Optimise smart careers to heal lives

Career on demand Evolving health technology creates strong job security for health IT professionals.

From the use of robotic computing in surgeries to the prevalence of data analytics in healthcare to digital diagnostic tools, widespread usage of Information and Communication Technology has contributed to improving outcomes and reducing time and cost of healthcare delivery. On the other hand, increasing incidence of lifestyle diseases has put the prevention mechanism under the spotlight to improve health and wellness.

These changing dynamics in the healthcare space are resulting in new career opportunities. There has been a surge in demand for IT executives in healthcare in recent years as more and more hospitals adopt digital technologies to improve services and patient experience. The burgeoning concept of holistic care, integrated medicine and emphasis on improving quality of life of patients has created the need for a new breed of healthcare providers such as nutritionists, rehabilitation experts, therapists, genetic counsellors and homecare providers. A large number of science graduates are today opting for careers in allied healthcare by taking up courses in radiology, nutrition, physiotherapy, etc. Here are some emerging career options in the field of healthcare.

IT experts: With digital technology becoming inevitable in most fields, industries heavily depend on IT professionals. Digitising the system of appointments, online delivery of diagnostic services and creation of digitally enabled services such as ICUs are emerging as top priorities for hospitals today as they work to improve health outcomes and patient experience. Digital systems to monitor and report vital health statistics of people with diabetes and other chronic conditions and the creation of apps and wearable devices for the same are another area where healthcare organisations are investing big time. As hospitals and other healthcare organisations incorporate digital technology into their systems, there will be a surge in demand for IT experts. With greater integration of technology in every domain of healthcare, new specialised career options, such as 3D printing specialists, are also likely to emerge in near future.

Physical therapists: Physical therapists are healthcare professionals who work with patients suffering from pain or restricted movement on account of injury, stroke, paralysis or surgery. These experts are critical to the rehabilitation process of patients with injuries, fractures or bone and joint-related surgeries. Physical therapists work in different settings, including hospitals, clinics, in occupational environments as well as homes. Today, with increasing emphasis on holistic care, the role of physical therapists is closely intertwined with that of physicians.

Cardiovascular technologists: Cardiovascular technicians are allied health professionals who work closely with cardiologists to help diagnose and treat heart diseases. They help conduct ECGs, prepare patients for angioplasties and cardiac catheterisations, while closely monitoring their vital statistics during procedures. In a nutshell, they work as technical assistants to cardiologists and cardiac surgeons. With increasing usage of advanced diagnostic technology in the field of cardiology, the demand for cardiovascular technologists is increasing by the day.

Medical Imaging technicians: The world of medical diagnostics is a parallel field in medicine that plays a vital role in ensuring successful treatment. The use of medical imaging technologies such as X-ray, ultrasound, CT scan, MRI, etc., has increased significantly in recent years with a greater emphasis on evidence-based medicine even as improvement in digital imaging technology is allowing diagnosis with greater precision. Understandably, the field of radiology and medical imaging is witnessing a rapid surge with increasing demand for proficient and well-qualified technicians.   

Nutritionists: Doctors are increasingly referring patients to nutrition experts who can help make the right food choices and prevent chronic diseases while managing existing conditions. With rising awareness about fitness and the need to eat healthily, the demand for services of nutritionists is expected to increase. Nutritionists are employed in specialised fields such as Athletics and sports.

Data scientists: Data analysts are professionals whose demand has surged in recent years due to the rise of digital footfall-based industries such as e-commerce. Data analysts are essentially tasked with an objective of sourcing meaningful information from a mass of random data. In the field of healthcare, data scientists are increasingly becoming relevant.

Insights collected from healthcare data analytics can help increase the accuracy and efficiency of diagnostics and help improve the epidemiological understanding of diseases. In near future, health data scientists and deep-learning experts will play a significant role in leveraging data and making sense of it for the larger public good.

To break into such careers, there are various courses offered in healthcare fields in many universities and colleges across the country.

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