As technology continues to advance, healthcare is one of the areas where it can thrive. With constant updates in equipment, surgical procedures, and other arenas, healthcare is always a marketplace for innovation and improvement. Take a look at some of the ways that technology is spilling into today’s healthcare industry.
Healthcare providers’ schedules are filling up with patients who need medical care. With the changes in the Affordable Care Act, more patients now have health insurance than ever before, which means that clinics are getting busier. As a result, many healthcare providers are looking to expand their services to include telemedicine. With this technology, a patient can sit in front of the screen of a computer or mobile device and chat face-to-face with a doctor via video conferencing. This provides a faster way to diagnose medical problems, and a provider can offer this service from anywhere at any time.
2. Mobile Apps
Apps for smartphones and tablets are providing patients with options to take control of their own personal health and overall well-being. Healthcare providers are always pushing for this in order to minimize and reduce health conditions. Mobile apps can allow users to count calories, track medications, and measure heart rate. Some electronic medical records systems also offer patients access to lab results and a messaging center where they can communicate directly with office staff. Wearable trackers are also great tools in improving health, since users might go the extra mile, literally, in order to reach step goals and stay active.
3. Increased Patient Security
In November 2013 Kaiser Permanente reported that the protected health information of 49,000 patients had been compromised due to a security breach. The problem is that personal patient records are generally stored on computers located within a clinic. If a thief steals a computer from a medical office and is able to hack into the records system, he or she has access to every patient who has ever been seen there. Nearly 70% of healthcare security breaches are caused by physical theft or loss of assets, so moving to cloud storage might offer a solution to these problems.
4. Doctor Rating Systems
If you perform a simple web search with the name of your healthcare provider, you can probably find some information about his or her practice, location, and focus. Another option is to look up reviews from other patients who can share their own experiences with that particular doctor. This helps drive providers to produce higher satisfaction ratings among their patients so that they can continue to draw new patients to their practice.
5. Focus on the Patient Experience
Many healthcare systems around the country are taking a closer look at their processes and trying to make them more patient-focused. They use technological advancements, such as mobile technology, patient portal access, and other innovations in order to help the patient feel more in control of his or her own health. Many people are choosing careers in healthcare because of the stability and growth, so check out UIC Online to learn more about degrees in health informatics and health information management.
Technology certainly has a prominent place in healthcare, and its role continues to grow and change as new innovations come into the marketplace.