Science: Tomorrow’s Medicine

Nandita Bhatnagar discusses the rapid growth of Healthcare Technology, and the place it holds in the future of the worlds of medicine and healthcare.

Until a few weeks ago I, like many others, was unsure as to what exactly Healthcare Technology meant, and the place it held in our society. Upon interviewing a member of the Healthcare Technology Association (HTA) the importance of Healthcare Technology was discussed, and it was revealed to me how necessary it was for our future in scientific research.

Healthcare Technology is essentially the use of technology to improve the healthcare provided to us. Once the stigma associated with it is removed, Healthcare Technology has multiple benefits to our society and should we choose to educate ourselves on matters regarding it, can potentially provide a great future for us in the world of medicine. For example it can be used to print organs in 3D, allowing for increased accuracy in anatomical organs used for study and research. Healthcare Technology also provides immediate and effective care for populations without easy access to hospitals, including many rural parts of New Zealand where the local GP is 45 minutes away. HTA holds an ambition to ultimately shift healthcare from being doctor-centric to patient-centric, in a way that increases the ability of patients to rely much more on themselves than hospitals. In short, Healthcare Technology is well on its way to being the future for the world of medicine, during this age of technological advancements.

University students can be a part of this rapidly growing scene by supporting communities like HTA. HTA is an organisation made of up people interested in Healthcare Technology, along with medicinal and pharmaceutical technologies. As such, they explore ways in which to use technology to enhance and improve healthcare. HTA hosts various events throughout the year in hopes to clear the stigma associated with Healthcare Technology, along with multiple openings to join their community and become a member, collaborating with their work and staying up to date the global health tech market. Alongside this, HTA hosts conferences for medical, healthcare, and IT students to meet, helping clear the communication gap between professionals working in the field and students still learning.

The world of healthcare has made huge advancements within the last 50 years, and a large part of the reason why is due to technology. Within the last ten years alone we have improved the world of science and research; building a human genome in the early 2000s which once required nearly $100 million, now can be done with less than $1000. At the moment, Healthcare Technology and organisations like HTA do not have the exposure they need to build a health technology community which improves the patient’s experience with care and reduces the cost spent per capita on healthcare. If the students of today, who are the future of tomorrow, get on board and begin to understand the multiple benefits of such a health tech society, and start supporting organisations like HTA, it will result in long lasting, beneficial impacts to our society.

More information can be found on Healthcare Technology and HTA by visiting their website on www.healthtechhta.com.