Increasing use of digital technology and changing dynamics of disease incidences have initiated path-breaking changes in the field of healthcare. From use of robotic computing in surgeries to prevalence of data analytics in healthcare to digital diagnostic tools, widespread usage of ICT has contributed to improving outcomes and reducing time and cost of healthcare delivery. On the other hand, increasing incidents of lifestyle diseases has put a spotlight on the need for prevention mechanisms to improve health and wellness. These changing dynamics in the healthcare space are spawning new opportunities of work. At the same time, the rise of the concept of holistic care and integrated medicine has created the need for a new breed of healthcare providers, such as lifestyle strategists, genetic counsellors, geriatric care, and homecare.
Here are some emerging career options in the field of healthcare.
With digital technology becoming the backbone of most fields, no industry can do without the support of IT professionals. Digital systems to monitor and report vital health statistics of people with diabetes and other chronic conditions as well as creation of apps and wearable devices for the same is an area in which healthcare organizations are investing big time. As hospitals and other healthcare organizations incorporate digital technology into their systems for appointments as well as online delivery of diagnostic services will continue to be a surge in demand for IT experts.
Genetic disorders and the need to check their incidence is another area that has gained attention in recent years. According to a study published in the Imperial Journal of Interdisciplinary Research in 2017, in India’s urban areas, congenital malformations and genetic disorders were the third most common cause of infant mortality. The study also points to a 2006 research by the March of Dimes Birth Defect Foundation that reports a birth-defect pervasiveness of 64.4 over 1000 live births in India. Some serious genetic disorders include conditions like cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome, Huntington’s disease, and neural-tube defects, among others. People, who have inherited risks, can seek the help of genetic counselling to understand the condition and ways to deal with it. With rising awareness about genetic disorders and greater stress on holistic care, the role of genetic counsellors is bound to emerge as a prominent one in the near future.
Robotic surgery technicians
Interestingly, the Da Vinci robotic-assisted surgical system developed by an American firm has already performed more than five million surgeries across the globe. Robotic surgery systems are designed to help doctors perform complex surgeries with greater precision and efficiency. The medical robotics market is expected to be worth more than USD 140 million by 2020 in India and there will be greater demand for robotic surgery technicians.
Health data scientists
Data analysts are essentially tasked with the objective of pulling out meaningful information from a sea of random data. With an increasing no. of hospitals working to maintain electronic health records and wearable devices that collect health data from thousands of users becoming common, we will soon find ourselves sitting on piles of random meaningless figures. In the near future, health data scientists and deep learning experts will play a significant role in leveraging data and making sense of it for larger public good.
Rising incidence of lifestyle diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases has in recent years put a special focus on the need to adopt healthy and active lifestyles. Doctors are increasingly referring patients to lifestyle and nutrition counsellors who can help people make the right lifestyle choices, and prevent chronic diseases. With greater urbanization and rise in lifestyle disorders, there is also expected to be a rise in demand for lifestyle counsellors.