Technological Advacements are Transforming Health Care
Technology plays a direct and impactful role in health care. It’s one of those industries that thrives on technological achievement, and through technology more people are treated and cared for. Technology creates connections between doctors and doctors and doctors and patients. Moreover, it directly correlates to new innovations and tools that help speed up services; simply put, continuing technological achievement in health care can only improve medicine and the way it’s implemented in society.
One important factor to note is that technology is constantly changing: new technologies are being released daily, and it’s important that doctors’ offices, hospitals, pharmacies, and other health care institutions keep up. This isn’t something health care providers need to do on their own. There are health care consulting services that specialize in technology advancements, such as telecommunications technology.
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Telemedicine and Online Information
Among the most notable advancements in medicine is telemedicine, which is when doctors provide their services virtually. For people living in third-world countries, this gives them access to doctors in more developed nations. Telemedicine can refer to virtual visits, e-health, telehealth, and e-visits. Health care institutions can also create databases of important information, such as self-care or disease prevention. This online information can be accessed by other doctors and/or patients.
Electronic Medical Records
Medical billing and coding used to be a paper-based system, but today it’s mostly computerized. This means important information can be saved on the cloud, which means there’s little to no chance it can be lost or destroyed. Electronic medical records put a patient’s information right at the doc’s fingertips, which is extremely beneficial especially in emergency room situations when the patient is incapacitated and cannot answer questions about their medical history.
In terms of disease, there is one accessible record that stands out and that’s the ICD-10 (International Statistical Classification of Diseases). It is a growing database of the world’s diseases and helps medical professionals and patients determine if a disease is present in an area, its mortality rate, and other diagnostic information.
Online databases can predict medical trends, which can help medical professionals track disease and other ailments. For example, Google statistics are commonly researched to determine if there is a flu outbreak. The search queries give a good idea of how many people are sick in an area; although, not everyone who Googles flu actually has it, so this information is weighed against other researched data to make estimates.
It used to be that health and illness could only be measured and analyzed in small groups during times of outbreak. New technology has changed the way health care workers gather data for population science, and has allowed them to evaluate larger groups of people. “When the entire population is considered, issues such as cancer, heart disease, and obesity are a growing epidemic,” reports The Huffington Post in an article titled How Technology is Changing the Medical and HealthCare Field. “Population science can allow doctors to look at a large-scale way to cure these epidemics instead of just treating an individual.”
Outreach Using Social Media
Health care facilities have learned they can use social media to reach more of the population; for example, hospitals are using social media to answer patient questions, launch public awareness campaigns, and make contact with patients. If there’s a flu outbreak, tweet it or post it to Facebook; this gets the word out.
All health care professionals can attest to the importance of email, video conferencing, texts, and other forms of online communications, but it’s the connection health care professionals make with each other that is truly changing lives. Doctors can consult experts anywhere in the world to research, diagnose, or treat conditions without travel; that’s the amazing thing about telemedicine, it connects health care professionals which can be lifesaving.