In a day and age where technology is becoming increasingly more dominant in society, putting it to great use has never been more imperative. New careers, various relationships, criminal justice developments, and more are all the results of technology in this day and age. However, one of the most notable impacts of modern-day technology comes in the form of improving women’s access to healthcare. Health access is paramount for women everywhere; this is particularly applicable to women who reside in rural areas and may lack the immediate resources which can be found in affluent towns and cities.
Time and time again, the world has seen the various catastrophic events which occur when women lack health access. One of the most prominent examples of such comes in the form of pregnancy and childbirth difficulties. According to the World Health Organization, roughly 830 women lost their lives in 2015 as a result of the aforementioned difficulties. Thankfully, modern technology is providing an alternative so that women do not have to die as a result of pregnancy or childbirth complications.
Thus far, the portable ultrasound is one example of new technology which is allowing women to have access to healthcare. This particular ultrasound is displayed on a laptop and comprised of unique software and specific attachments. Ultrasound technology has furthermore advanced enough for women to access it from their phones.
There is still much work to be done regarding accessibility and placing the portable ultrasounds in underfunded and distant areas, explains Council on Foreign Relations. These ultrasounds are not only great for pregnancy and childbirth, but also for regional anesthesia, emergency care, biopsies, and healthcare which involves the internal work of a woman’s body.
Like portable ultrasounds, various forms of artificial intelligence (AI) are also proving to be advantageous in the fight to improve women’s health access. XplorexIt notes that, with the right developments, AI can observe various patterns which escape the naked, human eye and healthcare agencies. These observations are powerful enough to detect and provide accurate, top-tier diagnoses of cervical cancer.
The algorithms for these detections will be written by data scientists; in turn, health experts are striving to become savvier and more integrated with machine learning. Another parallel between portable ultrasounds and specific AI algorithms are the benefits which the technology can have for women in remote, rural, or disenfranchised areas.
Although pregnancy/childbirth issues and cervical cancer screenings will benefit countless women, technology’s ability to enable women’s health access does not stop there. Some of the most fundamental female health issues, such as menstrual periods, can be made less stressful with the use of modern technology.
Earlier this year, Vogue published an article about a woman who created an algorithm based upon her body temperature in order to predict the regularity of her monthly cycle and fertility. As a woman who admittedly suffered from irregular periods, her algorithm proved to be “life-changing.” Despite the various factors which can engender infrequent menstrual cycles, access to an algorithm which remedies this ailment can change the lives of countless women.
While the aforementioned algorithm may seem like an anomaly to some individuals, the development of technology to aid women is becoming less and less foreign. At this time, there are countless downloadable apps in Google Play or the App Store which are designed to help women track their periods/ovulation, engage in physical fitness, and more.
The improvement of women’s health access is arguably one of the greatest upsides of modern technology. Women comprise 51% of the American population and fulfill many roles; women are daughters, sisters, nieces, mothers, business owners, and more. Within the United States, women also serve as the primary caregivers in their families. It goes without saying that the quality of women’s health access makes a tremendous difference.
Before the strides to advance women’s health care, health studies exclusively centered around men. Unfortunately, the failure to study women’s health often led to women contracting various conditions, such as lung cancer, AIDS, heart disease, mental problems, autoimmune illnesses and more. The Huffington Post cites bias and research costs behind the lack of studies which went into women’s health.
As technological advancements are employed to promote women’s healthcare, it’s important to remember that preventing a disease or ailment prior to its inception is always better than attempting to cure it after the fact. Sadly, this is a reality which is largely missed. In so many cases, people get caught up in finding a cure for this health problem or the other, instead of promoting the initial prevention of said disease.
Believe it or not, many health issues which women face are a result of poor lifestyle choices or behaviors. Granted, certain diseases are hereditary or contracted by exposure to others; nevertheless, engaging in healthy practices can prevent the development of countless health problems. Maintaining a nutritious diet, engaging in physical exercise, practicing safe sex, and abstaining from obesity, drugs, and alcohol abuse are decisions will benefit women everywhere. Even though technology will undoubtedly play a role in women’s health access, women are still responsible for making choices which will help them in the long run.
While American women’s health access is reaping steady benefits thanks to modern technology, there are still great strides to be made regarding the international healthcare of women. Many women who live in impoverished, third world countries are forced to cope with conditions, environments, and situations which are extremely antagonistic towards appropriate health. We can only hope that ongoing technological advancements will eventually make their way across the globe.
Brandon Stapper is the Chief Executive Officer of Nonstop Signs & Graphics a Los Angeles Sign Company. At 20 years old, with no formal education and only a few hundred dollars, Stapper turned a $400 custom decal machine in a garage into a printing powerhouse. Nonstop Signs & Graphics has made the Forbes Fastest Growing Companies Award 4 years in a row and services 10,000 clients yearly.