasoning(Tran et al.,2019). Currently, the business world has been dominated by the AI technology, which is now extending rapidly into the healthcare sector. While the use of Artificial Intelligence has been used in medicine in terms of disease diagnosis processes using programs aided by a computer since 1950, the interest in AI and its advances have grown greatly in the recent years (Tran et al.,2019). AI applications have been associated with numerous advantages, among them improved therapy and diagnosis accuracy and processes in clinical treatment.
Different health sectors, including geocoding, predictive modeling, medical imaging, epidemic surveillance, and health information systems, have greatly benefited from AI applications. The applications could also give real-time information on health updates. Further, there is a growing focus on the use of machine learning in health services provision, including driving interventions in the care system (Davenport & Kalakota, 2019). Intervention such as message alerts, targeted content is an asset in medical research.
While there are many advantages associated with AI, there are also concerns about using these applications. First, it is thought that the use of AI in health systems will lead to Job losses in the sector. However, this is still controversial since some studies show that even though some jobs will be automatized, other external factors, including; social acceptance, benefits of automation beyond mere labor substitution, cost of the technologies, could limit job loss(Davenport & Kalakota, 2019). Currently, there are no jobs that have been eliminated by AI. In jobs like radiology and pathology, though there are reported high accuracy of AI, the technology’s penetration is slow, which is linked to the costs.
Other concerns revolve around the ethical issues of using robotics and AI. The use of these technologies raises issues of accountability, permission, transparency, and even privacy (Davenport & Kalakota, 2019). Empathy and understanding of accuracy is another issue. Can smart machines be trusted with decision making based on care for human feelings? Percentages of mistakes is also another thing to consider. Otherwise, the future of AI would include many medical, occupational, ethical, and technological changes within the health field. The health care provider will have no choice but to work alongside AI in the future or risk being phased out.
Bioprinting is a process of manufacturing biomaterials, and other structures are combined to help mimic natural cells. The technology uses cell-laden hydrogels known as bioink to build the structures and create a layer by layer fabrication (Chimene et al.,2020). Generally, the technology works like the conventional printing process, where a model is recreated as a physical 3D object. The process uses the living cell suspension in place of either resin or thermoplastic in conventional 3D printing. 3D bioprinting technology is currently slowly advancing and is currently used in the fields of bioengineering and medicine. The technology under the area of tissue regeneration has and still is under a lot of research due to its promising ability to precise cell controlling and biomaterial arranging to restructure complex human tissue. Recently, 3D bioprinting has advanced into cartilage tissue creation for regeneration(Chimene et al.,2020). However, with the promising future of 3D bioprinting, challenges still arise due to the limited availability of bioinks, making it difficult to demand tissue engineering and 3D printing. For instance, conventional hydrogels are weak and can’t be well printable. Generally, for a good print, the bioinks must be strong enough and have the capability to extruding into stable 3D structures and protect the cells during and after printing. Under such circumstances, the bioinks would provide a good environment for remodeling into the target tissue. Therefore with this factor, the challenge in the field of 3D bioprinting has been the limitation to printing structures that are few millimeters in height (Chimene et al.,2020). Research is intensively focusing on developing strong bioinks that are well printable and could help in long-term tissue creation.
Nanomedicine is the use of nanotechnology in the medical field. The nanomaterials are used in the whole process of disease treatment, including diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring (Soares et al.,2018). The materials can also be used in the control and prevention of diseases. According to studies, nanotechnology is essential in medicine, especially for cancer and other disease therapy, as it has been reviewed as a precise and reliable tool for diagnosis. The technology uses minimum biological samples with nano-sensors used as diagnostic markers, drugs, and even biocompatible implants. Nanotechnology has a high potential of detecting diseases at an early stage, and with molecular imaging, diseases such as cancer can be localized before a further spread. Organ targeted therapies can be performed, which reduces side effects and drug to drug complications. However, there are still a lot of controversies surrounding nanomedicine technology, including safety concerns. According to research, the physicochemical properties forming nanomaterials can cause alteration in processes such as absorption, elimination, and metabolism (Soares et al.,2018). Nanomaterials have been linked with toxic properties of high persistence in the environment and the human body (Soares et al.,2018). Therefore, some nanomaterials have been considered unsafe for medical use. Further, there are problems in proper regulations and putting up standard procedures for manufacturing and the use of nanomaterials for medicine. Together with the safety concerns, the issue has created a big challenge in putting up regulatory measures.
The increasing research in nanomedicine has largely and will continue to boost the recreation of both existing drugs and the new ones. The range of nanomedicine keeps extending from nanopharmaceuticals to medical instruments essential in the health care sector. Research in the sector promises complex nanomaterial designs for use in medicine, which would need a comprehensive understanding of nanomedicines’ properties (Soares et al.,2018). While the technology is proving to be the needed change for the diagnosis of chronic diseases such as cancer, there is still a long way to go in terms of regulating nanomedicines.
There is currently emerging attention of healthcare practitioners towards personalized medicine (Suwinski et al.,2019). The whole focus is due to a thought of tailored treatment for patients as opposed to generalized assumptions. Tailored solutions have proven to be the best linked with other functions such as big data and genome sequencing to help establish the unique nature of a patient’s body with considering all the factors that could lead to successful outcomes in terms of disease treatment (Suwinski et al.,2019). There is a lot of research done on genome sequencing as part of the technology that is essential in understanding one’s gene characteristics. Big data analytics is also incorporated in genome sequencing to help in the analysis of varied factors of disease development and occurrence (Suwinski et al.,2019). Such processes help improve tailored diagnosis, prevention, and treatment, which consequently give patients high-quality care. However, personalized medicine has challenges in terms of reproducibility and time. The use of genome sequencing is also expensive, and even when not in use, the tailoring of patients’ care is quite a time unconscious and tedious. Reporting standards could also be difficult to factor in. However, the future is advancing towards personalized medicine, and more technologies will be incorporated in it, including artificial intelligence for purposes such as patient monitoring.
Robotic surgery involves robotic machines that allow doctors to perform complex procedures with accuracy and control compared to traditional surgery. The procedure is usually more of a minimally invasive surgery that uses tiny incisions. Minimum invasive methods have been known to have advantages over conventional methods in terms of reduced fluid spillage (Moawad et al., 2020). However, robotic surgery has more advantages, reducing abdominal pressure of about less than 10mmHg (Moawad et al., 2020).
Use minimum pressure reduces viral transmission to the health team. The number of medical personnel in such a procedure is also reduced, and safe distance can be maintained from the patient. It is also a less painful procedure with high chances and a fast rate of healing. Generally, robotic surgery reduces the length of surgery and the aftercare need for patients. Currently, more work is put in place to ensure improved robotic assistance equipment. Therefore, robotic machines might soon take over the medical field with things such as telenursing emerging. However, the incision of the medical areas for robots is still slow because Robotic surgery equipment is expensive in purchasing, installing, and training staff for use and maintenance. The future is more likely to embrace robotic-assisted surgery.