Technology is the driving force behind most advancements and innovations we are now enjoying in today’s world. It is everywhere you go. From your home to the school, office, or various establishments you come across daily and even in public transportation, technology is crucial in making all these things work efficiently and effortlessly. Another industry that is seldom talked about yet uses just as much complex technology, gadgets and gizmos you’ll have a hard time comprehending what’s it’s used for is the healthcare delivery system, specifically in hospitals.
If you’ve ever stepped inside a hospital, you’d be overwhelmed by the numerous apparatuses and machines that are required in running a hospital that saves lives 24/7. It’s true then that hospitals won’t work as efficiently as it does now without all these modern gadgets and contraptions you can only see in hospitals or in any healthcare setting where medical professionals see, care for, and treat/ manage patients almost on a daily basis. Gone were the days when hospitals were bare institutions that mostly rely on the human workforce to work magic on the sick bed.
Sensors, mobile devices, and related technologies are presenting new opportunities in health care to better diagnose, monitor, and manage patients and treatment. Many providers employ these technologies along a continuum of wellness and prevention, to therapeutic remedies and treatments for illness.
Thanks to rapid advances in technology, today our doctors can diagnose, monitor and consult a patient from a distance through advanced telemedicine technology, videoconferencing, remote monitoring and other methods.
Adoption of EMR (Electronic Medical Records) system has enabled the hospital and doctors to share patient health records such as prescriptions, lab reports, X-rays, CT, MRIs, Medical information through e-report by just a click.
While doctors still refer to patient’s charts when making rounds and giving out orders, many institutions have gone computerized, so a patient truly receives holistic care from everyone concerned with his/her treatment from admission to discharge. Since electronic medical records became the norm, healthcare delivery has never been the same. It has helped greatly considering the usual ratio of healthcare providers to patients, thereby making sure that no detail is left out and all records can be accessed with just a click of a button especially during emergencies regardless of the patient’s case or condition.
Advances in medical technology have fueled extraordinary quality improvements in US healthcare. Limitless technological innovation, however, is a primary driver of rising healthcare expenditures.1-3 This trajectory is no longer sustainable, and incentives in the Affordable Care Act—such as hospital value-based purchasing, readmission reduction, and accountable care organization programs—are prompting hospitals to contemplate a new phase of medical technology. The next generation of diagnostic and therapeutic solutions must simultaneously deliver higher-quality care and lower cost. Hospitals provide a central organizing function where many parts of the delivery system articulate. With the growing emphasis on value, hospitals are ideally positioned at the forefront of an information technology (IT) revolution that favors data synthesis over data generation.
Consider the evolution of medical imaging. The progression from x-ray to advanced modalities, such as computerized tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and positron emission tomographic scans, has enabled a more precise view of disease pathology and ultimately yielded better treatment decisions. The focus of an entire era of diagnostic technologies has been to create more and better images. Although successful in many respects, the history of medical imaging has had its trade-offs as well. Additional ionizing radiation from CT scans led to measurable increases in the incidence of various cancers,4,5 and false positive results necessitated subsequent therapies, often with unclear benefits for patients.6 Furthermore, the increasingly sophisticated and more abundant scanning techniques have added costs to the healthcare system.7,8
From assessment to treatment and rehabilitation, technology plays a crucial role in ensuring that doctors come up with the right diagnosis and treatment plan for the patient. We can’t stop these technologies used in the healthcare delivery system from evolving and improving with time because they are needed to fight off germs that are becoming drug-resistant and the long list of diseases and medical conditions brought about by our modern sedentary lifestyle. And considering that the tech industry is just warming up, we can expect much more mind-blowing innovations in the years to come because that’s where we all are definitely going.