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Posts Tagged ‘medicine

Augmented reality – AR, is a world-known term nowadays. Nonetheless it is not that new as we are used to think. We’ve been seeing versions of AR for quite some time already. The concept is pretty simple: take a real-life scene, or a video of a scene, and add some kind of explanatory data to it so that you can better understand what’s going on there, or who the people in the scene are, or how to get to where you want to go, for example sports coverage on TV.

“AR has been around for ages,” says Andy Cameron, executive director of Fabrica, an interactive design studio which works with Benetton, “maybe going back as far as the 1970s and art installations that overlaid real spaces with something virtual.” He mentions in particular the work of pioneering computer artist Myron Krueger.
 

 
Nonetheless AR changed a lot in recent years. It became much more accessible. AR has come within reach of all sorts of developers – and millions of people gained access to using AR every day, often in the palms of their hands.

The appearance of powerful smartphones and computers with high-resolution photo/video cameras means that you don’t have to wait for the AR effects as you do with sports TV channels. They can simply be added into real life.

Without doubt, in next few years we will see rapid development of AR and experience it in various spheres of our lives.
 
Industry/military/medicine

Industrial, military and medical applications concerning the validation of designs or plans are a specialization of Augmented Reality. When soldiers need information on their surroundings they can receive detailed 3D maps. If a doctor is performing surgery, a live image of a human subject is accessible. Important occupations in need of crucial information use Augmented Reality tools to visually superimpose their solutions.
 
Navigation

A surgeon performing a complicated procedure or a firefighter trying to find his way out of a burning building can visualize a much more accurate and safe course of action with the help of augmented reality. Similarly, you can see a particular place through your augmented reality incorporated smartphone camera, and immediately find out the nearest cafes, bookshops, dining places.
 
Education

Educational resources are emphasized by Augmented Reality systems and can be used to re-create historical events, activate regular books into 3D images, or even present structures of the galaxy; all superimposed in real-time. Augmented Reality is extremely useful for educators in classroom settings or during presentations and allows students to gain a deeper understanding on the topic at hand. By merging content to media the reading experience is enhanced and the reader is fully engaged. The text and images are on a page as usual, but Augmented Reality allows you to see dynamic, 3D computer graphics “hovering” over it.
 
Shopping

E-Commerce / M-commerce applications will offer a virtual fitting room where apparel can be tried on live.
 
Housing/interior decoration

Innovative technology is providing value for all audiences in the interior design industry. Manufacturers, designers, and the end consumer are all finding use in these technologies in relation to traditional methods. Soon new tech will become the standard, as it helps shoppers make quicker, more informed purchase decisions through personable experiences. If you are interested in creating a more interactive and meaningful experience for your clients or customers, Augment offers custom AR solutions to allow your shoppers to bring your products to real life.
 

 
These are just several spheres where AR solutions will be further developed. At Altabel Group we are keeping track of AR innovations and are ready for new challenges in AR development. And what about you?

Feel free to share your thoughts about AR prospects for the near future in comments below!

 

yana-khaidukova

Yana Khaidukova

Business Development Manager

E-mail: yana.khaidukova@altabel.com
Skype: yana_altabel
LI Profile: Yana Khaidukova

 

altabel

Altabel Group

Professional Software Development

E-mail: contact@altabel.com
www.altabel.com

At all the times healthcare stands as one of the most challenging and pressing sectors of our society. Passed through centuries, wars, incurable diseases, and natural catastrophes, limit of food and water – all these things make us more perceptive to value our life more and give us everyday pressure to think how to improve health sector: to raise the level of our medical knowledge/education, implement innovative materials and technologies, invest in research programs and funds to save one’s life.

Since we have travelled a long way in healing knowledge from experiments and treating with herbs to highly effective medicine till now we continue to search for new methodologies to make the medicine more progressive and effective, to improve patience safety and satisfaction.

Technological and social changes taking place in recent years are affecting the way of presenting and transferring medical knowledge. In the era of IT and high capacity of computers new paradigm has entered in education process- e-learning and its impact becomes more visible and important in the field of medicine.

Nowadays it is hard to imagine healthcare sector without modern information and communication technologies (ICT). Presently, many medical universities and institutions utilize e-learning to make the continuing education process more effective and easy. So, let’s see what the key of E-learning is and what e-learning methods are used in medical education.

E-learning or also called web-based learning, online learning refers to the use of interactive technologies to support and improve teaching and learning process. Historically there were two common e-learning types: distance learning and computer based learning. The first one was used to deliver information to remote locations and the second one uses computers to deliver information. The integrating element of both modes became Internet that implicated multimedia (was one of preceding components before birth of Internet).

E-learning broadly includes different forms/types of delivery of education and teaching components/material to those who connected with this sector on professional or personal level. The delivery of information could be synchronous or asynchronous. It includes a range of technologies from CD-ROM to electronic whiteboards or online simulations. Among popular ones could be mentioned virtual classrooms, audio and video conferencing, digital learning of subjects through digital lectures, digital libraries, animation, textual notes, web based learning platforms, portals, Internet chat forums etc.

Traditionally medical education considers combination of didactic instruction in the classroom with further learning in clinical setting. Later was increased the impact of problem –based learning discussions in order to integrate the science knowledge and clinical decision. E-learning the methods and tools added many dimensions to the educational process and helps to overcome some problems/gaps with traditional education:

–          Flexible learning: remote access to digital materials that are unavailable locally, internet access to the didactic material to lectures and other material.

–          Possibility of collaboration: it helps teachers and students from different universities, countries, which allow exchange of knowledge and experiences;

–          Multimedia helps to transmit training/education video, medical research animation, and simulations of scientific systems;

–          2-D and 3-D computer animation helps in research and educational aims. They help to demonstrate surgery, human anatomy, and more;

–          Instant access to Internet help to stay up-to-date with medical knowledge and achievements;

–          Reduces travel costs and time;

Thank to grow of Internet and educational technologies the number of e-learning resources available to educators extremely increased. Within medical education established repositories and digital libraries provides access to e-learning materials. There are also multimedia online resources that collect links to online learning materials, along with annotations such as users’ reviews and assignments. In addition there is tendency to implement in educational system online learning management systems that help to track and monitor learners’ knowledge, attitude and skills.

Let’s see what are E-learning programs are used to educate patients (customers) and specialists with the use of IT and Internet. They could be of general assignment or specialized ones. For example there are online resources that help patients to understand their disease process, how to prevent infections, it also helps to get information about different medicine products, or get online consultation from doctors on specialized medicine portals care and therapy programs and nursing ones for future mums and babies, training programs. At professional level simulation software helps doctors to prepare for difficult operations virtually; software for medical image interpretation helps to diagnose diseases and prescribe treatment etc. Besides, with the help of video conferencing software systems doctors can share experience and knowledge and being connected/closer to long-distance, disabled or elderly patients. With the popularity of mobile devices the development of mobile tracking applications that traces human activity, sport applications with training exercises and right nutrition allows to take right health decisions and follow balanced healthy life. Promotional video inspires healthy eating; environmental awareness and fitness as a way of life raise the level of wellness and healthcare beyond kids and adults.

Applying new approaches in healthcare sector may empower people to take greater control of their health by supporting healthy lifestyle, improving health decisions. Better Delivery of information also improves emergency preparedness, quality and efficiency of care. As the result it should be said that e-learning is the most effective tool in case of epidemic break-out or any national emergencies it is the most practical and fastest method of passing information to educate the public.

As the result of our small research we may come to the conclusion that healthcare sector is a fast-growing and its integration with IT brings numerous benefits. The knowledge integrated with advanced information and communications infrastructures call changes in all structural spheres, including healthcare. Besides improvements of medical equipment and solutions it brings possibility to develop social connections and helps to solve environmental problems by changing health habits and decisions (when people begin to think over what products they eat and in what environment they leave their attitude of treating the world changes). It modernizes traditional educational/learning systems of different countries and universities, at different educational levels especially of those where people are geographically dispersed to transmit knowledge, skills and learning/teaching styles. E-learning cultivates culture of innovation and productivity in our lives. And how do you think e-learning could benefit in healthcare?

Thank you for your attention and hope to be useful! 🙂

 

Katerina Bulavskaya

Business Development Manager

 

altabel

Altabel Group

Professional Software Development

E-mail: contact@altabel.com
www.altabel.com

Healthcare advances have been occurring at a rapid pace over the past two decades. Advances in technology have impacted all aspects of healthcare. These advances are not limited to only drugs and devices but may also include new surgical procedures as well as new applications of existing technology. But what impact will these changes have on medicine and overall care delivery?

Without doubt, medical technology is very important for people’s health and improvement of quality of their life. It also contributes a lot of money to the economy. There are many advantages that innovative technology brings to the table when it comes to healthcare.

The impact of technological innovations on our life:

For example, the widespread adoption of electronic health records (EHR) has resulted in significant savings in health care costs as well as improved patient health and safety. In more and more healthcare facilities, patient files are being kept in databases that can be accessed from anywhere in the facility. This doesn’t only save time but also results in better data coordination and management.

It is also technological innovation that has opened the door to more non-invasive procedures. Diagnostics have never been easier and more accurate, especially due to advancements in areas like nuclear medicine. Nowadays numerous methods of imaging allow technicians and physicians to examine a patient’s anatomy without needing invasive procedures to form a diagnosis.

Minimally invasive surgeries, especially cardiovascular and thoracic surgeries, have also become more common in recent years. The development of better instruments and more advanced technology have allowed surgeons to perform procedures in minimally invasive ways that just wasn’t possible a few years ago.

Technology can also bring hidden dangers if you aren’t careful. The internet in particular is known for this. Though some would disagree, the infinite flow of medical knowledge available online is not always a good thing. Though some websites can be a great resource for living a healthy lifestyle, but they should never be used to replace your physician. Self-diagnosis is a dangerous thing. At best you’ll scare yourself into thinking something is seriously wrong when it isn’t. At worst you’ll misdiagnose yourself and cause serious damage to your health and wellbeing. In the long term, however, it may cost you much more than you ever expected.

Predictions for How IT Will Impact Healthcare in 2014

 Undoubtedly, information technologies have had an immense impact on the current state of healthcare and their influence is only increasing. And what could we expect from the next year for the healthcare IT sector? Is it going to be a big year for upheaval in it? Current research reveals exciting possibilities as technology and healthcare continue to advance. Here’s a look at some technologies revolutionizing the medical field:

  •  Tablet use and healthcare apps will continue to grow

 As well as doctors’ shifting from paper toward an electronic era, the use of tablets will continue to increase. Mobile devices have optimized practices throughout the country, and their capabilities are ever growing. Quoting Bill Ho, the president of Biscom (a company that provides enterprise fax and secure file-transfer technology), “Doctors and other healthcare professionals will not only be able to access patient records, but they’ll be able to sign off on treatments and prescriptions without being tethered to their offices or the hospital”. Similarly, healthcare apps are becoming increasingly popular amongst both patients and physicians. These apps allow patients to find local physicians or hospitals, learn about symptoms and treatments, and exchange healthcare questions and answers. In today’s digital age, the use of both tablets and apps for healthcare will continue to grow and flourish.

  •  Practices will travel to the cloud

Many practices have chosen to take all of their digital information to the cloud while choosing an EHR system. These cloud-based EHRs are easier to integrate into a practice’s existing workflow. Cloud technology will enable healthcare providers to improve services and more easily share technology without needing to invest in hardware infrastructures and maintenance. The technology will contribute to the access and sharing of patient data and records between healthcare professionals in real-time. Patient care will become more personalized and thorough as healthcare providers can focus less on accessing data, and more on patients themselves.

  •  Telehealth

Telehealth is health-related services or information being delivered through telecommunications technologies. This can range from physicians speaking amongst themselves, or to patients via the phone, to robotic surgeries being performed between facilities in different parts of the world. In a time in which medical additional payments increase in cost, many corporations have begun to encourage their employees to connect more easily with physicians through telehealth services. Also, for patients willing to pay for convenience, virtual visits via video increased in quality and accessibility. Telehealth has grown to focus not just on the curative aspects of healthcare, but also to the preventative and promotive aspects of medicine.

  •  3D printing:

California-based research company Organovo has printed human liver tissue to test drug toxicity on specific sections of the liver. Although printing organs for transplants may still be far off, this technology could be used in the near future with individual patients to test their toxicity reactions to specific drugs.

  •  Artificial intelligence:

IBM’s Watson (an artificially intelligent computer system capable of answering questions posed in natural language) is just the first step toward using artificial intelligence in medicine. The supercomputer, which defeated two human champions on the quiz show “Jeopardy!”  in 2011, is now being used to diagnose and manage lung cancer treatment. Imagine a computer that could evaluate and analyze a patient’s entire genome, biometric data and environmental and personal data, including diet and activity level. The quantity of information could be too much for a person to analyze efficiently, so adding an artificial intelligence component could help achieve a new level of understanding.

  •  BCIs and BBIs:

As brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) become more advanced, healthcare will incorporate more complex human-computer connections. The uses range from helping people manage pain to controlling robotic limbs. Harvard University researchers recently created the first brain-to-brain interface (BBI) that allowed a human to control a rat’s tail — and another human’s movements — with his mind, proving that controlled robotic limbs have far-reaching possibilities for patients.

  •  Robotics:

Robotics are quickly advancing medical treatment. Ekso Bionics (the company which develops and manufactures intelligently powered exoskeleton bionic devices that can enhance the strength, mobility, and endurance of soldiers and paraplegics) has already launched the first version of its exoskeleton, which enables paraplegics to stand and walk independently. This revolutionary technology allows a person who has spent 20 years in a wheelchair to stand on her own. This holds huge promise for the next generation of robotics.

Advances in technology have already made healthcare better, easier, more accurate and more efficient for physicians, patients, hospital staff and administrators. All these advances translate into one main objective: improving patient outcomes. With access to more powerful tools that are cheaper, faster and better than their predecessors, patient outcomes are certain to improve. People will become increasingly responsible for their own health. This will lead to more effective care, as people will be able to detect problems much earlier in the process. Patients will no longer put off appointments for years because personal health will be ever-present. This will reduce healthcare costs on several levels and change the type of medical professionals the industry needs most.  We can’t even anticipate much of what will come after all of this, but the possibilities for technology and healthcare really are endless.

And where do you see Healthcare Technology standing in the next year and beyond? What are your point of view about the challenges and opportunists of Healthcare IT Industry in the coming years? Please feel free to share your thoughts!

 

Yuliya Tolkach

Yuliya Tolkach
Yulia.Tolkach@altabel.com
Skype ID: yuliya_tolkach
Business Development Manager (LI page)
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development


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