Research and Innovation in Healthcare

Research and innovation are indispensable attributes of healthcare. Healthcare will advance only when proper and timely research and innovation are carried out. Research and innovation together will lead to eliminating disruptions and stagnancy in healthcare.

The right research and innovation will lead to new, better and more effective ways of dealing with a patient’s health.

The World Health Organization (WHO) explains that ‘health innovation’ improves the efficiency, effectiveness, quality, sustainability, safety, and/or affordability of healthcare. This definition includes ‘new or improved’ practices, systems, products, technologies, services, and delivery methods that result in improved healthcare.

Not all solutions are innovations, and not all innovations are solutions. Solutions that have resulted from problems in healthcare may be considered an innovation only when they have solved a problem by introducing a new or significantly different concept, service, process, technology, or product.

Some revolutionary innovations in the health care sector are listed below that have significantly resulted in improved healthcare results, easy and secure access, and faster diagnosis and treatment.

1.Internet of Things (IoT)
IoTautomates patient care workflow with advanced technologies and solutions. IoT facilitates interoperability, advanced machine communication and easy data movement that makes healthcare delivery efficient and effective.

Before the prevalence of IoT, a patient’s interaction with the doctor was limited to visits and mobile communication. There was no way doctors or hospitals could monitor patients’ health continuously and make recommendations accordingly. IoT made this possible which has evolved healthcare delivery massively.

Innovation in healthcare in the form of fitness bands and other wireless devices like blood pressure and heart rate monitoring cuffs, glucometer etc. have given patients access to personalized attention. These fitness or health devices are beneficial to the physician as well. These devices enable a physician to keep track of patients’ health for proactive healthcare delivery and better patient outcomes.

2. Electronic Health Records (EHRs):
EHRsconsist of a patient’s medical history, diagnosis, medications, radiology images and test results. It is an electronic medical record that providers can use to make informed decisions about a patient’s care.EHRs can be accessed on-demand and can potentially save time and money.

3. Remote Care
Remote Care is a telemedicine service which allows constant monitoring of the patient’s condition. It oversees the performance of a patient’s condition for the best healthcare service delivery.

4. Winter can lead to rampant illnesses:
Winter can prove dangerous for people who suffer from asthma. In winters, exposure to air pollutants can trigger asthma attacks. It is essential that you limit your outdoor activity if you are suffering from asthma. Also, those suffering from asthma should keep an inhaler close at all times.
Winter can worsen arthritis symptoms during the cold weather, thus increasing swelling in the joints.
Patients with diabetes can have a harder time controlling their blood sugar levels during winter.
Winters can also lead to hypothyroidism, diabetes, anorexia, anaemia, etc.

5. Winters can lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder:
It is not just the physical health that can be affected by the cold; winter can take a toll on mental health also. Seasonal Affective Disorder due to winter leads to extreme sleepiness, increased appetite, loss of interest, mood changes and withdrawal from social situations.
Being aware of these impacts of winter can help you stay healthy throughout the season. In case any symptom arises, contact your physician at the earliest.