Healthcare as a whole is wrecked. There are way fewer doctors and equipment available than that would be required. A fact that is all the more tangible during the current COVID-19 situation. Usually, if a person wants to get in contact with a doctor, they need to make an appointment and visit the doctor. Well, that was a recitation of the past. Medical care is now available at your convenience and your pace.
4 Reasons Why Technology is Important in Healthcare
4 reasons we can argue that technology and healthcare represent a marriage made in heaven:
- Simple Accessibility to Health Care
- Improving the Efficiency of Care
- Increases Cost-Efficiency of Healthcare Services
- Progressed Development in The Field of Health Care
How Technology and Healthcare Created a Heavenly Hymen
Healthcare Technologies is at its most basic level, it’s leading a shift towards a more open, data-driven approach to health care in which we’ll be able to analyze population health with artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify wider trends and to change the way that we approach health care. The process of how technology and healthcare created a heavenly hymen:
1) Digitization of Health Records
Dusty and bulky paper files are slowly making way to streamlined digital records that securely upload to the cloud and made accessible remotely to patients and healthcare professionals. By this, storing, management, and transmission of data becomes easy and speedy. Support for clinical decisions is directly available to specialists and patients; making it possible to make better, more informed medical decisions. Digitization of health records also facilitates the efficiency and delivery of health care to remote or inaccessible locations.
This digitization has the potential to streamline operations, improve patient outcomes, and reduce costs.
2) Mobile App Technology
Not only do patients have access to immediate and accurate healthcare information using their handheld devices, but they can also use apps to keep track of doctor’s appointments, get reminders to take their medications.
Health and fitness apps help people get healthier by tracking their food intake and activity levels and providing customized solutions. Doctors can communicate directly with their patients, record their vital signs accurately, keep logs about visits and consultations, and achieve greater procedural efficiency.
3) Electronic Health Records
Electronic Health Records (EHRs) consist of digital summaries of a patient’s medical record. They could include diagnoses, laboratory reports, and details about hospital stays, surgical interventions, and prescriptions.
They offer an overview of a patient’s health; permitting a more precise diagnosis and improved patient care. These electronic records facilitate the easy sharing of data and collaboration between labs and specialists. When properly preserved and implemented, EHR protocols can also help increase accountability and reduce malpractice.
4) Advanced Patient Care
RFID (radio-frequency identification) technology also helps enhance patient care by supplying information about the patient’s vital signs, and temperature. It facilitates real-time tracking of location, communication, and recognition. There are other ways during which technology has got to improve patient care: 3D printing is now wont to create prosthetics, customized dental devices, and even hearing aids.
5) Telemedicine / Telehealth
Telemedicine takes the digitization of health care to its next logical step; letting patients consult with specialists practically anywhere in the world.
This is technology applied to the healthcare system to overcome distance barriers and facilitate critical care in emergencies; potentially saving lives. In telemedicine, the store-and-forward feature helps transmit business, medical images, and other data to a specialist to facilitate asynchronous consultations. This can significantly reduce waiting time for patients; speeding up treatment delivery processes.
6) Information and Communication Technology
Developments in information and communication technology are constantly developing and streamlining how the healthcare industry functions and how patients interact with their care providers.
Medical experts have access to comprehensive research studies also as diverse population groups that provide new insight into genetics, diseases, and care outcomes. Care providers can compare patient data with many other patients, identify risk factors, and suggest preventive treatments using this new technology.
This technology has given a huge boost to medical tourism; making it possible for patients to get in touch with specialists in practically any part of the world for consultations and second opinions; regardless of where they are located.
Following remote communications like video conferences, patients can then visit another country to receive specialized treatment or highly advanced surgery.
7) Artificial Intelligence
AI engines can reduce and mitigate the risk of preventable medical scenarios in three critical ways:
- Automate reminders – Great for helping patients take the medication within a specific timeframe.
- Identify people at high risk – Discovering those in need of medical intervention and trigger healthcare staff alerts to create custom care plans.
- Deliver personalized dosage recommendations – Based on each patient’s unique body chemistry and associated environmental factors.
8) Virtual Reality
Virtual reality devices and apps help ease symptoms of depression and anxiety in older people and patients with mental illnesses and can also help people with their postoperative recovery process. The augmented reality now helps surgeons and their teams perform complex operations. Virtual and augmented reality devices also can help improve health and fitness outcomes among patients. With the supply of procedures like robotic knee replacement and therefore the use of gene therapy in cancer treatment, it’s evident that the role of this technology in healthcare is bound to grow exponentially in the time to come.
However, the healthcare industry is entering a pivotal era. With the developments in health IT over the last two decades and those yet to come, the question is whether we should promote health IT or not?
The answer is YES, we should. Because, digitization ensures security and reliability of the most important artifact the entire healthcare community depends on – health records. It enables a smoother consultation cycle wherein clinics/hospitals can track appointments/check-ins additionally to helping them perform billing and analyze revenue income/expense patterns easily. An effective e-prescription system can add greater efficiency to the entire prescribe-order-bill-deliver cycle. That’s why the benefits of digitization outweigh the costs involved and should be promoted in every way possible.
The future of healthcare includes a substitution towards more personalized, preventative measures as opposed to our current approach which relies on treating the symptoms and not the cause. In the same way that Netflix can provide super-relevant content suggestions based on the huge amount of viewing data it has access to, physicians will be able to make super-relevant healthcare suggestions based on what’s worked for other, similar patients. That’s before we get to stuff like robotics and other new technologies. Robots are even being used to help to care for the elderly in Japan — and it’s working great, too!
In fine, technological advancements are adopted better in the healthcare fields in some parts of the earth than others. Developed countries have been able to provide technology more efficient for improved patient care; however, developing nations are reaching up quicker. Healthcare providers are making the changes and the investments required to streamline processes, lower costs, increase efficiency, and most importantly, improve the quality of care.