Technology is considered to be the driving force behind improvements in healthcare and when you look at the amount of changes over the last couple of years, it is hard to disagree with that. This is how digital technology is changing healthcare.
Improved patient care
With mobile technology, a lot more things are now possible, especially for patients and caregivers. Users can, for example, research information online, share experiences, and identify treatment options.
These new technologies give them more control over their health and makes them less dependent on doctors and hospitals for health information. Also, the opportunities for using mobile technology have improved a lot over the last few years, supported by health apps and with the growing population of users with smartphone and tablet, even among elderly people.
Other outstanding developments are ‘bio-sensing’ wearables, such as blood pressure monitors, glucose sensors and patient and provider access to real-time healthcare information.
A lot of digital technology is improving healthcare and giving caregivers and patients a more positive experience with healthcare facilities. However, there are some side notes with these developments. For example, the quality of these healthcare apps can be questioned, in the same way as reliability, data overload, privacy and security. The cost-effectiveness of technology however has given a more positive review than before.
Electronic Health Records (EHRs)
The introduction of Electronic Health Records (EHRs), in replacing paper records has been a huge game changer in the healthcare industry. Medical assistants, medical records and health information technicians, medical billing and registered nurses are just a part of the healthcare roles that were impacted by this change. Nurses and technicians are now responsible for inputting patient data into a central, digitized system. This development has made sure that patient care has become easier and more automatic. HER can for example automatically alert a doctor or nurse to potential issues, such as allergies or intolerances to certain medicines. Next to that, EHRs can be accessed in any medical facility, which is extremely useful for doctors to access their medical history.
Lower Healthcare Costs
Digital technology has caused some serious costs reduction in healthcare, such as in ways as, automate administrative tasks for efficient use of physicians’ time, lower staffing costs by using scheduling apps and improved claims processing and collections.