07/05/2021

What's Next in Global Healthcare? (Digital Technology on the Rise)

From virtual healthcare solutions to mixed reality (MR) consultations, things are changing fast in the global healthcare sector!

This is an exciting time to pursue a career in global healthcare management, and technology is the heart of everything that’s happening right now.

Increasing access to healthcare is one of the biggest drivers of digital and virtual healthcare growth; and while there’s still a long way to go, the future of healthcare is looking smarter, and much more remote.

This has been partly emboldened by the pandemic, which has caused us to social distance and put certain health services on hold. For health and social care workers, there couldn’t be a better time to upskill on the MBA Global Heathcare Management course at the University of Bolton.

As digital technology continues to advance, the entire healthcare landscape will be altered, and highly trained leaders will be in demand. Here are some of the things coming to global healthcare in the years to come. 

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Telemedicine platforms

The future of healthcare could see an end to waiting rooms or having to travel to your nearest surgery. Thanks to the rise of telemedicine, many people can get seen and diagnosed by their doctor through mobile phone calls or video calls.

What’s interesting to note is that this kind of platform can be implemented quickly, with little disruption to hospital services. A virtual healthcare project trialled in China during COVID was able to be up and running in just 10 days. 

This shows a great deal of opportunity to increase access for all, at a very low cost. For countries where remote communities find access difficult, this could mean saving lives.

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Chatbots and symptom checkers

As well as being able to contact doctors digitally, there will also be more development within robotics, namely chatbots.

Many healthcare organizations have already installed basic Q&A chatbot technology on their websites. These are used to support users with general inquiries, and to create a more convenient way for patients to get the answers they need.

A great example of this is the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Coronavirus Self-Checker tool in the US. This can shorten doctor-patient contact time and can help to streamline services for the people who need it the most.

It also makes the future of healthcare much more convenient, and less invasive for those who don’t enjoy doctor visits.

Hologram technology

Taking virtual healthcare and virtual appointments to the next level is something called HoloLens by Microsoft. This is an untethered mixed reality (MR) headset device that adds the human touch to remote consultations.

This has already been tested on some remote islands in Japan and has been used to provide specialist medical care from the Nagasaki University Rheumatoid Arthritis Remote Medical System (NURAS).

By creating real-time virtual appointments with a real consultant, patients receive the same level of care and attention as a physical examination. Add in real-time 4D viewing of the subject, this technology makes close-up exams and effective diagnosis possible.

While this may seem like a futuristic step, one that could take years to roll out across the rest of the world, it’s a vital one that could improve access for millions of people.

 

Does all of this sound interesting to you? If you’re a health or social care professional looking to move into a management role, this is a great time to invest in yourself and embark on postgraduate training.

To find out more about applying for our MBA programme in September 2021, visit our course page.

If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on +44 (0)1204 903 394 or admissions@bolton.ac.uk.

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