Count your steps. Check your symptoms. Monitor your calories. Sleep better. Listen, relax and worry less.
There’s not much that technology can’t do these days to help us lead healthier, more balanced and stress-free lives.
Would it surprise you to know that there are more than 250,000 fitness and health apps available for download? And that number goes through the roof if you look at the apps available outside Australia.
A quick check of our phones – and wearable devices (think Fitbit bracelets) – reveals a lot about our personal approach to health and wellbeing. Are we counting steps, monitoring calories, meditating on the way home from work, or analysing the quality of our sleep?
Never before have we had such easy access to so much personal health information, and applications designed to improve our health and wellbeing.
And while we’re seeing an explosion of disruptive new technologies in healthcare, the process of disruption is not new.
Disruption is the new normal
We’ve seen lots of examples over the years, and not just in healthcare.
Amazon disrupted the retail shopping experience. We take it for granted now, but once upon a time Amazon offered a brand new way of doing business, and thousands of other businesses were generated from this new online shopping experience. We’ve gone from driving to the shopping mall to having an Amazon drone land on our front lawn delivering the latest best-selling book.
We’ve seen similar examples in transport. When Henry Ford mass-produced the motor vehicle in 1914, he made cars affordable to everyday Americans for the first time in history, revolutionising both personal transport and manufacturing.
While disruption is everywhere, one area that’s experiencing significant transformation is healthcare. It’s even given rise to a whole new vocabulary.u003cstrongu003eIn Australia, one area that’s benefitting from disruptive technologies is healthcareu003c/strongu003e Click To Tweet
Understanding some of the new high tech health terms
If you don’t know your big data from your blockchain, then fear not. We’ve explained some of the more commonly used high tech health terms below. One thing’s for sure, we’ll be hearing a lot more about these into the future.
Telehealth is a health consultation conducted via videoconference on your phone or laptop. It’s particularly beneficial in rural and remote areas, where some people have to travel long distances to see a healthcare professional. Say goodbye to busy GP surgeries, and hello to couch-based consultations.
This takes the photocopy machine to a whole new level. 3D printing in healthcare enables the artificial creation of patient-specific replicas of bones, organs, and blood vessels. While it seems the stuff of fiction, this is already underway in many hospitals across Australia.
While still in its infancy in healthcare, some experts are predicting that Blockchain – a technology that allows digital information to be distributed but not copied – might help improve how we manage and protect health information, including patient records.
Big data describes the way computers analyse information to reveal patterns, trends and associations. In healthcare, it’s used to collect and analyse data that’s too vast or complex to be understood by traditional means.
Robotics refers to the use of a robot, or a high tech instrumentation device, used to perform a particular action. Australian hospitals have been using robotics for precision orthopaedic, eye and general surgeries and rehabilitation services for many years.
Artificial intelligence is the use of computers to analyse complex information and reach a conclusion without direct human input. AI, as it’s known, is being used in a wide range of healthcare areas as a decision making tool.
Our desire for a more connected healthcare experience
So while we have some futuristic disruptions underway, it’s digital technology that’s keeping us all connected to information and each other.
According to the National Digital Health Strategy, the amount of data being downloaded from the internet has doubled in the last two years. Most Australians are using digital technology as part of their daily life, including to manage their health and wellness.
Seeking greater control over our health and wellbeing
One of the trends we see at MyHealthTest is the desire for people to have greater control over their health and wellbeing, and better access to their personal health information.
So while MyHealthTest might not be building robots or interrogating data stacks, we too are contributing to this process of health technology disruption and change.
We’re enabling people to test for common health conditions and monitor their health from home – something that previously could only be done via a traditional bricks and mortar pathology centre.
And, like all great healthcare innovators, we too are pushing the boundaries and creating new value for our customers. In addition to our current range of thyroid and diabetes tests, we’re also developing a new portfolio of home based blood tests (vitamins, hormones, essential elements and heavy metals) which we expect to be available from 2021.
Continuing to innovate and expand our tests
So at MyHealthTest, we’re excited about the significant health innovations underway, and proud to be making our own contribution to these advancements.
We’ll continue to make it easy for people to check and monitor their health from home, in consultation with their healthcare professional, and provide easy access to information about their health and wellbeing.