Previously, healthcare professionals could only employ rudimentary measures to heal their patients and lacked sufficient knowledge of the human body and infectious diseases. However, over the years, this field has seen some profound changes, and it has developed a firm grasp over its understanding of the human body. Although healthcare has a rich history, some of the most profound changes took place quite recently. Governmental regulations and health technology mergers have led to the healthcare sector getting a complete makeover and becoming more efficient than ever before. These changes have been incredibly exciting for healthcare professionals and patients alike. Here is a review of how the healthcare system has developed in the last decade.
1. Public Health Concerns
Although the previous few years have seen immense breakthroughs in the healthcare sector, many of these changes have been spurred by increasing public health concerns. As our lifestyles change, we see an increase in diseases previously unthought-of. These include the obesity epidemic, vaping, and a revival of diseases like Zika and measles. Furthermore, this decade saw some pretty serious disease outbreaks, such as the Ebola epidemic, ravaging West Africa. However, the decade’s most obvious public health concern has been COVID-19 which soon escalated into a global pandemic affecting millions.
Tackling these public health concerns requires an in-depth understanding of not just medical knowledge but socio-economic systems too. These systems profoundly affect public health, as they influence what makes people susceptible to disease. This situation has called for more people to join the field and lend a helping hand to get the critical situation under control. A degree in general studies can prepare you to join the healthcare sector in a wide-ranging capacity to improve public health. Furthermore, getting this degree will become more flexible and easier if you turn to the online study option. For example, a bachelor of general studies online can prepare you to spread awareness regarding various health issues and promote better public health.
Telemedicine is inarguably one of the biggest ways the healthcare sector has evolved over the previous decade. The internet has opened up new avenues for every industry, and the healthcare sector, in particular, has seized the opportunity fully. Globalization may have brought us closer in some ways, but physically, it has led to distances increasing immensely. It was often incredibly challenging for people from rural or far-off locations to seek healthcare in such a scenario. This limitation often led to people in remote locations suffering from exacerbated symptoms and poor life quality.
However, telemedicine has changed all that. It makes it possible for people living in the most remote locations to access the best healthcare professionals anywhere in the world. All they need is a working internet connection. Telemedicine also makes it easy for doctors to develop clients regardless of location, and it also allows them to monitor patients even remotely. Various researches show that telemedicine can help lower hospital admission rates as well as fewer and shorter hospital stays.
3. Major Wins In The Fight Against Cancer
One of the most remarkable wins for healthcare in this decade has come from the fight against cancer. Cancer has been one of the few diseases which has befuddled modern medicine for a long time. Despite many advancements, a diagnosis often spelled a death sentence for the patients. In recent years, the tide has turned, and there have been many significant breakthroughs in the fight against cancer. Modern medicine has made it possible to increase the lifespan of cancer patients exponentially to lead full, healthy lives.
Checkpoint therapy, in particular, has been an exceptional breakthrough in cancer treatment that uses the body’s defense system to fight cancer cells. Furthermore, there have been some profound changes in cancer care, where medical breakthroughs are making cancer treatment as bearable as possible for patients. Additionally, research has made it possible for doctors to envision a future where even lethal and rare cancers like leukemia and mesothelioma may have a cure. Although the fight against cancer is by no means over, we have turned over a new page in the previous decade.
4. Managing Patient Data
Increased usage of technological systems within the healthcare sector has streamlined many processes immensely. They have made it easier than ever for healthcare institutions to store and track patient data, making treatment much easier. It can make it easier for doctors to review patient records and develop a suitable diagnosis and treatment procedure. Healthcare professionals can access their patient’s previous medical history, prescriptions, diagnoses, and more, all with a few clicks.
Furthermore, storing patient data on the cloud also makes it easy for insurance companies to keep track of treatments and provide timely reimbursements. However, there is a downside to this too. Storing patient data online can make patients much more susceptible to data breaches of their personal information. These concerns have increased importance on giving patients greater control over their data and how they want it to be shared and stored. Thus, ensuring data safety is now a vital part of the modern-day healthcare setup.
5. Increased Healthcare Spending
Over the years, we’ve seen increased importance in healthcare and, in return, healthcare spending. Many now realize that to bring about societal change, ensuring excellent public health is an essential prerequisite. However, despite these realizations, getting good healthcare is much more expensive than it used to.
Furthermore, changing lifestyles have led to a shift in healthcare spending trends too. Whereas previously, most of the healthcare spending would be limited to catering to newborns and children, these groups now have marked lower mortality rates. Instead, much of healthcare spending is now concentrated around caring for the elderly, who make up a large chunk of the population. Improving healthcare has led to lifespans increasing globally, which leads to a big chunk of money going into senior care.
The healthcare sector has seen some profound changes over a few short years. These changes have completely revamped the face of modern-day healthcare and have brought about increased ease for patients and healthcare providers alike. Furthermore, they allow healthcare providers to develop innovative solutions for diseases that would have otherwise been untreatable.