Nowadays, there is not a single industry or sector that has not been affected by technology. It has become ubiquitous in each and every aspect of our lives. Whether we talk about our personal lives, work lives, social lives, or any other aspect, we see the heavy influence of technology and the changes that it has brought with it. The same can be said for the healthcare industry. It has gone through a massive change over the past few years thanks to technology. Thanks to innovative inventions and creative methodology, healthcare has not only become more patient-centric but also affordable and it has increased its reach. More and more people have access to quality healthcare and this reach is only expanding.
Now the healthcare industry provides access to some of the best diagnostic tools to its patients as well as cutting edge and highly advanced treatments that were not present before. These treatments include less invasive and safer procedures that give better results and don’t give as much pain as before while the healing is also quicker.
Another thing that people from all around the world can look forward to is that thanks to technology, they can avail the services of consultants and specialists who are halfway around the world. Time and space are no longer an issue. You could be sitting in Africa and consulting with a specialist about your specific treatment who is in America or Australia for that matter. More and more mobile apps are entering markets that are intuitive and provide better solutions to patients. Technology is also paving the way for artificial intelligence to aid the complex procedures of healthcare. There are several other state of the art solutions as well as robot nurses and many alike that are disrupting the entire industry and helping it evolve into something better.
Here are some of the ways that technology is changing the entire landscape of the healthcare industry:
Digitization of Health Records
Slowly and gradually, cabinets full of dusty and heavy papers are being replaced with digital records that are not only easier to access but also safer to move around. It also cuts the cost by digitizing records. Now doctors can access these records remotely from anywhere in the world. This data can be easily stored, quickly accessed from anywhere, anytime and managed easily. This has made the diagnosis and treatment of patients easier for doctors and other healthcare professionals. Before this, it took a lot of time to access a patient’s previous records and thus diagnosis was not accurate or well informed.
Mobile App Technology
Another technology that has been making waves in the healthcare industry is mobile app technology. This technology has played a pivotal role, especially for the patients. Now they can access their own records by using their handheld devices from anywhere. They can also get a doctor’s appointment, keep track of it, and set reminders for the appointment or to take their medicine and for a plethora of other activities like scheduling exams and such. There are various health and fitness apps that keep track of the patient’s heartbeat, intake of food and activities like the steps that they have taken or the exercise that they have done.
Electronic Medical Records
Now healthcare facilities and healthcare professionals can manage entire histories of their patients through the use of electronic medical records or as they are also called electronic health records (EHR). These histories could include everything from all the blood tests, lab reports, to hospital stays, surgeries done, and even contain all the information about the medication that was or has been prescribed to the patient. Just imagine what the doctors can do with all this information on their fingertips and how the patient’s healthcare can improve when the doctor has complete knowledge about their histories.
Big Data and the Cloud
You might not have considered the fact that big data could play such an important role in the healthcare industry, but it is true. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities are exactly the kinds of places that can really take advantage of big data as well as cloud storage. Researchers and scientists could easily collect the data from multiple resources that can help them come up with new solutions, medications, analysis and help them in times of epidemics. They can analyze the data culturally, geographically or through any other way to find out solutions that are specific for certain communities or societies.
Improved Patient Care
On the one hand, technology has improved the diagnosis process for patients as well as doctors by making available patient histories and other information. On the other hand, technology has provided doctors with state of the art tools that are greatly enhancing the patient care system. A lot of procedures that used to take a lot of time before can be done now within hours and patients can go home the same day. Expensive and invasive procedures have become noninvasive and affordable for patients.
Technology is rapidly changing the way industries look and the evolution is still incomplete. There is still more to come. The quicker healthcare facilities adapt to these changes and integrate them with their day to day operations, the better they can perform and the better care they can provide to their patients.