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Integrating Technology and Well-being

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Healthcare engineering is the use of engineering knowledge in healthcare. This includes the screening, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and management of illness, as well as maintaining and improving physical and mental health and well-being with the help of medical and allied health professionals.

Associate Professor Kalaivani Chellappan, PhD, PTech of the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) says that creating and integrating a joint engineering tool in the healthcare business has a long history of success. Recent changes in industrialisation and the growth of global digitalisation are making it more important for all industries, including healthcare, to integrate and change their knowledge in more specific ways.

Professor Kalaivani finds that healthcare engineering is one of the most important changes in society, especially considering the pandemic and the coming years. She is sure that if engineering and health sciences are properly combined, better and more effective solutions for countries around the world can be transferred, translated, and changed.

She also explained the difference between healthcare technology and healthcare engineering. Healthcare technology, also called “Healthtech,” is the use of technologies made to improve all parts of the healthcare system. Healthcare engineering, on the other hand, has a lot of experience with making and delivering programmes for managing healthcare technology and makes a big difference in making and reviewing the hospital-wide strategic policy.

“Healthcare technology is just doing the front, it’s not the backbone. The backbone is healthcare engineering. Biomedical engineering can’t build the backbone because it’s looking for a specific application of the principles and problem-solving techniques of engineering to biology and medicine,” Professor Kalaivani says.

Technology solutions help healthcare personnel perform better while fostering system-wide collaboration and cost management. Healthcare technology may speed up procedures, automate processes, and enhance workflows as organisational demands increase.

Engineers for healthcare systems are a crucial component of the machine that will advance healthcare. By reducing procedures, enhancing patient care, and generating efficiencies, they lower expenses. While most people who seek to improve healthcare procedures only concentrate on a few specific applications that are unable to bring about a holistic change, they achieve this in part by testing and studying several key variables.

The majority of healthcare businesses also have data that might be used to enhance their operations and commercial practices, but they may not have the knowledge or resources necessary to do so.

Newer technologies, on the other hand, such as blockchain, cloud computing, and AI tools based on machine learning (ML) and deep learning techniques, can help healthcare organisations identify patterns in huge volumes of data while making it more secure to run a more user-friendly service.

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in professional practice has changed it in a way that can’t be denied. A lot of people think that AI apps will make big changes in all areas of healthcare. At some point, technology should be able to improve care for patients and lower prices at the same time.

AI has the potential to improve access to care and the quality of care, which have been hampered in the past by a lack of facilities and skilled workers. “The pandemic makes us realise how AI could help the healthcare industry become more efficient and reliable,” Professor Kalaivani recalls.

She praises the engineers, who she says are the unsung heroes of global health. During the crisis, engineers provided oxygen and created mobile applications, data displays, and even structures for COVID-19 patients.

Contrary to common beliefs, AI-enabled solutions will not replace people in healthcare because they are responsible applications that will always need a mix of data science and medical knowledge. So, it’s better to add a strategy to the healthcare system to protect against possible problems in the future.

She added that the capacity, willingness, and opportunity to share knowledge and best practices are crucial to the industry’s holistic, all-encompassing, and equitable growth. As devastating as the pandemic has been, it has enabled and encouraged global interaction. It allowed her to share her insights with India, Indonesia, and several other nations.

Professor Kalaivani acknowledged that the healthcare industry requires streamlined regulations and policies to enable startup founders to become leaders in the digital healthcare space.

The advancement of healthcare technology is positive, from the transfer of data between institutions to the connection of physicians and patients across the globe via online platforms. Digital transformation has occurred; therefore, employing technology is no longer an option in most industries, including healthcare.

Also, the potential outcomes of a digital healthcare transformation include precision and individualised medicine, on-demand access to sophisticated telehealth and streamlined clinical operations. To completely realise the benefits of digital transformation, however, the healthcare industry must address specific challenges.


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