The scope of the emerging technologies that are affecting our nation’s healthcare system today are truly breathtaking.
Pick a medical issue, any medical issue – diabetes, congestive heart failure, medication noncompliance, stressful isolation – and you can guarantee that researchers are working exhaustedly to solve it by way of remarkable new technologies.
Take for instance, cardiac patients, who will soon be able to wear sensors that will monitor their heart every minute of every day. Ready for something straight out of a science fiction movie? A new chip development will soon be embedded into pills that will become activated the exact moment that it reaches the patient’s stomach. This will confirm, for the purpose of medical records, that the patient has taken their required medications. What’s more is some of the new machines that are soon to emerge will be able to scan the human body for a host of symptoms that will reveal a diagnosis in a matter of seconds, without the need for prodding or poking. Pretty incredible, right?
The benefits that the healthcare industry has already seen and that it will continue to see in the future are immense; they are groundbreaking; and in the case of many individuals, they are lifesaving. Continued technological advancements mean continued improved treatment options, the further enhanced efficiency of diagnoses, and even more connected physician-patient relationships.
So, just how are these advancements in technology helping our healthcare industry? Here are 8 ways that the healthcare industry is benefiting from today's technologically advanced environment.
Less Suffering, Better Treatment
One of the most obvious ways in which technology has worked to improve the healthcare industry is by contributing to advancements that lessen suffering and improve treatment options for patients. The improvement of medicines, machines, and other treatments not only have increased the chance of recovery for millions of individuals worldwide, but they have also saved the lives of many.
Technological advancements not only translate into new and more sophisticated medical practices, which help to more directly heal patient’s, but also improve the research capabilities of experts so that they can make healthcare more efficient and effective.
Improved Patient Communications
Social media today has allowed doctors offices, public clinics and even research facilities the ability to reach a wider and more diverse scope of the population. Evidence shows that healthcare facilities, particularly hospitals, have been using social media tools to establish contact with patients, which enables them to answer questions, launch public awareness campaigns and perform community outreach initiatives.
Taking advantage of social media capabilities allows nurses and even doctors to chat instantly about medical issues and even send blast communications to remind their followers to get regular checkups and receive necessary vaccines and tests.
Enhanced Clinician Communications
Sometimes it becomes necessary for your doctor to reach out to other experts for help in diagnosis, treatment recommendations, etc. Technology has made such communications between clinicians not only possible, but simple. Doctors today have communicable capabilities beyond their wildest dreams – literally, at their fingertips. This translates to improved and more effective treatment and more direct management of resources.
Helping Patients to Improve Their Health
There are a number of gadgets and apps that exist today aimed at helping people to improve their health by way of increased activity, sleep and healthier diets. For example, the Fitbit – something you have probably seen on the arm of coworkers and/or family members – a pedometer that is used to track physical activity and sleep and that uses social networking as a motivational tool to inspire users.
There are dozens of other gadgets and apps that do everything from calorie counting to food monitoring, sleep monitoring and even wireless wearable monitors used for patients with health concerns.
Improved Worker Efficiency and Patient Care
Thanks to information technology, patient care has become much safer and reliable over the years. Handheld computers give doctors the ability to record patient medical history of which they can use to check that the correct treatment is being administered. Vital records, lab test results, and medication orders are all literally now at their fingertips. The development of electronic main databases offers patients easier access to their files and allows workers to use their time more productively.
Ease of Access, Thanks to Communication through the Cloud
Cloud based VoIP phone systems like Dialpad have vastly improved communication capabilities within healthcare facilities. They have worked to unify communications, enabling doctors to use texts, emails, videos and conference facilities in order to consult colleagues worldwide; which as we mentioned, offers patients improved services. Not only that, but the VoIP phone systems have allowed facilities the ability for their communication efforts with patients to grow as their practices grow.
Advanced Prediction Capabilities
With the availability of vital records and medical trend data, experts can better analyse health information in an effort to more accurately predict certain outbreaks or pandemics. Access to sensitive data will allow medical experts to not only predict outbreaks, but more quickly respond to them should they present themselves. Additionally, having the capability to predict such outbreaks will afford researchers the chance to develop more effective preventative measures.
Advanced software and programs allow physicians the chance to more quickly diagnose medical issues within patients. Not only that, but improved technologies have also afforded doctors the ability to get a more in-depth look inside the body, without actually going inside. This means faster diagnosis and improved treatments in a less invasive manner.
It is rather apparent that technology has given the healthcare industry the much-needed upgrade that it was in dire need of and it will continue to positively benefit the industry for years to come. From mobile apps to medical translation tools that help patients live healthier and more prosperous lives; the healthcare industry has benefitted largely from technology over the past few decades.
Improved healthcare costs and patient treatment, as well as more direct communication abilities with trusted physicians, as technology continues to expand, so too will the horizons of medicine and available medical treatments.
Image source: Shutterstock/Wichy