Medicine will always be a people-focused endeavor. That does not mean, however, that there are no roles for science and technology in the field. Rather, science and technology are, in many ways, the fuel that drives the engine of healthcare. Without these resources, medicine would and could never advance beyond the primitive practices of past centuries.
Though technology and medicine have long worked hand-in-glove, it is only in recent years that the true promise and potential of health tech innovations have come to light. Indeed, the field of healthcare is rapidly expanding and new opportunities are arising for those interested in pursuing a career in digital health. This article describes some of the most in-demand digital health careers in today’s job market.
If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it is how precious and fragile our health is. Now more than ever, patients are prioritizing disease prevention and physical, mental, and emotional health.
Health advocates play a critical role in such endeavors. In addition to interacting with patients and care providers to optimize patient care, protect patients’ rights, and support patient autonomy, advocates often engage in patient education.
Through one-on-one and group digital conferencing, social media campaigns, patient education videos, and related media, the patient advocate works to increase health literacy among individuals and communities. The result is a healthier, more informed, and more empowered patient population.
Perhaps the most exciting innovation in digital health is the recent ascendancy of telehealth. Telehealth is actually an umbrella term that encompasses both telemedicine, involving the provision of healthcare through video or phone conferencing between patient and care provider, as well as the development and deployment of an array of mobile digital health devices, including health wearables and home-based patent monitors.
Because the field of telehealth is so expansive and diverse, there is an area of specialization that can suit most every interest and skill set. You may, for instance, cultivate a career as a remote healthcare provider, offering medical, psychological, or behavioral health services through digital platforms.
On the other hand, if you’re more interested in the tech side of things, you may choose to focus on the development of digital health devices or service platforms. The advent of the Internet of Things (IoT), for instance, has dramatically increased opportunities for design innovation in the digital health space, ensuring that patients can receive state-of-the-art care, no matter where they happen to be located.
Cybersecurity and Information Systems Security
To be sure, the safety and utility of digital health technologies are highly dependent on cybersecurity. For this reason, the field of health-focused information systems security is among the most in-demand digital health careers.
After all, there are few things more personal or important than a patient’s medical history. For this reason, health systems and private practices alike place a tremendous premium on cybersecurity, both for the protection of patients and to safeguard clinicians and institutions from liability.
One of the most exciting attributes of digital health is the capacity of these emerging technologies to dramatically improve healthcare access and overall patient experience. Such improvements, though, are predicated on design.
User interface (UI) and user experience (UX) designers are charged with developing technologies that are accessible, functional, engaging, and easy to use for practitioners, patients, and families alike. For example, end-users won’t benefit from digital health technologies, such as the ability to connect with a physician online or to send and receive medical records via email or text if you need a Master’s in technology from MIT to use them.
Healthcare Robotics and Tech Development
Telehealth technologies are not the only areas of focus for those interested in a career in digital health. Tech innovation is permeating physical health campuses as well. For instance, health robotics are increasingly being utilized in the practice of medicine, performing a wide range of functions from bedside patient care to microscopic surgery.
In addition, artificial intelligence (AI) systems are being developed to automate various aspects of clinical care, such as scanning radiological images and expediting patient diagnoses and treatment planning using Big Health Data.
What this means is that those interested in combining a career in healthcare with a job in robotics and tech development have a wide and expanding array of options in the growing field of digital health.
Healthcare is an industry that can offer both the peace of mind of job security and the personal fulfillment that comes with helping others. The field of digital health offers all these benefits and more, particularly for those interested in technology as well as health. From robotics to cybersecurity to UI/UX design, there is something for almost everyone in the field of digital health. Best of all, you have the power to determine where your focus will lie, on the technical or the caregiving side of healthcare, all without having to pronounce either. In other words, when you work in digital health, you will enjoy the best of both worlds!
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