Technology has become such an essential part of our existence in the 21st century. It will not be an exaggeration to say that removing it from life is near impossible. Every industry and aspect are under its influence.
Centuries old practices have enmeshed with technology to form something new. The archaic practices, even in the very isolated areas, are being replaced by smarter and more technical solutions. From the farming practices to the entertainment industry to everything in between, all enjoy a codependent relationship with technology.
Likewise has been its impact on the healthcare system. Completely revolutionizing its mundane to more challenging aspects, technology has a huge role to play in the way healthcare has progressed. There is a myriad of ways technology has changed and is changing healthcare, some of them have been enlisted below:
1- Digital Radiology
Although the field of radiology itself is a marvel of technology, however, the latest reforms have streamlined the process even more. Essentially, imaging technology is used to get a view of the body from inside and is necessary for all medical fields. However, there are many downsides to conventional film-based radiology.
These are now being catered to by the use of digital radiology. It ensures a high definition image, making diagnostics easier. Moreover, it also allows the doctor to manipulate the image, and thus have better understanding of the predicament. Most importantly, it decreases radiation exposure.
All the good facilities with the latest technology have started using digital radiology. Thus, anyone needing an X-Ray in Islamabad should opt for those labs with digital x-ray to minimize the exposure to dangerous rays.
2- Medical Research
The role of technology is very significant when it comes to research. Without carrying out proper research, advances in healthcare or medical science are impossible. However, it is also important to have fast paced solutions to keep up with the lifestyles today, which are enabled by the use of technology.
Hence, research uses all sorts of technology like artificial intelligence, soft computing etc. Modeling the bacteria and making subsequent drug simulations are necessary to understand the fundamentals of the problem. Likewise, disease simulation also paves way for important insights into the proliferation of the disease.
3- Cloud-based Record Keeping
Patient history is an essential part of the diagnosis process. However, it is rather tedious to write it down every time the same patient is admitted into the medical facility. Archiving is another issue, as there is great danger of losing all the data.
This issue is also resolved using technology. Cloud based data storage programs allow safe storage of information, does not waste man hours in re-writing the same history over and over again; rather, records can be quickly searched and fetched.
4- Removed logistically constraints
So much of doctors’ time gets wasted in commuting from one clinic to another. Whilst yes, some doctors need to physically examine the patients, others not so much. Thus, for all doctors for whom patient proximity is not important, they can communicate with patients via phone or video call.
Not only does it save time for patients and doctors alike, it also ensures doctor availability.
5- Wearable Body Sensors
There are many fancy gadgets that help people and patients monitor their stats. The wearable sensors are especially great for the elderly and ill, as these continuously keep track of the patients’ vitals, which can be then checked over by a nurse or a doctor.
It also thus helps to signal a timely alarm to the medical professional in case some vitals are not normal.
6- Cheaper and more accessible solutions
Not everyone can afford to pay the exorbitant medical charges. Not only the fee, but access to the doctor is also a problem. For a patient, it is extremely hard to make arrangements to visit the medical professional, especially those pressed for money.
Technology, on the other hand, has provided a better alternative of tele-health. This not only cuts down the costs, as such visits are cheaper than in-person doctor visits. It also makes the doctor have more global access to the patients.
7- Greater accountability
When the entire healthcare system gets shifted to a software, there is greater accountability for all the stakeholders involved. Doctors write their prescription that can be fetched anytime to ensure that there is no negligence. Finances can be monitored as well.
8- Less clerical work for the doctors
Just like records are kept digitally, likewise payment and similar information is also now, on account of technology, kept digitally. This makes it possible for the doctors and other essential staff to not worry about bookkeeping etc. but focus on their jobs.
They then can dispense better care to the patients when not bogged down by grunt work.
9- Health applications
Undoubtedly, the access to information has been greatly mediated by technology, which is especially important in healthcare. Patients can use these health applications to look up information, check their nutrient intake, look up the side-effects of the medication, amongst other things.
Some applications also help streamline the process of doctor appointments, send out reminders for taking medication etc. This makes the patient more knowledgeable, saves them unnecessary visits to the doctors and ensures better patient care.
10- Electronic Health Record
Technology has enabled patient data to be safely stored in digital format. This wealth of information thus helps health workers in devising better patient care. It aids the researches in studying trends and finding out the problem areas that ought to be catered to.
It also makes a centralized patient database where anyone can easily look up patient records and test reports without wasting precious time. So, for example, if you get an MRI in Lahore, you can send the digital records safely to your doctor located in another city or country even, through the centralized database software.