Technological advances in healthcare are saving countless patients and continuously improving the quality of life. Advances in medical tech have had a massive impact on virtually all the practices and processes in healthcare. Even though technology offers remarkable benefits to both patients and practitioners, it also comes with its share of risks. In this post, you will learn the benefits and risks associated with advances in medical technology.
Benefits of Advances in Medical Tech
As with other aspects, technological advances in medicine are rapidly changing things that were done manually in the healthcare industry. As such, developments in medical tech have been a game-changer in the industry. Here are some of the benefits of technological advances in the healthcare industry.
1. Digitization of Health Records
Although paper-based data collection is still in use to some extent, the industry is switching to electronic storage which simplifies the creation of medical history records. The old, paper-based system required medical practitioners to create and complete files for patients often resulting in a long wait time to collect and update data. Apart from the actual digitization of basic patient information, technicians and nurses can input patient data like test results, weight and vital signs into the digital system.
Thus, technology is making it easy to update patient data as time progresses. As well, technology is positively influencing the healthcare administrative side since it provides a way to schedule appointments, update patient records with diagnostic codes and submit medical claims. Medical tech is making it easier to evaluate patients and offer effective treatments.
Technological advancement has brought the healthcare industry to a new level of progress and revolution. With the development in technology, the healthcare industry comes across improved and complex devices. Advanced technology plays a very important role in the advancements in the healthcare industry. It has given way to easier and quicker treatment of patients. The advancement in technology made it possible for doctors to use digital imaging systems, computerized X-rays, and ultrasound images, to monitor and diagnose patients.
Healthcare has been evolving throughout centuries. In these years, there have been a number of breakthroughs that have revolutionized the treatment of diseases. Nowadays, people are more attentive towards their health. The use of technology has made their life highly easier. Various applications and devices are used to monitor health. Here, we will discuss how technology has made hospitals more advanced and benefited both the patients and doctors.
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How Technology helped to bring advancement in the healthcare industry
Technology is making the healthcare industry to be more effective, efficient, and safe for patients. Data and information are stored digitally, making it easy to manage the healthcare industry. Technology is used in almost all aspects of the healthcare industry. From the treatment of patients to the management of the healthcare industry, technology is making things easier.
There are various technological updates and advancements which have been made within the healthcare industry. Let’s look into them.
Because of the digital transformation of most medical institutions, nursing careers have become increasingly tech-based, and this has brought about both positive and negative changes to the nursing experience and the possible future of nursing. This article will discuss some of the significant impacts that technology is starting to have on nurses within the sector and how their experiences may be different from those of the generations that have come before them.
If you want to know what it is really like to be a nurse, you should know that all of your days will now be technology-centric. From the first days of their nursing journey, technology has become integral to the experience of those that are looking for a career in healthcare. Rather than attending a campus college or university, as many nurses did before them, now, the next generation of nurses are starting to harness technology to get the qualifications that they need. The development of online degrees allows nurses to meet the requirements of specific nursing job roles using the internet and a computer, with many renowned colleges deciding to allow remote students to complete their coursework solely online.
Online degrees operate by allowing student nurses to access materials and resources on the internet, such as lectures and notes, hand in coursework and conduct examinations electronically, and even speak to their tutors and other students on online forums and by email. For instance, Marymount University offers a range of nursing qualifications, including EDD Organizational Leadership, which can help to advance the careers of those who are looking for senior healthcare positions or who want to focus on nursing research.
Technology in Education
Not only this, but many physical colleges and universities use the internet to aid the study of nurses.
The technology that is used in education includes:
Learning management software
These have all becoming an integral part of most nursing courses worldwide. This technology can always help to give student nurses an engaging experience and allow them to get access to the best training materials. Not only this, but these types of technology can help student nurses to build their interpersonal and leadership abilities through the development of multiplayer and conferencing software, which can allow them to connect with each other, as well as with professionals in the sector.
By Abhinav Shashank, co-founder and CEO, Innovaccer.
U.S. healthcare is nowhere near what technology made us dream of a decade back. Healthcare technology was meant to act as a means of reducing costs, eliminating burnout, and making care delivery patient-centric. Cut to today, where a broken leg can cost a patient as much as $7,500, seven out of 10 physicians do not recommend their profession to anyone, and we rank poorly among other developed countries in terms of the number of preventable deaths.
Why did technology fail?
While disruptive technology solutions did flood healthcare in the last couple of decades, many of them required physicians to go the extra mile to comprehend those sophisticated systems. Today, physicians are still crunching large data files day in and day out, nurses are doubling up as technical executives, and patients are perplexed by the fact that their providers hardly have time for them.
It’s time for technology to care
If a technology solution is not assisting organizations in improving care quality, reducing costs, and optimizing utilization levels, then its very relevancy is questionable. Healthcare organizations need technologies that can help them actuate their data, realize their strategic goals, and bring patients closer to their providers.
Health IT solutions should make the lives of providers easier. Any health IT solution that puts an additional burden on providers is unjustified and unacceptable. Providers are not data analysts, and expecting them to train tirelessly to understand an IT system and spend a couple of hours each day navigating through complex interfaces can drastically reduce physician-provider time and pave the way for physician burnout.
In with ultimate integration. We need to bring together EHRs, PHMs, payer claims and HIEs and put it all in the palm of the providers’ hands. Whether it’s quality management or data management, it should be simple.
In with relevant insights right at the point of care. Providers are tired of wading through complicated EHRs and excel sheets. What we need now is to seize the nanosecond and realize truly automated care delivery that helps boost the clinical outcomes.
In with 100 percent transparency and bi-directional interoperability. Healthcare providers are often forced to access bits and pieces of electronic healthcare analytics and referrals on disparate applications. Physicians need to capture real-time care gaps, coding opportunities, patient education opportunities, and more; the only problem is that they don’t know how exactly to accomplish this. Providers should be able to capture the gaps in patient care right when they need to and enhance the patient experience of care.
In with true patient-centric care. Healthcare is not just providing episodic care to patients, it is about building relationships with them. In a world where the quality of care directly influences the financial success of an organization, providers should look forward to aligning the needs of their patients to their treatment procedures.
Healthcare of the 2020s needs reliable data activation platforms
“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” — Albert Einstein
Buzzwords like innovation, intelligence, and analytics make sense in today’s time; however, unless the user experience is seamless, the charisma of back-end development does little good for healthcare professionals.
We’re moving into an age of intelligence, and in this age, successful organizations do one thing right- they know the worth of their data. This is the same thing that we need to do in healthcare. Organizations have to switch from a makeshift approach to engage patients and find a concrete strategy that is suited to their advantage, but this needs to be done with the support of data.
While you may think of technology in terms of the CT scanner, the advancements made in recent years in cardiac monitors, portable x-ray equipment, sonography, bedside lab testing, even IV needles are all part of how tech is improving healthcare.
Just ask the medical staff of inpatient and outpatient rehab centers. Point of care testing allows blood testing to be done at the bedside. Results for electrolytes, hemoglobin and hematocrit, glucose, blood gases and several other essential blood tests can be in the doctor’s hands in the time it used to take to run the blood to the lab.
Every discipline of medicine is evolving because of the changes in technology. First, there were x-rays then CT scans and MRIs. Now PET scans routinely diagnose very early cancers because they scan the body at a cellular level, often finding tiny areas of increased activity that wouldn’t show up on a CT scan or MRI. Speaking of pets, tech has helped improve the health of our dogs and cats. Whether simply treating a constipated dog or detecting cancer in a cat, the same image scans that serve to help people are being used to help their pets. Robotic surgery sounds like science fiction, but the discipline is gaining acceptance everywhere. Very small incisions have replaced long scars as surgeons control miniaturized instruments from a monitor with magnification that enables very precise work.
Even common health problems, such as diabetes and asthma, are affected by improved technology. Advanced diabetic pumps and monitors help to control blood sugars more exactly as well as improving the quality of life for many diabetics. The newer asthma inhalers deliver a more accurate dose and are easier to use, especially for elderly and young patients.
Computers connect health care agencies and allow researchers to gather data in real time. The diagnosis of a case of influenza or meningitis can be reported to the CDC within minutes to hours, helping to stop the spread of epidemics.
By Ben Flock, chief healthcare strategist, TEKsystems.
As technology advances, so does the healthcare industry, with technological breakthroughs increasing the ability of healthcare professionals to serve their patients, record and transfer patient data and more efficiently complete other tasks necessary to keep the industry moving. IT services provider TEKsystems recently released the results of a survey that polled almost 200 healthcare IT leaders (e.g., IT directors, chief information officers, IT vice presidents and IT hiring managers) in late 2017/early 2018 on a range of key issues, including technology maturity, workforce planning, critical roles and the top trends shaping healthcare IT today.
The results revealed a shifting focus from IT leaders: healthcare is behind the curve on initiatives that have the potential to shape the industry going forward, including artificial intelligence (AI).
Business demand is driving both the interests of IT leaders and the prioritization of AI in healthcare. Value-based care, regulatory mandates and the consumer push for precision/personalized care are driving the business prioritization of AI. These results indicate that while IT leaders know AI in healthcare is the future, they are currently taking a cautious approach to utilizing the technology. This is very likely rooted in security concerns, as there are federal, state and even local mandates dictating the protection and privacy of patient data.
Although cautious, healthcare organizations are actually proceeding on the AI front. As evidence, survey data shows a high percentage of healthcare organizations are in the implementation, evaluation or refining stage with respect to specific technology applications that leverage AI – digital health systems (75 percent) and telemedicine (51 percent). This pragmatic approach to AI will continue, and healthcare organizations will address this emerging industry imperative by providing IT resources, as well as enabling platform technologies and repeatable solutions capabilities in secure applications and solutions that leverage artificial intelligence.
To ensure IT employees are aware of the need to be cautious when implementing AI initiatives, organizations must ensure adequate onboarding and ongoing risk and compliance (R&C) training is provided. An annual “check the box,” activity, R&C training isn’t enough to help employees and third parties manage risk appropriately. The best strategy is to implement a risk-based approach by focusing on higher risk functional areas with direct access to consumers and/or protected health information (PHI), and creating targeted training. Simple education and awareness tactics can dramatically improve compliance when employees and third parties understand how to apply teachings to their area.
Do you know how tech is disrupting the traditional healthcare market? Well, we do, and we have gathered all the information you need to know about this topic in one infographic. Today technology is constantly evolving and starting to take over surprising segments of our lives. The leading health tech accelerators, startups, companies and minds are doing their best to make this industry grow. Every day med tech makes people feel safe and more comfortable, it helps us to have more control over our health and body. We’ve made a research on the biggest challenges of the health tech sector, on global investment in health tech companies, on health tech influencers to follow, on the reasons of health tech industry growth and more interesting stuff.
It didn’t take much time for investors to see the perspectiveness of the health tech sector and to start investing in it. Such companies as Y Combinator, Dreamit Ventures, GE Ventures, Google Ventures, Rock Health and many others started to invest into dozens of health tech startups. At the same time a lot of different governmental programs were established, with the purpose to support health tech development and healthcare innovations. Canada founded a new $20 million Health Technology Innovation Evaluation Fund to support made-in-Ontario technologies. In Australia $4 million Mental Health Innovation Fund supports health tech startups to come up with health-driven innovations fighting with mental illness. At the same time, with $4.5 billion funding from the government, 2015 became the year of digital health for the US.
The biggest challenges of the health tech sector are: difficulty of market entry for new generation drugs; misuse of USB ports can cause medical devices to malfunction; robotic surgery: complications because of insufficient training; and other factors. A lot has been done yet there is still much to accomplish. So the following infographic about health tech and its role in healthcare industry attempts to give you important information in a creative way. We hope you’ll like it.
Is there an unspoken fear among caregivers that the subtext of all this digital disruption is a devaluation of the human element?
In countless industries, workers and analysts alike watch the slow march of technology and innovation and see as inevitable the takeover of human tasks by robots, AI, or other smart systems. We watched as the threat of outsourcing transformed into a reality of automation in industrial sectors, saw drones take on countless new roles in the military and in commerce, and now we hear about how driverless cars, self-checkout kiosks, and even robotic cashiers in restaurants are all waiting in the wings to dive in and displace even more formerly human occupations.
And looking at how EHRs — by virtue of their cumbersome workflows alone, not to mention all the documentation and growing emphasis on analytics and records-sharing–are taking flack for burnout and frustration in hospitals across the country, it hardly seems a reach to suggest that maybe America’s caregivers are feeling not just burdened by technology, but threatened.
Digital records are already changing what doctors and nurses do, how they work, and what is expected of them — it must surely be only a matter of time before their roles start getting handed over to the robots and supercomputers … right?
Change, Not Replacement
While some jobs or roles may face elimination through automation, the more common effect is transformation. In healthcare, that may mean that for many their title is the same — perhaps even the education and certification standards that go along with it–but their actual functions and roles in context will be different.
We see this already with respect to EHRs. The early, primitive documentation workflows and reporting obligations have drawn ire from clinicians who see their autonomy under attack by digital bureaucracy. But this is naturally destined for correction; medicine has advanced through trial and error for centuries, and the 21st century is no different.
All of these trends point to the medical lab as a newly central component of the modern care center, treatment plan, and information hub. The demands all these new technologies and applications put on laboratory professionals requires them to do more learning, adapting, and leading than ever before, especially to integrate the latest and greatest devices and tests available.
Simply put, machines are still fallible, and require assistance in providing critical context, to supplement their ability to accurately read, diagnose, and self-regulate to ensure accuracy and consistency, not to mention proper application in the clinical setting.
TapCloud creates a real-time stream of data that enables care teams to quickly grasp whether a patient is getting better or worse, assess the effectiveness of treatments and medications and identify the onset of emerging complications. TapCloud is currently being used in settings from single practitioner to national hospital systems.
TapCloud allows patient’s and provider’s to communicate in ways never before possible to improve the doctor/patient relationship, focus clinicians on patients that need the most attention and insure that the patients that require services receive them in a timely manner to maximize health benefits to the patient (including quality of life, not just physical issues) and minimize the expenditure of health resources.
TapCloud is a solution for gathering key patient information in between clinical visits. There are two parts to the TapCloud solution: a patient facing instructional and information collecting APP and a web-based clinician dashboard. Typical use is for patients to follow/consume their provider-based care plan/educational info and enter their well-being, pain levels, symptoms, side effects, medication compliance and vitals into the APP (unique design allows patients to complete this in less than 1 minute per day). This information is then presented in a comprehensive dashboard that allows clinicians to rapidly interpret key insights into a patients overall well-being. Based on this patient reported information, clinical protocols will dictate if any specific patient needs to be seen, have a home health visit or meds adjusted, etc.
Our CEO, Tom Riley, is a former health insurance executive who spent the past 25 years living at the intersection of healthcare and technology. A few years ago, after his mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, his experience with the healthcare system became much more personal as he became a primary caregiver for her. During that time he attended office visits with his mom on a regular basis, and discovered that there is an inherent gap in communications between the way doctors organize/accept information from patients, and the way patients organize and deliver information to their doctors and other clinical staff.
Over and over again, he found himself serving as a translator between his mom and her doctors. He would help his mom by creating easy to understand checklists of things she was supposed to be doing each day, activity, medications, etc. And he would help the doctors by keeping track of his mom’s symptoms and watching for developing complications and then making sure that the information was shared during her appointments. It frequently made a significant impact on the diagnosis of issues, and the assessment of treatment effectiveness. It also helped his mom regain a measure of “quality of life” by making sure that even non-critical complications like chronic constipation were identified and addressed.
After his mom passed away, he decided to devote his time to taking what he had learned first-hand and developing a solution to improve patient-doctor communications in acute-care settings like post-surgical recovery and chemotherapy and since has morphed into a chronic disease management solution as well. TapCloud runs on smart-phones and tablets and includes personalized services for the patient, helping them organize and customize generic discharge/care plan instructions into a personalized daily plan for them to follow. At the same time, the technology uses a sophisticated, but incredibly easy to use, interface to probe for indications of developing complications and/or medication side-effects. It allows clinicians to effectively monitor patient progress remotely and focus their attention on the right patients. It also ensures that doctors are aware of all of the issues affecting a patient, not just the life-threatening ones that have their patients end up in the ED or admitted to the hospital without them even realizing their patients were experiencing any issues.
Guest post by Devin Jollimore, training coordinator, Mission Safety Services.
We live in an age where the use of technology dominates our lives and these technological developments have had an amazingly positive impact on the healthcare industry. Healthcare technology has heavily influenced the improvement in our health and the increased life expectancy we are seeing today.
In particular, the progress we have made in cancer research and the greater survival rates have been heavily influenced by developments in technology. It’s amazing that healthcare technology played a role in saving 1.2 million lives between 1991 and 2009 thanks to progress in cancer treatments and detection.
Malaria is thought to have killed more people than all wars put together and technology is helping reduce this startling statistic. Something as simple as a bed net with insecticide has reduced malaria in children under 5 by 20 percent.
Also, stem cell research has limitless possibilities to save lives. We are still progressing with this development, but diseases, such as heart disease and Alzheimer’s, may be hugely reduced through stem cell research and we are already making good progress.
Let’s not forget the importance of the Internet and how it has increased healthcare efficiency. Healthcare facilities are reaching patients through social media and doctors have access to thousands of medical books at the touch of a button.
This infographic from Mission Safety Services outlines the progress we have made, the work that is being done, and possible future developments in technology that have potential to make real change.