Technology has revolutionized every business niche, and healthcare is no exception. Research and process innovation have improved the quality and accessibility of healthcare services for patients around the world. Not only has this reduced the incidence and lethality of diseases, but it is also helping people live better and healthier lives. And it continues to do so. How? Listed below are some ways technological innovations continue to revolutionize healthcare.
While on-campus learning is still common and practitioners are required to complete a minimum number of credits, technology and the internet have undoubtedly transformed healthcare-related education. Aspiring professionals and practitioners can now pursue health-related degrees at both the undergrad and post-grad levels via numerous distance learning opportunities.
Not only do these courses fast-track the process, but they also provide students with a more diverse range of health-related subjects to choose from. These opportunities also make it easy for professionals to acquire new skills while still working. These improvements have profoundly impacted the treatment methods clinical staff uses and the processes non-clinical staff employ to optimize service delivery and patient outcomes.
The medical profession would not be where it is today without the dedication and commitment of healthcare researchers who spend months, years, and even decades conducting studies. Advancements in data collection have made medical research considerably easier. And with the correct analytical tools, researchers can now develop improved medication and methods to treat patients.
We have seen breakthroughs in the fight against COVID-19 and vaccine development, thanks to technology and medical research. After the recent events, scientists are now exploring antibody discovery platforms and other advanced methods for immunization and developing treatments for other viral diseases via research. Information-sharing enables these developments to be shared globally, especially in countries more severely affected by health crises. It helps to improve the level of care underprivileged people can receive.
Screening and diagnostics
In the past, doctors had a tough time ruling out one illness from another. Not only did patients show several overlapping symptoms, but co-morbidities made making a proper diagnosis significantly harder. As a result, countless people died because they did not receive the correct diagnosis or treatment on time.
Fortunately, technological innovations in healthcare have increased the number and quality of screening tools and equipment. Patients can now receive the correct diagnosis and treatment for their health issues on time.
Health-tech has made treatment for once life-threatening conditions more manageable and safe. Imagine how many people would have died because of curable diseases such as tuberculosis or pneumonia. What was once a death sentence is nothing more than a slightly uncomfortable treatment plan spanning over a few weeks. Similarly, radiation and chemotherapy have increased the chances of survival for cancer patients.
Sophisticated and technological innovations superior treatment options have helped increase the overall quality of service in healthcare. Moreover, the number of people surviving life-threatening conditions has also increased. While diseases such as cancer and AIDS are still incurable, doctors are able to help patients manage symptoms of these conditions more efficiently.
Electronic health records
With countless people receiving treatment worldwide, one can imagine how hard it would be to maintain accurate records of all these patients. Patient history is essential for planning and managing treatments and medical research. However, how does a healthcare facility do that when they have such a large influx of patients annually? Simple, by ditching paper and adopting EHRs. IT solutions enable healthcare practitioners and administrative staff to store confidential and essential information on computer storage systems.
Gone are the days of manually recording and storing information in files, cabinets, and storerooms. Password-protected cloud-based solutions are the new way to keep patients’ data. Not only are EHRs helpful in maintaining patient confidentiality and efficient information management, but they’re also eco-friendly.
Telehealth has amassed a significant amount of popularity over the last few months, primarily because of the pandemic. The fear of contracting infections forced patients and healthcare providers to turn to alternative methods of receiving/providing treatment. Patients can now easily book an appointment with their primary care providers online and speak to them from the comfort of their homes. No more waiting for months in long appointment queues.
The mental health industry, in particular, has benefitted immensely from the rise in Telehealth facilities. With the help of teletherapy, psychologists and counselors are helping patients cope with mental health issues by providing guidance online. Therapeutic principles remain the same. The only difference is that there might be a slight lack of interpersonal contact. That said, Telehealth is not a permanent solution to replacing doctor visits.
Bridging the gap with insurance companies
Health insurance companies and hospitals have clear lines of communication now. With the help of coders, claiming insurance and receiving reimbursements has become easier than before. Patients do not have to struggle to collect medical bills and months for insurance providers to repay.
Patients also don’t need the added headache of contacting their insurance representatives when they or their loved ones need treatment. Healthcare providers sort it all out according to patients’ diagnostics, treatment plans, and healthcare coverage plans. Coders make comprehending the medical issues considerably more straightforward, and insurance companies provide compensation based on their understanding of the issue through coding.
Technological innovations continues to play a crucial role in improving the delivery of quality healthcare services and patient outcomes. It does so in numerous ways. Distance learning has increased the diversity of topics to study and the overall knowledge base and skillsets of healthcare professionals. Data collection and analytical tools, and information sharing have drastically improved research in healthcare leading to many breakthroughs. It has also impacted screenings, diagnosis, and treatment of numerous conditions that were once difficult to manage. EHRs have revolutionized the way patient information is stored. With the help of coders, insurance companies can use this data t fast-track payments. Collectively, these innovations continue to improve the healthcare industry and the lives of people across the world.
Also read about: How are Digital Technologies Fueling the Manufacturing Process?