Recently we highlighted a report detailing how staffing challenges are putting a burden on healthcare systems. Thankfully, it’s not all gloomy news in the healing world. Evolving medical technology, such as the innovative equipment coming from healthcare developers like DeviceLab, is changing the world in a big way. Your mind might have immediately gone to some futuristic treatment technologies you’ve seen or read about in a sci-fi epic: Cybernetics, A.I., Nanorobots, etc. Those are all exciting areas of exploration, but the truth is there are more practical but equally groundbreaking advances that are increasing positive outcomes in all facets of the healthcare industry.

What do we mean? Medical technology covers a diverse range of innovations. Not just biotechnology, mind you. IT services, medical devices and equipment, pharmaceuticals, and even seemingly small contributions have a big effect on what we consider the latest and greatest in healthcare practices. Today, we will take a look at some of the ways technological improvements at healthcare facilities are helping professionals save lives (and so much more).

Medical equipment, the tools used by doctors to perform procedures and diagnose patients, is continually improving. In addition to more accurate and quicker diagnoses of various ailments, the ability to treat patients is vastly improving. More precise instruments allow for less invasive forms of surgery. Better monitoring and scanning equipment results in a better surgical procedure that limits the amount of necessary recovery time.

Combining these tools with a concept known as telehealth, is allowing for revolutionary procedures like robotic surgeries. It’s mainly used for simple procedures, but in those cases where it is used, it is, in some cases, so advanced that the surgeon can perform the operation remotely using the robotic tools. The concept of telehealth is being applied to more than just surgeries. In areas where proper care is a remote, these forms of interacting with patients allow specialists to consult with those who need their skills without the need for costly travel arrangements.

From a patient standpoint, this is giving individuals greater freedom in how they interact with healthcare professionals as well. Technology is streamlining the visitor experience at private practices and large hospitals. Those large hospital settings, which many find intimidating, are being made more user friendly thanks to the incorporation of new technology to help patients navigate the facilities and communicate with the staff. The bond between patient and provider is intensifying, to the benefit of all.

Technology has been integrated into research techniques as well to assist medical scientists and physicians in finding the cures of the future, according to Dental News Digest. Development times for new drugs are being shortened in some instances. Other kinds of medical technology, such as those used to examine diseases at the cellular level, are granting professionals new insight into how such diseases function, and enabling the formulation of new strategies to combat them.

Perhaps most encouraging is the way technology is allowing healthcare workers to prevent rather than simply cure problems. In areas of the developing world, this is best seen in the creation of key vaccines that prevent the deadliest diseases from spreading through the populace. The improved technology helps doctors better explain things about illness and ailments to patients, allowing them, in turn, to make better choices about their health. In the end, this leads to better health outcomes as patients feel that they are exerting more control over their health and allowing them to bounce back from diseases faster since they know what to do to improve their rate of healing.

In terms of specific technologies that doctors find most useful, there is plenty of debate over which have done the most. A good place to start, if you want additional details, though, is this list from Healthcare IT News. It breaks down some of 2016s best healthcare technology advances and why they’ve been such a boon to the medical community.