Impact of Technology on Healthcare
Technology is one of the most dynamic and exciting areas in the world today. Despite its many benefits, it has crept into our lives without much thought as to what it will actually do for us. Technology affects healthcare by focusing on several different aspects such as how technological advances have changed the way people live their lives, the ways that psychiatric treatments have been affected by these changes, and how we can look forward to an increased potential for medical advancements.
Credit: Vidal Balielo Jr. | Source: Pexels
Technology has been the backbone of healthcare for decades. First, it was the hospital mainframes that were used to compile patient records and manage medical responses. Then it started becoming computerized, with physicians taking care of patients in their homes or remotely via video chat. Now, telemedicine can help people across the world live healthier lifestyles by assessing their health data and providing online coaching solutions from a remote location. The industry needs to be proactive about adopting new forms of technology to keep up with medicine's rapid evolution.
The human body is a complex machine. While the human capacity to heal is immense, it is nonetheless at its best when put under the care of an expert. According to Mr. David Chmiel, a Denver-based dentist and chair of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the University of Colorado Denver School of Dentistry, not only do you need doctors in your life but also information technology that helps manage and organize your health records. According to him, healthcare professionals must build systems that help organize patients' medical records so that they can efficiently handle their cases.
Credit: Mart Production | Source: Pexels
A patient’s records can be an invaluable tool in finding ways to improve your healthcare. For one, you are the one who knows what you are going through and must help lead the way to better health. Dr. Robert Emanuel, a dental practice owner in Denver, Colorado, reiterated that there has been a shift towards a more patient-centric model for dentistry which makes your records as crucial as any other asset. He concluded that most people get turned away from the hospital because of their records and that doctors should ensure that their information technology (IT) systems provide access to healthcare so that patients can take control of their health.
Healthcare technology is not limited to the use of a doctor's pen and paper. The Western New York Surgery Center uses a chip-based electronic system called da Vinci Surgical System to help surgeons perform minimally invasive surgeries that minimize the trauma and pain experienced by patients. The da Vinci system enables doctors to control tiny robotic arms which in turn control delicate instruments, helping physicians wield greater precision during surgery. Technology has changed healthcare through the use of e-prescriptions for medications. This decreases the risk of errors due to handwriting problems or typed mistakes. Medical practitioners can comfortably treat their patients without worrying about legal suits in the case where patients purchased the wrong drugs based on handwriting issues.
Technology has changed healthcare by enhancing the use of text messages and apps to encourage healthy behaviors like using stairs instead of elevators regularly, drinking fluids when thirsty, and talking with their doctor about anxiety medication to minimize their risk of heart attack or stroke. Due to the increasing prevalence of technology in healthcare, there has been a concomitant growth in healthcare IT jobs as well. One such job is the IT support specialist. The healthcare IT Support Specialist is a person that supports the health information system and oversees computer systems by resolving technical issues.
They might be involved in data analysis, data entry, or clinical trials as well. This field requires excellent technical skills, knowledge of medical terminology and procedures, and customer service skills. The growth in this job market offers several opportunities for those who are looking to enter this field. Those who do so now stand to have many good years ahead of them in terms of career development and compensation potential. However, those who are looking to enter the field should know it is a highly competitive landscape.
Increased potential for medical advancements includes better treatment of diseases, genetic discoveries, and longer lifespans. But with the availability of these advancements also comes an increase in personalized medicine. More powerful than traditional treatments, personalized medicine is a complicated procedure that changes the way people are treated by manipulating their DNA to find what will best suit them.
Credit: National Cancer Institute | Source: Unsplash
The cost of this technology can be astronomical; the price for sequencing a person's genome can range from $10,000 to $80,000 or more. But if you’re ever faced with a cancer diagnosis or other serious medical problems like infertility or Alzheimer’s disease, you’ll want to speak with your doctor about whether medical intervention is worth it for you and your family. Personalized medicine works best when it’s used at the beginning stages of the disease, i.e., when symptoms are relatively mild. If you or a loved one has already experienced a few colds or a bout with the flu, it may be too late for personal-based medical advancements. When medical professionals can diagnose health problems earlier and choose the best treatment for their condition, patients can potentially lead better lives.
In the long run, humanity is advancing to develop a healthy world rid of diseases. There is a lot of investment and programs towards studies in understanding the human body and eliminating the disease-causing elements. Gene therapy and genetic engineering have demonstrated the potential of altering genes to deter disease development. In the near future, people will no longer be suffering from diseases as the healthcare technology integration will enhance their immunity and guide their behaviors to attain long lifespans. Nevertheless, governments, scientists, and organizations should collaborate to endorse research and run education programs to empower the population to adopt healthy lifestyles and trust the healthcare sector.