Technology has allowed the healthcare industry to make great strides, redefining how healthcare professionals practice their art and patients receive treatments. There has been a significant rise in the number of healthcare facilities that have incorporated HER (electronic health records) systems into their operations. According to the PwC Health Research Institute, around 90 percent of all healthcare facilities use EHR these days, compared to only 9 percent ten years ago. Thus, it is evident that technology has left its mark on the healthcare sector.
Digital technology has made it easier than ever for patients and care providers to interact with one another and share vital information. New applications and software have allowed healthcare facilities to improve their workflow, enhancing day-to-day operations and patient care in the process. It has undoubtedly promoted a change in the effectiveness of services. So, with that said, let us take a deep look into a few ways technology improves healthcare services for patients. Some of these ways are listed below.
The internet is now an excellent source of medical information
According to a Pew Internet and American Life Project report, around 29 million Americans used the internet to search for medical information in 2009. Compare that to the same survey conducted in 2004 where only 66 percent did the same. That is a massive increment. So, more and more patients and healthcare providers alike are going online to research treatments options, educational programs, and other helpful source material.
Furthermore, the internet makes it a lot easier for healthcare professionals to obtain specialized education and certifications to enhance their skills and medical know-how. Aspiring candidates can now enroll in various online programs, ranging from a Masters of Science in Healthcare Informatics to a Doctor of Nursing Practice and everything in between. Growing healthcare needs create an insatiable demand for more professionals in diverse job roles, and distance learning helps close this gap.
At the same time, the internet provides patients with a platform to look up their symptoms and explore treatment options and medicines. While it isn’t wise to skip out on a visit to the doctor’s office, the digital world empowers patients to at least understand what they’re going through before the appointment.
Social media has made it easier for healthcare facilities to reach patients
Research facilities, doctors’ offices, public clinics, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities are now leveraging social media tools and platforms to reach broader patient populations. For instance, hospitals now utilize social media to communicate with patients, perform community outreach, launch public awareness campaigns, and answer questions about treatment methods. Some dedicated healthcare-based websites even offer instant communication techniques to patients, allowing them to interact with doctors and nurses about medical issues and prescription medications.
Technology is improving treatment
We cannot deny that the introduction of tech in healthcare has incorporated a few apparent improvements. These introductions include new treatments methods, machines, and medicines that improve a patient’s chances of recovery and save lives.
Not only does technology allow patients to heal quickly, but it also enhances research so that healthcare providers can make more effective decisions. This helps to develop better treatment options for complex medical conditions and develop drugs for previously incurable diseases.
Technology is improving healthcare worker efficiency
Technology has made patient care more reliable and safer than it ever was in the past. Doctors and nurses now have constant access to patients’ medical records via medical tablets and health apps, ensuring they administer the proper medications and treatments. Furthermore, medicine orders, vital sign records, and lab test records are now electronically entered in a centralized database that patients and physicians can refer to later.
So, as more healthcare facilities adopt EHRs into their healthcare practices, medical information is becoming more accessible for patients. As a result, it allows them to understand details about the treatment they’re undergoing. Not to mention, a centralized database with massive amounts of medical information also allows medical healthcare professionals to utilize said data for research purposes.
Technology is helping predict future outbreaks
While nobody was able to predict the existence of the ongoing pandemic, new information is allowing healthcare experts and leaders to utilize technology to predict future outbreaks. After all, as most people go online to look up answers when they become sick, the information they consume adds up to create a larger picture.
Therefore, healthcare professionals can utilize these online searches to create locations and databases that show the spread and rise of particular illnesses. Moreover, researchers are using current statistics from the pandemic to develop a response plan in order to minimize the impact of potential threats of outbreaks in the future.
Pharmaceutical companies have greater access to data
As the access to genetic data improves, big pharma firms now have greater availability of data to improve their product development and decision-making. With more patient data at their disposal, pharmaceutical companies can make better medicines to help people suffering from acute and chronic illnesses. That said, how these organizations use such information depends on how they generate revenue.For instance, some pharmaceutical companies now charge customers for medications based on their effectiveness. In comparison, others prefer to adhere to more conventional methods of drug production and pricing.
Advancements in nanotechnology and robotics.
Besides laser technology in healthcare, recent developments such as nano-devices and surgical booths show that technology is changing healthcare for the better. When healthcare professionals utilize these solutions, they can access otherwise inaccessible areas and improve treatment accuracy. For instance, one nano-robot can swim inside a patient’s bodily fluids, including the surface of the eye and bloodstream, to detect medical conditions.
Breakthroughs in healthcare technology allow medical experts to improve care and offer patients a much better healthcare experience. This article mentions a few ways technology is reshaping the healthcare industry. Patients can gather information about their illnesses online before walking in for an appointment. Professionals can enroll in distance learning opportunities to work in diverse roles. Social media has evolved into a crucial platform to help patients and spread awareness. Technological innovations are improving data collection and treatment processes to provide patients with better care.