Healthcare is not left behind either, even though it has been relatively slow in adopting the new technologies like the other industries. This is because of its strict regulations and the sensitive nature of medical information.
Nevertheless, healthcare has made quite significant steps that have redefined the way in which patients receive treatment, how data is collected, how research is carried out, and how physicians use new tools and find fresh and innovative ways to practice medicine.
The number of hospitals that has developed the electronic health records [EHR] have increased. According to a research carried by PwC Health Research Institute, only 9 percent of these hospitals used EHRs 10 years ago as compared to the 90 percent today.
In pushing for the digital health, public crowdfunding has played a huge role in enabling patients get the right kind of assistance they need to get the right medical care. This is especially for those patients with a disease such as cancer which require the use of highly developed machines.
The following are some of the ways that technology has improved the healthcare;
1. Better treatments, equipment, and medicine
There’s no doubt that as years go by, technology is bringing upon many benefits on the healthcare. Better equipment has enabled the doctors to provide more comprehensive care. This has led to better treatments which in turn has improved the quality of life of many people suffering from long-term illnesses.
Better medicine has cleared off the fear of some life-threating illness of the past. There has also been a speedy research because of the improved equipment.
There’s increased connectivity among physicians and medical researchers
Technology has made it easy for physicians from different parts of the world to connect with one another to share information. Some apps have been developed that allows physicians to post recent findings and they can initiate conversations on their mobile devices. This saves the amount of time that the physicians spent when getting in touch with the colleagues. Technology has allowed the researchers to find answers to certain medical mysteries.
2. Improved relationship with patients
Through technology, doctors can access a patient’s records. This gives them in-depth medical information of a certain patient. This can allow the doctor to provide personalized treatment to the patient.
In the past, patient’s medical files used to be stored in the stores or halls, creating large amounts of paperwork and making it hard to find files from many years back. But now, technology has allowed records to be transcribed online making them easily available to both the doctor and the patient. This also makes the patient feel more comfortable with the doctor because he understands their complete health history.
3. Faster results
In the past, getting results of medical tests took weeks or even months. With the improved technology, it is possible to get the results when the lab is finished with your sample. Nowadays, many hospitals and clinics offer web portals. This allows you to access your results within hours or days.
This is a good move because it reduces the patient’s anxiety and provides them with the answers that they need. The web portals also enable patients to access their past medical records, giving them a chance to keep tracks of their appointments, medical issues, and billing.
4. Healthcare facilities can now reach patients using social media
Clinics, doctors, and even research facilities can take advantage of social media platforms e.g., Facebook to reach the larger populations.
Healthcare facilities, especially hospitals are using social media to keep in contact with patients, answer their questions, launch public awareness campaigns and perform community outreach. Some of these sites are advanced; they can allow for instant chats with nurses and doctors about medical issues or even remind people to get the tests and vaccines that are regularly needed.
Pharmaceutical firms can improve their products
As electronic health records [EHRs] become prevalent and the access to data increases, pharmaceutical companies find it easy to gain access to more resources to inform their product development decisions. The way companies decide to utilize this information will depend on how they generate income.
5. Software improves healthcare and disease control
The development of some specific software has enabled the World Health Organization [WHO] to classify some illnesses, their causes, and symptoms into a massive database that has more than 14,000 individual codes.
This information allows medical professionals and researchers to track, retrieve, and utilize valuable data to control disease and provide better healthcare.
Software also plays a role in tracking medical procedures and using billing methods that reduce the amount of paperwork.
6. It helps to predict outbreaks
Since a majority of people search online for answers when they start to feel sick, this data can actually add up to create a larger picture specific to that query. Locations can be established from these online searches and a database can be created that will show the rise and the spread of a certain illness. This is very essential in preparing for outbreaks predicting for their outlook.
7. Greater access to DNA sequencing
Researchers sequenced the human genome for the first time in 2003. The process, which lasted 13 years ago, nearly cost $3 billion to complete. The development in technology has now reduced the cost to $1000. The data found in DNA is now more accessible to patients and physicians.
8. Reduced risk and recovery time
The developments in technology have improved the
safety of medical procedures. Due to advanced technology, technological
innovations such as laser treatments, medical procedures are now less risky.
The use of new technology has reduced the recovery time. In some cases, the
recovery time has been reduced from several weeks down to a couple of days.