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There is always change in the health field; for example, the creators of Doctor Who cast women in the starring parts for the second time in a row! Real physicians, who have long relied on conventional techniques and predetermined patterns when consulting with patients, also need to start welcoming changes. Typically, the process is as follows: the doctor auscultates the patient manually, analyzes them with a stethoscope, and then suggests a prescription medication or lifestyle modification. In certain cases, medical professionals may also recommend a more extensive diagnostic technique, such an X-ray, ultrasound, or even a referral to a specialist.

Read More: medical gadgets for doctors

Digital health has made patient consultations more creative and inventive in the third decade of the twenty-first century. Doctors of this period may now carry a department’s worth of diagnostic instruments in their briefcase, making the stethoscope obsolete!

Which gadgets are essential for a doctor in the twenty-first century? All these smart physicians, where have they gone? Furthermore, do these advances genuinely take the place of the conventional approaches? These and many more questions have answers that may be found here.

1. Making the stethoscope digital

When French physician Dr. LaĆ«nnec created the stethoscope in the 19th century, his colleagues resisted and were reluctant to use it. They felt that putting themselves in the patient’s shoes would not be a good idea and that relying on their hearing was preferable than employing technology. The stethoscope was not generally recognized for thirty years, yet as we all know, it is now a traditional emblem associated with physicians everywhere. The same resistance would undoubtedly be encountered if we were to send the TARDIS back in time, because modern digital stethoscopes have rendered the analog ones obsolete.

The Eko Core is a fantastic illustration of the development of the stethoscope. The FDA has authorized the Eko Core and it is CE-cleared for use with HIPAA-compliant applications. The gadget can eliminate white noise, operate with seven amplification settings, and magnify heart sounds by 40 times while in digital mode. Additionally, Eko Core allows the user to fine-tune readings based on the organ they are focused on, such as the heart, lung, or another, and its application allows users to record and share the results. Additionally, the software provides livestreaming for telemedicine needs.

2. A compact ECG gadget

When someone is asked to visualize an electrocardiogram (ECG) machine, they probably see a large, complicated equipment that is connected to an ever-larger monitor. An ECG gadget is designed to practically fit in your wallet in the era of digital health. One such FDA-approved medical grade pocket gadget is the KardiaMobile6, which measures a patient’s heart and may identify disorders including atrial fibrillation (AFib), tachycardia, bradycardia, and unusually high or low heart rates. The patient’s smartphone receives the readings via beamed technology, and the data may be shared and stored.

3. Blood pressure measurements every 30 seconds

Another gadget on the list of digitally enhanced equipment is the blood pressure monitor. The list of FDA-approved iHealth blood pressure monitors may demonstrate how different the 21st-century models are from the 1881 original, which you might envision. The portable, light iHealth Clear can test heart rate, diastolic blood pressure, and systolic blood pressure in just 30 seconds! In order to store the results in a digital logbook and to compare the current readings with prior measures, iHealth Clear may also establish a connection with a smartphone. Better decisions on treatment and prevention may result from this.

4. Transportable ultrasound devices

Although ultrasonography is a sophisticated diagnostic tool, portable versions are now available in the twenty-first century! The Philips Lumify and the Clarius Portable Ultrasound are two examples of such devices that enable access to ultrasound-based diagnostics without the need to visit a hospital. They both work in tandem with a smart device to provide real-time, high-resolution ultrasound pictures that are comparable to those obtained from a conventional ultrasound. That is the basic objective of digital health! to be able to offer cutting-edge medical treatment wherever it is required, as opposed to needing to go to a cutting-edge hospital when necessary.

5. Tiny ear technology

In addition to being painful for patients, ear examinations present difficulties for doctors since ear canals are frequently tiny or even partially blocked. The compact WiscMed otoscope, which has an integrated nano camera to capture pictures of the eardrum, seeks to overcome these difficulties. After that, these pictures may be studied on a computer screen without causing the patient any discomfort.

6. Eye technology is now advanced.

EyeQue is another business fulfilling the promise of digital health. Based on an exclusively licensed MIT patent, EyeQue manufactures devices that standardize the technology used in eye exams. While the Personal Vision Tracker assesses a patient’s refractive condition, including astigmatism and near- or farsightedness, the EyeQue Insight assesses visual acuity. These gadgets provide remote eye testing in addition to being precise, reasonably priced, and lightweight.

7. The comprehensive bundle!

Recall the Star Trek tricorder? The one gadget that could assess so many medical factors in just a few minutes made all doctors salivate! The Viatom CheckMe Pro is the closest thing available in the twenty-first century. This FDA-approved portable gadget can track a wide range of health factors, such as blood oxygen levels, heart rate, body temperature, pulse rate, and step count. Similar concepts are also being developed by other businesses; two examples are the BioSticker from BioIntelliSense and the MedWand that was showcased at CES.

Is it pointless to oppose change?

Studies have indicated that even in cases when new technology, including artificial intelligence and telemedicine, are easily accessible, less than 35 percent of doctors are likely to use them. Why does this occur?

The fact that many doctors are unaware of these gadgets’ existence is one very basic explanation. While they stay up to speed on the newest research on technologies such as CRISPR, physicians are not constantly updated about other technologies due to their everyday schedules. It’s possible that some people believe these gadgets are unattainable or unreasonably costly. This is untrue, though, because these gadgets are less costly than their conventional counterparts, have been certified by several regulatory agencies, and are readily available.

An illustration of pricing would be the Littmann Master Cardiology stethoscope, which goes for about $200, compared to the $35 EyeQue Personal Vision Tracker! Comparably priced at $250 is the Eko Core Digital Stethoscope. These are by no means promoting advertisements; rather, they are only tools for comparison, and as technology advances, we may anticipate lower pricing.

Similar to the resistance Dr. Laƫnnec encountered in the 19th century, there is now a lot of resistance to the adoption of new technology that can execute the art of medicine. Though these gadgets are perceived by medical professionals as the end of the art of medicine, they really help physicians improve patient interactions and provide far more data-driven results more quickly. Hopefully, this will happen sooner rather than later. In order to make digital health a reality globally, these new technologies need to be accepted more regularly.

Hospitals won’t be replaced by technology

Contrary to popular belief, these cutting-edge gadgets are not intended to replace hospitals. Hospitals will always be necessary to obtain more in-depth examinations, such as MRI scans, operations, lab analyses, and of course, specialized care for urgent patients. Healthcare facilities may focus on delivering the necessary vital care by using portable diagnostics devices to lessen the strain they bear.

The World Health Organization predicts that there will be 12.9 million fewer healthcare professionals worldwide by 2035. But with these gadgets, one may do basic tests without the assistance of a healthcare provider, and if and when necessary, they can transmit the data for a thorough study to the specialists. Remote and undeveloped areas are where digital health may truly shine.

When more people use these devices and they become more widely available, patients will also benefit from a shift in the point-of-care toward them. Patients may keep an eye on their own health metrics and share them with their doctors using cloud-based software. If any irregularities are discovered, the doctors can take the necessary action. A patient’s ability to do these preliminary exams in the convenience of their own home is all that they could ask for. They will only have to go to the hospital if and when questionable indicators are found.

Digital health is a real game changer since it standardizes diagnosis, health education, and communication while moving the point-of-care closer to the patient, where it should have been from the beginning! Legislators should provide doctors and medical facilities incentives to integrate these technologies with standard procedures and to educate people about them. In order to share their data with their doctors during appointments, patients should be encouraged to bring their own devices and made aware of the advantages these technologies offer.

In this century of infinite possibilities, technology will undoubtedly transform healthcare in a positive way this decade!