We all know that the Covid pandemic has hit the healthcare sector really hard, yet there are some positives, particularly in the digital solutions that aid the medical industry. We are definitely living in a digital world and with the arrival of the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G, this development looks set to change the world in so many ways.

Telehealth

Delivering medical services via Zoom is a real game-changer, especially as we strive to reduce viral transmission and most GPs now offer virtual consultations, which protect both doctor and patient. Using audio and video, it is usually possible for the medical professional to accurately diagnose the patient’s condition and prescribe the right medication.

Medical Record Retrieval

People move all over the place and when they see a doctor in California, yet are registered in New York, the Cali doctor uses a trusted medical record retrieval company with many years’ experience. The patient’s full medical history can be downloaded via a secure portal in advance, giving the doctor a chance to gain an insight into the patient. This service is available to all medical professionals, who pay a small annual fee to the provider and that allows them to access the medical history of a new patient.

Artificial Intelligence

Machine learning might be in its infancy, but it already can read an X-Ray image and detect cancer, and what’s more, it can outperform any doctor! How does this work? The computer is fed at least 100k X-ray images, along with the diagnosis and it learns as it goes, becoming better over time. AI already performs delicate brain surgery using state of the art robotics and the future looks rosy as far as surgery goes. AI systems will manage the IoT, a platform that allows digital devices to communicate and with the 10x speeds that 5G brings, our lives will change in so many ways.

People Tracking

Using mobile apps, it is now possible to track a person’s movements, which can be critical in the case of covid exposure; an infected person could have been on a plane and it is possible to track down all the places that person visited upon their arrival and testing can be carried out. QR codes are being used all over the world in an effort to identify those who are vaccinated and those who are not, playing an important role in the fight against covid.

Digital Passports

Another very effective way to reduce the risk of transmission, digital passports are being planned all over the world and this technology is also used to monitor the movements of suspected terrorists. While there are obvious fears of living in an oppressed society, we do need to control the movement of people from country to country and when the pandemic is over, we can expect to see paper passports being replaced with digital ones that are on a blockchain, which is hack-proof. Facial recognition is already well-established and we can expect to see this in every major city in the near future. Take a look at Chinese cities, where huge surveillance systems monitor all citizens’ movements and we can expect this tech to become normal all over the world.

Social Media

Social media has played a vital role in keeping people connected during the multiple lockdowns most of us have experienced. It is now possible to video call family and friends and while that might not be the same as being in the same room, it is better than no contact at all! Here is an interesting article that shows the positive side of social media influencers. Facebook has been a part of everyone’s lives since the start of the pandemic, with literally billions of users who all have a long list of social media friends. As you can see, there are many ways that digital technology is helping to fight the virus and the US government is doing what it can to support the population during this difficult time.

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