As COVID-19 continues to spread and infect millions of people worldwide rapidly, medical technology has needed to keep up to combat the disease and adjust to how the world operates in its new state of being. An infographic by The Medical Futurist shows caregivers and policymakers how the increased development of digital technology for healthcare will help fight against the coronavirus, as well as which sectors of healthcare will be aided in particular due to their development. To explain in words, here are a few ways digital technology is helping in the fight against COVID-19.
The ever-increasing number of COVID-19 cases has resulted in a worldwide shortage of medical equipment available to healthcare institutions. The lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) and failing respirators put both patients and personnel at risk of illness, if not worse. The Spain-based Coronavirus Makers, along with many similar groups across the globe, have a solution though: 3D printing. With these designs, this group—along with a range of other people who have access to a 3D printer—can modify snorkeling masks into ventilator masks, make face shields, and, for milder cases, mechanical ventilators that the medical community can use.
With people in various states of quarantine across the world, the healthcare field has needed to adapt how they treat patients to their new circumstances. Telemedicine, which existed prior to the coronavirus, saw a drastic increase in usage as it provides a safe way for patients to contact their doctors while remaining socially distant and as safe as possible. This version of healthcare lets people speak with their healthcare providers from the comfort of their homes and allows hospitals to be available for necessary and urgent treatments.
Though usually associated with video games and other forms of entertainment, virtual reality can be applied to healthcare in a number of ways. A Harvard Business Review study shows that surgeons who train using virtual reality have a 230% improvement rate on their surgical performances in comparison to those who are trained using traditional methods. Likewise, virtual reality can be used to teach medical students how to empathize with their patients so they can better understand what they may be going through in stressful situations. In the aftermath of COVID-19, virtual reality can also be used to treat PTSD symptoms that frontline healthcare workers might face due to the amount of loss they have to witness because of the illness.