The COVID-19 pandemic emphasized the significance of technology. The healthcare sector, in particular, saw massive disruptions caused by the pandemic and was able to quickly adapt by integrating technological advances in work processes and operations.
The healthcare industry has seen significant improvements in its workflows with the advancement in technology. Healthcare organizations now use software solutions to track and monitor resources, such as the number of beds, inventory, medicines, ventilators, and other equipment and instruments. With the use of software programs, healthcare facilities can swiftly respond to and overcome emergencies.
The healthcare sector has already seen massive growth in the implementation of technology. This is because advanced software provides firms with numerous advantages. Let's explore some benefits of technology in healthcare.
Digitalizing Health Records
One of the major advantages of implementing technology is digitalizing patient and staff records into electronic systems. With this change, healthcare organizations can avoid the hassles of maintaining, recording, and storing manual records, which consistently need to be updated and forwarded to medical professionals.
However, with Electronic Health Record (EHR) technology, healthcare organizations can streamline their processes and provide patients with a quick and error-free service. Digitalized records are easy to update, share, and store. This approach is also quite cost-effective, as hospitals can cut down on storage and stationery purchases that are integral for paper-based records.
Implementing At-Home DNA Testing
Technology has also made it possible for healthcare service providers to extend at-home DNA testing at an economical price point. With cost-effective sequencing technology, medical professionals can make progress in exploring the study of genetics.
For instance, the human genome project, which was initiated in 2003, changed the landscape in genetic research. The research was carried out for thirteen years, during which the mapping of the human genome was studied. The outcome included decoding three billion base pairs within the 23 chromosomes present in the human body.
Similarly, technology has advanced even more now, which has made it much simpler to carry out large-scale DNA testing. As a result, scientists and researchers can use state-of-the-art technology to find cures for genetic problems that become the basis of inherited diseases.
The implementation of technology can also pave the way for research around gene modification and changes in DNA sequences, which can revolutionize healthcare.
The integration of technology can also optimize communication between medical teams and patients. Emails, VoIP video-based communications, and the use of healthcare applications make it extremely easy for patients to book appointments, seek medical advice, and consult with a healthcare professional remotely. This is especially helpful during the pandemic, as remote consultations can reduce the risks of infection and transmission.
Similarly, medical experts can also use online platforms to share experiences and take opinions from other professionals when dealing with complex cases.
Unfortunately, the healthcare industry is not as receptive to technology as other sectors. This is primarily due to the regulatory restrictions that mandate the healthcare service providers to ensure the protection of patients' privacy and records. However, the advancements in technology and cybersecurity have now paved the way for healthcare sectors to safeguard vulnerable information and ensure the complete protection of sensitive patient data.
Medical Training In Simulated Environments
Technological advancements also provide convenience to medical professionals and trainees. With online teaching platforms, and simulated environments using VR technology, students in the medical industry can hone their skills in a simulated, real-life-like reality. In fact, research by Harvard Business Review showed that surgeons trained using VR showed a 230% improvement in skills than those trained using traditional methods.
The use of virtual reality also provides several benefits to patients as well. Soothing simulated environments have proven to reduce the degree of pain in women in labor, as well as patients undergoing gastrointestinal, cardiac, neurological, and post-surgical procedures.
Augmented Reality for Medical Training
The use of augmented reality facilitates the training of medical students. AR enables surgeons and healthcare professionals to hone their skills in a semi-simulated environment. In AR, users are able to keep track of reality while being able to alter and control the simulated reality. For instance, students can use Microsoft's HoloLens technology to educate themselves on a detailed, descriptive, and life-like depiction of human anatomy with the HoloAnatomy application.
Health Trackers Promoting Independence
The integration of technology is promoting independence with wearable devices, trackers, and health sensors. With devices like Fitbit Ionic, individuals can track their heart rate, sleep time, and workout performance. Similarly, patients suffering from cardiac-related problems can also use wearable devices, including Viatom CheckMe Pro. This technology can assess ECG, heart rate, oxygen saturation, temperature, and blood pressure, among others.
The use of technology in the healthcare division is growing due to the vast majority of benefits it offers. By integrating the latest tech, healthcare professionals can easily digitalize all their records, progress in genetic research, streamline communication, facilitate better training, and provide independence to patients with health trackers and sensors.