Over the last two decades, the introduction of technology in almost every industry has increased efficiency and accessibility. Healthcare is also one of the industries which have made room for these technological advancements. There was a time when cardiologists had no way to keep track of a person’s cardiac health and the only way you could get treatment was by traveling miles to see a doctor as there was no alternative. This all sounds strange because technology has found pragmatic solutions to all these problems.
Technology in healthcare has provided solutions for both patients and providers. The introduction of technology to healthcare has significantly improved the quality of healthcare and shorten the treatment process. Now patients can just look up their symptoms on the internet and it instantly gives you a list of doctors suitable to your needs. It has also improved transparency in the healthcare system. Now customers can leave reviews about doctors and healthcare facilities online which makes it easier to make the right choice. This has also increased the accountability of healthcare providers.
The integration of technology in healthcare is majorly done through breakthroughs in biotechnology. Biotech is now one of the most heavily funded fields in the world. Screening tests, x-rays, medical imaging, etc. are the major breakthroughs that everyone is aware of. However, now innovators and technicians have taken the role of technology in healthcare to a whole new level.
Telemedicine enables patients to consult with their doctors online through different platforms and receive a diagnosis. This has reduced the friction in communication between patients and doctors. In earlier times, people who lived in remote areas died due to a lack of healthcare facilities. It was impossible to get a consult or get a prescription without traveling to a hospital. Telemedicine has solved this long-standing problem and made the whole process a lot easier for patients and providers alike. This phenomenon is now being used all around the world and doctors can now assist in surgeries and provide healthcare in remote areas.
Robotic surgeries have revolutionized healthcare by improving the surgical process for healthcare providers. Robotic surgeries are performed by surgeons who are trained to use robotic instruments that they can control through a console. These surgeries result in a low rate of risk in patients due to the high accuracy of the process. With the evolution of robotic surgeries, surgeons are able to perform highly complex surgeries with minimally invasive procedures. Patients who undergo robotic surgeries have been reported to have low blood loss, lower rate of infection, and less pain as compared to traditional procedures. Robotic surgeries have also allowed surgeons to operate on areas like the brain or spine, which were considered impossible to reach by surgeons. These surgeries are now possible due to the delicacy and precision of robotic surgeries.
Virtual reality is not just limited to gaming. Different fields including healthcare and benefitted from this invention. Virtual reality is being used all around the globe for immersive medical training. Surgeons and medical professionals use VR to train and polish their surgical skills before they operate on patients. A lot of high—risk procedures are done after the surgeons have undergone the whole scenario using VR. This also helps in predicting a more accurate rate of risk in patients. It is also used to improve the life of patients by improving pain management. VR is used as an immersive therapy to distract patients from their pain without putting them on any drugs. It has also helped doctors in treating trauma patients. VR is used to treat PTSD by recreating the traumatic experience of patients in a controlled environment so they can confront their fears. VR is also used in rehabilitation therapies to help patients stay committed to the process.
Electronic Health Records (EHRs):
EHR is a process used to digitalize the patient’s medical records. These records can only be accessible by healthcare providers and patients with authorization from patients. This allows the doctor’s office to be more efficient in protecting these records and avoids violation of privacy. Due to Electronic health records, doctors can now make their offices more efficient by outsourcing different services. Healthcare providers can now outsource medical billing services, appointment scheduling, front desk calling, and communicate with pharmacies easily. These processes result in a more efficient office, reduced medical billing costs, improved account receivables for medical services, and clear communication between different healthcare facilities.
Health care apps:
Healthcare mobile apps App-industry is a billion-dollar industry that is on a growth trajectory. There are 6.92 billion smartphone users in the world and these stats have made a tech revolution possible. A lot of industries, brands, and companies have made their own apps to connect with their users. There was a time when e-commerce was just thought of as a selling place for tangible goods. But, in recent years, the service industry has digitized its existence. Most of the service industries like transport, delivery, food, banking, travel, entertainment, etc. have launched their own apps.
Healthcare has also invested heavily in the app industry. It was very challenging for the developers to convince users to trust these apps at the start. How can an app cure me? They needed to integrate the phenomenon of healthcare apps into the already existing system. They collaborated with doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, and other healthcare facilities to bring credibility to their apps. Slowly, more and more people started using apps to book appointments, look up their lab results, and access their medical profiles.
These apps also collaborated with brands that launched wearable technology for healthcare. These brands included Fitbit, Samsung, Apple, Google, and Sanofi increased and helped in increasing their publicity. Now there is a wide variety of healthcare apps which includes medical apps like personal health record apps, women’s health apps, AI-powered diagnostic apps, and fitness apps like diet and nutrition apps, exercise apps, lifestyle apps, meditation apps, etc. The contribution of technology in healthcare is going to increase with time as the quality of life and healthcare is a common concern all around the globe. It will be very intriguing to see more innovations in the coming years aimed to improve the healthcare system.