It goes without saying that the advancement in technology has brought various changes in different social and economic sectors like education, commerce, tourism, and healthcare, just to name a few. The impact of technology in the healthcare industry is profound. Things which were impossible centuries ago like x-rays and virtual treatment are now possible. As a result, the healthcare system has become more efficient, the quality of life has improved, healthcare costs have reduced, patients can find health professionals easily, and treatment methods have improved. Various tech tools have helped to achieve this. Here are four helpful tech tools in the healthcare industry.
Electronic Health Records
An electronic health record is a digital documentation of a patient’s health data that can be accessed regularly and updated by an authorized health professional. Information that can be available on an electronic health record system includes the name of the patient, his or her age, physical measurements like height and weight, previous medical diagnoses, treatment plans, laboratory test results, allergies, and health insurance.
Electronic health records have proved to be very efficient. They can be hospital-based records or national records. Hospital-based electronic health records are stored in a hospital’s unique database. This type of record is effective for patients who visit the same hospital whenever they have any health issues. Some countries like Australia have a national electronic health record system where the patient’s data is stored in a national database. One benefit of this system over the hospital-based system is that any authorized health professional in any part of the country can access the data with the patient’s permission.
Early diagnosis of a severe illness and comprehensive health data are some of the benefits of electronic health records.
Mobile App Technology
Numerous mobile apps in the healthcare industry exist. These apps can be categorized into various groups depending on their function as follows:
- Fitness Apps. There are different things that we can do to stay fit. Some of these include losing weight, gaining weight, drinking eight glasses of water a day, and having enough sleep. Fitness Apps like Samsung Health, Strava, and Google Fit can help us achieve our fitness goals.
- Educational Apps. Although students can visit Lecturio or any other educational website for medical students, downloading the app can be more helpful. This is because the information on such apps can be accessed on offline mode and are more personalized. Examples of educational apps for medical students are Medscape, Capsule, and many more.
- Reproductive Health Apps. Many apps fall under this category such as period trackers like Ovia and Flo, ovulation trackers like Fertility Friend, and pregnancy apps like Baby Bump and Full term.
- Personal Health Records Apps like Amwell and Doctor on Demand.
Telemedicine is the use of technology by healthcare professionals to provide services like diagnosis and treatment. This is done through a video chat. The Covid-19 pandemic affected different sectors, including the healthcare industry. Luckily, technology came to the rescue when needed. One of the worldwide safety measures during the Covid-19 pandemic was social distancing. This impeded the ability of patients, especially those who were considered ‘Covid-19 high-risk individuals like diabetic patients to access medical treatment in-person. Telemedicine solved this problem. Such patients were able to communicate with their doctors and undergo medical procedures like evaluation, diagnosis and treatment from the comfort of their home. They were able to get the medical help they sought and stay safe as per the Covid-19 regulations.
One benefit of this tech tool is that it reduces costs. The patient doesn’t need money for transport. It also saves time. At the hospital, patients have to wait for their turn to see the doctor in the waiting rooms. Telemedicine allows the patient to carry out his or her daily activities and avail him /herself at the time when the video chat was scheduled to begin.
Robots play a vital role in medicine. They can:
- Perform surgeries (surgical robots).
- Transport dangerous substances that can be used during medical research.
- Disinfect the hospitals. Robots in developed countries did this during the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Deliver supplies like medicines and food to patients who have contagious diseases.
EHRs, mobile app technology, telemedicine and robotics are just the tip of the iceberg when we consider the tech tools in the healthcare industry. All the tech tools were invented to fill a gap in the industry. Isn’t necessity the mother of invention?