Technology is Making Positive Changes to the Healthcare Industry
By 2020, the healthcare industry will see a 21% increase in the number of jobs within the IT department. Therefore, the need for new and innovative technologies has never been greater. There is no doubt that the way in which technology is being used is undoubtedly making positive changes in the sector and is set to advance in the near future.
While many forms of technology are yet to be approved by the FDA, there are already some in use that is having hugely positive impacts to both healthcare professionals and patients.
Here are just a few ways technology is changing the healthcare sector for the better:
- Electronic databasesDue to there being thousands of patients to monitor in both doctors’ surgeries and hospitals, professionals once had to rummage through rows of files to find their data, but this is now becoming a thing of the past. Electronic databases can store immense amounts of information, which imposes greater efficiency. It has never been easier to search through an online data system which can be edited and updated with ease.
- Mobile technology
Doctors and nurses are far easier to reach due to their increased use of smartphones and mobile technology. Even when on-the-go, medical professionals can access patient data from anywhere, which is especially relevant if they are out on a call and in need of instant access. They are also able to contact colleagues via text, video call or emails, so patients can be given answers quicker about their condition without having to wait weeks for a transfer of information.
- Improved scanningMedical professionals are now using even further advanced scanning methods for X-ray computed tomography, magnetic resource imaging,and Doctors are,therefore, able to get a more definite impression of the causes and symptoms of a patient’s condition,thus having the ability to give far more accurate medical advice. With patients having more advanced screening technologies, illnesses and diseases are likely to be prevented, while those that have already been diagnosed can be treated with efficiency.
- Data protectionThe vast amount of personal information and medical history in healthcare industries means there should be procedures in place to prevent data from being hacked or lost. If such an occurrence were to happen, the premises would be likely to come to a standstill and cause chaos. Medical advice and treatments cannot be given without a patient’s medical history being accessed.
An external data protection company would be an ideal solution to prevent disasters occurring, while offering a recovery plan should the system files be unobtainable. If you would like to learn more, this website will provide you with some useful knowledge about finding a resolution in the event of data loss or hacking in the healthcare establishment.
- Patient portalsMany healthcare providers are now allowing patients to take care of their own health through online portals. These platforms present the opportunity of accessing their medical history and test results.Research has shown that patients who have instant access to their medical records are more proactive in taking care of their health, as well as being more inclined to interact with professionals about taking their next steps.
According to the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, 64% of hospitals are now giving patients the scope to view and download their records, while 51% are even going as far as to incorporate a private message system so that patients can contact their GP personally.
- Fewer medical errorsTragically, thousands of people die every year because of medical errors, whether that be a misdiagnosis or a mix-up of medication. Today, the older generation are requiring a greater variety of medicines due to longer lifespans, so there just isn’t the room for mistake. In recent times, the healthcare profession has come on leaps and bounds to prevent the issue.Patients are being given individual medical bracelets with their own barcodes, so professionals are aware of the specific medication they should be prescribed.
- Access to the internet for researchingHealthcare professionals have made great use of the internet to achieve breakthrough discoveries. Google spotted innovative medical trends and even predicted the outbreak of flu due to the number of user queries being searched in a short space of time.
The internet paves the way for patients to take a practical approach to manage their own healthcare, often without having to seek the assistance of their GP. Before the development of the internet, patients would visit a professional over the slightest matter as there was nowhere else to turn. Nowadays, they can seek guidance from the comfort of their own home as a way of checking out their symptoms and medications. Patients who aren’t familiar with the drug they have been prescribed may wish to browse online to see what it contains.Of course, looking online can scaremonger people into believing they have a more serious issue, but it can give a good idea as to what may be the cause of several symptoms.
Online programs and apps are also ideal for allowing patients to take care of their well-being, for example, heart rate, sleeping patterns,and mental health. These personalized platforms are used for both coaching and monitoring and make the overall experience rather enjoyable. Such programs are convenient, as they can usually be accessed from a mobile phone.
- Benefits of wearables for health monitoringWearables have made a massive mark on the healthcare industry and have played an immense part in boosting physical health in particular. In 2014 alone, sales reached an impressive $1 billion. According to research, such devices will have a significant impact on overall health in years to come.
By using wearables, patients can monitor their health and be aware of the warnings before they occur or become a severe problem. Preventive methods can then be taken to reduce the risk of a heart attack, for example. With detailed information ready to present to a GP at their next appointment, patients can receive targeted care on how to deal with their concern.