Scientists on behalf of humanity, are tremendously hopeful that technology can improve health outcomes and increase overall life expectancy. One such technology is Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Encompassing algorithms, machine learning and pattern recognition, AI holds immense potential to transform the healthcare sector. Image analysis algorithms can help detect skin diseases, pneumonia, breast cancer and other diseases.
Speech recognition can help physicians reduce the time they spend in medical record keeping. Augmented reality can be used to administer wound care under remote supervision of a doctor. AI systems that are conversational can rid the world of the problem of shortage of psychiatrists by offering limited help to mentally ill patients who cannot afford the services of a psychiatrist.
3D printing which is another promising revolutionary technology can lower the cost of precision medicine and medical devices. Robots are performing routine and highly technical procedures on patients, infact robots are believed to outperform human surgeons in preventing infection and stitching the segments of intestines.
Great strides have also been made when it comes to the usage of technology in vaccine and drug delivery. Polypill, which combines multiple drug products into a single pill has been vastly successful in preventing cardiovascular diseases. The quad pill too has shown great results when it comes to treating HIV patients.
Technological advances in delivery of drugs can also improve the overall reproductive health of females in underprivileged countries. Similarly, self-inject contraception can prevent unwanted pregnancies. According to WHO, between 11 million and 20 million people are affected by typhoid every year. Between 128,000‒161,000 people die from typhoid annually (Typhoid, 2018). The use of antibiotics along with better water quality and adequate sanitation has provided better resistance to the disease.
While immunisation is important to prevent typhoid, current vaccines are not as effective and cannot be administered to children below 5. However, with recent efforts a new type of vaccine has recently been approved by WHO for global use. Referred to as the typhoid conjugate vaccine (TCV), it will provide the required immunity to tackle typhoid (WHO recommends use of first typhoid conjugate vaccine, 2018).
The above are examples of how beneficial technology can be for us in all walks of life. Those who embrace and innovate using technology will certainly be the frontrunners.