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Will we have cured all diseases? Will hospital staff all be robots? It’s easy to come up with wild theories as to what the future of healthcare may look like. Whilst we cannot predict everything, recent social and scientific research alongside the latest technologies may be able to give us an idea of hospitals could look like in 50 years’ time. Here are a few speculations currently being made by today’s healthcare experts.

More ageing patients

The number of centenarians (people aged over 100 years) has risen dramatically in the last twenty years. This is largely down to our growing ability to treat acute conditions before they become chronic. 1 in 12 people are thought to be aged over 80 by the year 2039. This is a huge concern for the medical sector, as although we are managing to fight diseases at a quicker rate, the human body has not yet evolved to work effectively over the age of 80. And so, as a result, a large percentage of the population will need full time care. Will this be the job of hospitals and will new wards have to be opened specifically for the elderly? Or will this aging population require a new hospital of their own.

Different kinds of hospital

Not only will the aging population rise – the entire population is going to continue to boom. Hospital infrastructure will not only have trouble coping – hospitals in urban areas may physically reach a point where they can no longer expand. One theory is that there will become a greater number of different types of hospital. Specific hospitals will specialise in A&E, whilst ‘community hospitals’ will provide longer planned care. There may also be ‘local hospitals’ for short-stay treatments – the natural step up from GP referral. This could keep hospitals more organised and more efficient.

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Digital changes

The digital transformation of healthcare is thought to be huge. One area that has been suggested is the incorporation of the Internet of Things onto (or into) our bodies. Initially those that are sick and eventually all of us may have monitors attached to our bodies that tell us when we are ill or require medical assistance. We will all be able to monitor out stats on our smartphones and then take action when required. This could help us to catch illnesses earlier in the bud, although it has also raised a number of dangers including causing health paranoia and potentially being a security threat (a hacker might be able to access your body monitors and your private health details could be held under ransom, with threats to release them online if you don’t pay).

Such technology will also give patients more power, which may have positives and negatives. Both doctors and patients will be able to prove their illness through raw data available to both of them. After treatments, patients may then be presented with the option for doctors to continue monitoring their stats afterwards. This could reduce the time patients are spent in hospital, as patients may no longer need to be kept in a bed to be monitored. It’s a moot point as to whether eventually we will all give our private health details over hospitals so that we are monitored 24/7. Instead of us deciding whether we need medical care, we could be prompted by the healthcare system before we even know ourselves. Would this be too intrusive? Or would we be willing to give up the responsibility of our own health to others?

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Turning wards into pods

Modern hospitals are largely designed around the staff. Open wards allow doctors and nurses to monitor all the beds around them. However, such wards can have their weaknesses. They can be loud, they can spread illness quicker and they can make privacy of the patient more difficult. One solution may be to start giving every patient their own pod. This would create more of a sense of calm for the patient. Monitors in each room could allow staff to see who is most in need of help at all times – this could be viewed on a tablet carried by every doctor and nurse. Already some newer wards have started incorporating this design and it is thought that more will follow suit in the future.

AI surgery

Already, virtual reality is being used to practice complex operations. Previously, the only way surgeons could have ever got hands-on practice was through models or by scrubbing in for real. VR has allowed a realistic but safe way of surgeons to practice such procedures. Mistakes do not have real-life repercussions, allowing surgeons to keep practicing these complex operations so that when they do them for real, the success rate is higher.

VR is being greatly researched into in the medical field in order to replicate more complex and more realistic procedures. Meanwhile, some surgery is being entirely carried out by AI. It is thought that it will be a long time before robots will ever be able to complete all forms of surgery – with so many individual factors at play, some operations may always need some form of human interaction, if only to make complex decisions involving risks.

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More superbugs

We may be on the cusp of defeating heart disease and cancer, but scientists believe it is unlikely we will ever cure all diseases. Superbugs such as MRSA have already proved resistant to antibiotics and a growing number of these are expected to develop. Defeating these will involve ongoing medical research – which will in turn require extra funds. Such medication will have to be privately paid for and could only be available to a rich few unless funds are able to be found from elsewhere that make this medication less expensive to supply.

Hospitals meanwhile will have to better designed to control infections. By this token, the idea of less open wards and more individual pods could prove a must.

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.

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Dealing With The More Sensitive Side To Health Issues

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It’s an unfortunate fact of life, but we can all find ourselves under the weather from time to time. Sometimes these illnesses can’t be helped, and there nothing too serious at all. But sometimes, you can also find yourself dealing with some more serious illness, some that even come with sensitivities. And then, you can find yourself faced with an entirely different kettle of fish. So what are you supposed to do? If you’ve never dealt with a lot of illness in life, then you may need a bit of advice. Read on for information on how to deal with sensitive illness issues.

Speaking Up

Being sick is one thing, being able to avoid it is another. It’s tough to be able to fall ill and know that you may not have had to suffer in the first place. This can often be the case when your job causes your health issues. But, it’s important that you speak up. Even if you may not feel like you can, it’s important that you raise the issue with your employer. Speaking up can often seem scary, especially if you feel like you don’t want to make a fuss. But, you need to make it known that you’ve been made ill, take action, and find a solution if you can.

Getting Cover

Then, you may want to think about protecting your health too. When you’re self-employed, own your own business, or aren’t covered for sickness at work, you may suffer should you fall ill and not be able to work. This is where critical illness cover comes in. It’s easy to think that this is something that the financial services industry wants to sell you. But, should you be ill for a long time and be unable to work, the payments would be a blessed release.

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Getting Treatment

Treatment is something that we all need for healthcare issues. But sometimes, your treatment options aren’t as traditional as others. And that can make you a little self-conscious about seeking help. This is particularly the case when you’re suffering from a mental illness. The stigma around mental health can make talking to someone feel shameful. But that’s not the case. You should do some research into different doctors to find a professional that you’ll be comfortable speaking to. Because seeking help and getting treatment is the most important thing.

Getting Support

At the same time, you may also want to get support with health and illness related issues when you’re struggling to cope alone. Many professionals can help here. From a wrongful death lawyer to a home healthcare nurse, depending on your circumstances. Sometimes, the issue might be sensitive, but if getting support makes things better, do it.

Dealing With Grief

And finally, if you find yourself at the end of a healthcare journey, particularly with a loved one, you may be suffering deeply with grief. It can be an awful experience to have to go through. But the important thing is that you do something about coping with grief so that you can continue on with the rest of your life in the best way possible.

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Tips for Handling Health Struggles

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Not everyone’s blessed with a clean bill of health. Many people find themselves in difficult situations on a daily basis. Some are serious, while others are more cosmetic. Either way, it’s not fun to feel uncomfortable in your own shoes. It’s normal that you’d want to try and improve your condition.

You don’t have to suffer alone. There are people and resources out there for you to turn to in a time of need. The first step is taking action to try and make it better for yourself. It’s important to never give up and keep a positive mindset. See these tips for handling health struggles.

See a Doctor

It’s a good idea to start talking with your doctor. Let them know what’s going on and how you’re feeling. Start the conversation with him or her and let them know what you’re struggling with and why you’re concerned. They should be able to offer up good advice and point you in the right direction. If you don’t like what they have to say, then get a second opinion. A doctor is a professional resource that will hopefully be able to make you feel better and help you resolve whatever it is that’s going on.

Turn to Products

One excellent way to help with a skin or hair condition is with products. For example, use skin lightening cream to reduce the appearance of unwanted marks. These products aim to deliver lighter, clearer and healthier skin for you to regain your faded confidence and gain an even-toned lighter complexion. It’s a smart solution for anyone who has freckles, acne scars, hyperpigmentation and age spots that they want gone. Products are a cost-effective way to help you cope with and heal embarrassing marks or blemishes.

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Take Responsibility

If you’re feeling sluggish or unhappy with the way you’ve been eating or look, the power’s in your hands to change it. Start by routinely exercising and cooking healthy meals at home. Take responsibility for your lifestyle and improve how you’re treating your mind and body by implementing healthier habits. It won’t work for every health struggle, but there’s a lot to be said for improving your health by altering your lifestyle and behaviors. Start a journal and see what you’re currently doing that you’d like to stop and what changes you’re ready to start making.

Research & Share

One way to learn more about your health struggle is to open up and share. Go online and research your condition so you know more about it. Empower yourself with knowledge about what’s going on with you. Participate in forums and listen to other people who’re going through a similar struggle. It’ll be comforting and you’ll probably learn new information you didn’t know before. Get your worries off of your chest and be there for others.

Conclusion

You don’t have to go through your challenges alone. There are ways to problem solve and feel better about your current situation. These are tips for handling health struggles.

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Are Mums Trusting Birth Fads Over Medicine?

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Technology has been altering pregnancy with every medical advancement into labor and delivery. Over the past century, medical technology has made childbirth much safer for both mother and baby, resulting in fewer women dying in childbirth, and increased survival rates for the newborns. However, the abundance of knowledge and medical intervention available has not completely eased the worries of first-time mothers.

The most common type of childbirth is vaginal delivery, but sometimes intervention is required in about 3 percent of vaginal deliveries in the United States. During labor, the doctor might assist the mother in several ways; with an episiotomy to allow the baby’s head to pass through more easily; an amniotomy to induce labor; or forceps delivery. Ideally, nothing should go wrong with assisted vaginal delivery, but if preventable mistakes happen, birth injury lawyers like Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard, could get involved. Fortunately, more often than not things do go smoothly, and vaginal delivery remains a common form of childbirth. Vaginal delivery results in short hospital stays, quicker recovery, lower infection rates, and a lower risk of respiratory problems for the baby.

However, according to an article in The Guardian in 2012, some mothers are fighting back against birth intervention because they feel bullied by their doctors. A mother, named in the article as Charlotte, complained about her treatment to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, who finally ruled that “[Charlotte] did not properly consent to the treatment administered and was wrongly put under extraordinary pressure during labour when she was in a very vulnerable situation.” But it still took two years for the hospital to apologise.

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This could be why more mothers are taking their birth plan into their own hands. While cesarean delivery is usually not determined until unforeseen complications arise during labor, it is possible to schedule a C-Section a week prior to the due date. Mothers might require a C-Section when the ultrasound has revealed that the baby is in breach, or if it’s a multiple pregnancy. While C-Sections are safe, they are still major surgery, so there are several risks.

Despite the reduced risks of dying in childbirth in the United States, maternal mortality rates are still 21 per 100,000 live births. Mothers are still researching birth plans that will provide minimal risk to them and their baby, such as water births.

Since the baby has already been in the amniotic fluid sac for nine months, it’s believed birthing in a similar environment is gentler for the baby and less stressful for the mother. Although there hasn’t been as much research into the risks of water births, it has become a popular birth plan in the past 30 years due to its benefits for both mother and baby. Being immersed in warm water also helps the mother to physically relax, and gives her a great ability to focus on the process.

These are just a few ways for women to safely deliver their babies, but full options should be discussed with their doctors or midwives.

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