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It’s amazing when you look back and see how far our world has come technologically. The same can be said for technology in health care. From improved operational efficiencies to standards of patient care, healthcare transformation has improved the overall experience for both patients and medical staff. What was previously unimaginable and only seen in movies is now a reality thanks to technological advances.
Whether in business, education, home, the medical field, or any other area of our lives, the impact has been phenomenal. Today, we want to talk about how this technological advance has specifically impacted the health sector. Has it improved it or created more problems? We want to get to the bottom of whether technology has been a blessing or a curse for healthcare.
How technology is affecting the healthcare industry
Big Data and the cloud
Big Data is a buzzword in various industries, including healthcare. This is because it is now possible to generate and collect vast amounts of data from many different sources in healthcare. This data is then used for analysis to make predictions about potential epidemics and ultimately prevent deaths. Cloud data storage helps improve efficiency and accessibility while reducing waste.
This also helps in the research and development of new treatment protocols and pharmaceutical formulations that save lives. Indeed, cloud services can be invaluable to medical research, providing large volumes of research and analytical data and enabling efficient exchange of health information. The cloud provides secure, cost-effective storage solutions with backup and recovery capabilities, but without the hassle and cost of maintaining additional server hardware.
Digitization of health records
Dusty and bulky paper records are gradually giving way to streamlined digital records that are securely uploaded to the cloud and can be accessed remotely by patients and healthcare professionals. In this way, storing, managing and transferring data becomes simple and fast. Professionals and patients get clinical decision support so they can make better, more informed medical decisions.
Digitizing health records also facilitates the efficiency and delivery of health care services in remote or hard-to-reach locations. This digitization has the potential to streamline processes, improve patient outcomes and reduce costs.
Mobile application technology in the medical field.
Patients not only have access to fast and accurate medical information through their wearable devices, they can also use apps to keep track of doctor appointments and receive reminders to take their medications. Health and fitness apps help people become healthier by tracking their food intake and activity levels and offering personalized solutions.
These apps can also help clinicians in stressful jobs by reducing the time spent on filing, record keeping, and other routine tasks. Mobile apps provide access to drug information to avoid side effects and drug interactions, solve problems, and improve diagnosis. Physicians can communicate directly with their patients, accurately record their vital signs, keep records of visits and consultations, and achieve greater procedural efficiency.
Information technology and communication
Advances in information and communication technology are constantly improving and streamlining the way healthcare works and the way patients interact with their caregivers. Medical experts have access to comprehensive research studies as well as diverse populations that provide new insights into genetics, disease, and outcomes of care.
Providers can compare patient data with many other patients, identify risk factors and suggest preventative treatments using this new technology. This technology has given a great boost to medical tourism, allowing patients to contact specialists in virtually any part of the world for consultations and second opinions, regardless of where they are. After communicating remotely, such as by video conference, patients can travel to another country for specialized treatment or sophisticated surgery.
electronic medical records
Electronic medical records, or electronic health records (EHRs), are digital summaries of a patient’s medical records. They may include diagnoses, lab reports, and details about hospitalizations, surgical procedures, and prescriptions. They provide an overview of a patient’s health status, allowing for more accurate diagnosis and better patient care. These electronic records facilitate information exchange and collaboration between laboratories and specialists without spending time and resources on physical transmission.
EHRs provide healthcare professionals with information on allergies, intolerances, and anything else that may be relevant; especially important if the patient is unconscious. When properly maintained and implemented, EHR protocols can also help increase accountability and reduce bad practices. Electronic records are easier and require less time to create and maintain. They make life easier for medical record keepers and reduce the risk of errors.
Better patient care
Technology has provided healthcare with several powerful tools to improve patient care. Because electronic health records are easily accessible to physicians, they can access patients’ complete medical records and make thoughtful medical decisions. Physicians can quickly identify potential medication errors. To do this, they use applications such as barcode readers, which improves patient safety. Radio frequency identification (RFID) technology also helps improve patient care by providing vital signs and patient temperature information. It facilitates real-time location tracking, communication, and identification.
There are other ways technology can improve patient care: 3D printing is now used to create prosthetics, custom dental devices, and even hearing aids. Virtual reality devices and applications help relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety in older people and patients with mental illness, and can also help in the post-surgical recovery process. Augmented reality helps surgeons and their teams perform complex operations. Virtual and augmented reality devices can also help improve the health and fitness of patients. With the availability of procedures such as robotic knee replacement and the use of gene therapy in cancer treatment, it is clear that the role of technology in healthcare will grow exponentially in the future.
Technological developments are better adopted in health care in some parts of the world than in others. Developed countries have managed to use technology more efficiently to provide better patient care; however, developing countries are rapidly catching up.
Healthcare providers who have not yet embraced the tools available to them are realizing their vast untapped potential and are making the necessary changes and investments to streamline processes, reduce costs, increase efficiencies, and what’s more. importantly, improve the quality of care.
Final words: How Technology is Impacting the Healthcare Industry
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