The introduction of computers led to a sedentary lifestyle associated with moderate psychological distress, high blood sugar levels, back pain and negative mood. The explanation is more than simple: people started spending more time sitting down that moving around and this takes a toll on their physical and mental health. Therefore, it might be ironic to say that technological innovations took by storm the healthcare environment leading to significant improvements in what concerns search equipment, diagnostic techniques, communication between doctors and their patients, treatment options for different illnesses, regardless of the severity and prediction of life expectancy. Well, as ironic as it may sound, the truth is that technology makes people healthier. However, this article does not focus on individuals, but on healthcare organizations that handle data collection and thorough research for impeding diseases from spreading, find cures, develop devices that promote a healthy body like the pacemaker and identify diseases early for immediate action. Most importantly, technology enables augmented patient care.
Technology enables the remote delivery of healthcare services
More specifically, portal technology gives patients access to their medical files and allows them to book appointments, obtain test results and interact online. On the other hand, doctors can also benefit from access to any patient’s medical files, regardless of their location. We cannot overlook the breakthrough of telemedicine, which refers to enabling doctors around the world to join forces and share knowledge in order to establish an accurate diagnosis and save the life of a patient. The primary purpose of telemedicine was to help the most unfortunate ones, namely remote communities who did not had specialized doctors to cure innocent people on their dying bed. Nevertheless, its purpose changed soon because of the small number of doctors in the province. Virtual healthcare consists in providing remote treatment quickly and efficiently. We cannot overlook another perquisite resulted from advanced technology, which is high-tech monitoring. Mobile devices facilitate significantly medical procedures, whether we are talking about patient registration, lab tests and modern diagnostic technology.
How a healthcare organization uses technology from day to day
Curiosity enhances learning so we have to wonder: what exactly happens in a healthcare organization relying almost fully on technological innovation? Well, the first thing that people see when first walking into a hospital is, you probably already guessed, technology: computers, MRI scanners, X-ray machines and research equipment. In one room, a few individuals spend time finding cures to various ailments. In the emergency department, people barging in without prior appointment endure unbearable physical pain and doctors hurry to give them proper treatment by using the machines available. In another hospital room, one patient receives the news that he can finally go home after undergoing a complex surgery made possible due to technology. At the same time, a doctor place a device inside a patient’s body to impede heart spams. Such a little device – pacemaker – can become a life-saving tool for individuals suffering from heart problems, no matter their age. Should we even mention that medical advances like vaccinations practically eradicated smallpox and made polio treatable?
Technological breakthroughs that can shape the future of medicine
This article focuses on the specific ways technology revolutionized and maximized efficiency in the healthcare fieldby approaching artificial intelligence (AI), healthcare trackers, sensors and wearables, augmented and virtual reality, robotics, 3D-printing, drug development and nanotechnology. The utilization of artificial intelligence can lead to amazing discoveries that can even treat the Ebola virus. It seems quite obvious that technological trends have the purpose of empowering the patient by giving him the chance to use numerous mobile devices for taking care of their own body, from weight to stress management.
Augmented reality gives medical students the possibility to witness real-life operations and improve their skills. For instance, reconstructing tumors in 3D practically gives the surgeon an X-ray view. Virtual reality allows them to comprehend better the natural process of ageing. Robotics, which is a growing field of healthcare, helps paralyzed patients walk again and facilitate the rehabilitation of those who suffered spinal cord injuries. Drug development and 3D printing seem self-explanatory and for this reason, we are going to move on to something more exciting, namely nano devices and nano particles, which could soon deliver medications, perform surgeries and treat cancer. Should we even mention human head transplants?
Fighting the dark side of technology with…technology
Even though the impact of technology on healthcare is mostly positive, we cannot overlook the dark side of this inevitable advancement. We are not talking about people searching o the internet answers to their medical conditions and using the information displayed without seeking professional advice. The availability of big data and easy accessibility of information is extremely helpful for doctors, but what about the security challenges faced by healthcare organizations. Yes, they use cisco equipmentto create a fortress for patients’ personal data, but is it enough to have peace of mind? In order to maintain a high security level, such organizations must control the access to such data. For instance, whether we are talking about hospitals or insurance companies, numerous people within that organization benefit from access to patients’ medical record in order to perform their tasks. However, not all those employees are permanent or reliable.
Furthermore, since the medical staff constantly uses mobile devices for various procedures, they have to encrypt them in order to protect the sensitive information inside in case they misplace or lose them. Medical equipment is also vulnerable to certain threats, mostly because healthcare organizations cannot scan them for malware. If a worm manages to spread through a hospital’s network, it can find shelter inside medical devices. Obviously, the IT team must take immediate action and clean everything, but the worm can lead to serious damage. The irony is that healthcare organizations have just one solution available: use technology to fight such dangers threatening the already implemented technology and consequently, maximize security.
In conclusion, we can state that technological innovation changes the healthcare system dramatically over the years, mostly increasing the efficiency and reliability level.