The “S” in STEAM Education: How modern day science will transform healthcare
Modern healthcare aims to find cure for the incurable with accelerating innovations thanks to Science
Thanks to digital technologies, many aspects of our lives have been changed in ways unimaginable just a few years back. And as innovation dominates our everyday lives more and more, the fourth industrial revolution is opening portals never thought to be possible and doors leading to the promise of monumental scientific and technological advancements and discoveries. Partly, this is thanks to STEAM/STEM education, as its graduates are the ones driving the revolution.
At its early stage, we are already seeing unparalleled effects of the merging of physical, digital, and biological systems, which is poised to benefit and forever change all industries, especially the healthcare sector. Just simple consumer technologies like wearable fitness devices and smart phones have impacted healthcare by collecting health and fitness data that helps improve individual care and encourages people to proactively participate in improving their health. That’s already a huge bonus for society, as exercise and prevention are key to good health.
But despite these new technologies, we still have a long way to go in terms of healthcare–from reducing the costs of medicine to finding vaccines and cure to terrible diseases like cancer, AIDS, and Alzheimer’s. Experts in the field predict that, through a mix of modern science and computing, we will find solutions for these in the years to come.
The future of healthcare
Every area of healthcare will see changes–from mere facility design to the way how we handle disease prevention and detection, to health and wellness promotion, and to revolutionary findings in genetic medicine and biotechnology.
Today, we are already witnessing improvements such as better disease management with the use of sensors to check vitals and new medical supplements that will improve disease prevention. Companies invested in healthcare are also developing devices connected to the internet that will allow doctors to monitor vital signs anywhere and let the patients’ self-check their stats, which, again, is a huge deal for prevention and lowering healthcare costs.
Sounds futuristic, but it is also now possible to do genome sequencing within just a day. Genome sequencing is one of the keys in creating personalized treatments and making sure that a person gets the best possible care. Future genome editing will expand our understanding of our body and allow us to delete, repair, and replace genes to avoid and/or cure certain diseases.
Nanotechnology also poses one of the biggest potentials in healthcare history. Also known as the “science of small”, its current use–delivering drugs more effectively through nanoparticles–can significantly improve outcomes for patients with cancer and heart diseases.
Other interesting innovations include IBM’s Watson project, which combines clinical, research, and social data for the improvement of healthcare in different areas, and Google’s super cool glucose-sensing contact lens that constantly measures glucose levels in tears for people with diabetes.
And, these are just the beginning.
Of course, STEAM education is key to driving all the potential innovations of the new world, as growing the talent pool of doctors, innovators, medical researchers, and inventors is key to unlocking potential. Supporting STEAM programs in schools is important, and will no doubt inspire some learners to want to take part in solving some of the medical challenges we face for the betterment of society.