Advances in technology affect multiple aspects of our everyday lives. In many ways, technology informs the way we work, play, and do business. Companies involved in creating technological solutions thrive by addressing the needs and desires of large portions of the population.
Healthcare is one of society’s primary concerns and the healthcare industry eventually impacts virtually everyone on the planet. The increasing adoption of technology across the healthcare sector promises to change the way the system handles the challenges of keeping society healthy.
This article looks at the benefits of medical technology advances and how they impact the healthcare industry. We discuss why medical technology is important and show how medical technology has improved the lives of millions of people.
How Has Technology Improved Healthcare?
Medical technology has had positive impacts on the healthcare industry and enhanced its ability to address patient needs. The advantages encompass a wide range of factors from improving public health to lowering costs for healthcare providers. In some respects, the medical profession has been slow to adopt technology, but that is rapidly changing as the benefits to everyone involved in healthcare become impossible to ignore.
The prevalence of mobile devices for both healthcare practitioners and patients has opened the door to enhanced communication that benefits all parties. Connectivity made possible by cloud computing and the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) enables new and more effective disease diagnosis and treatment. Technology has also fostered enhanced patient education, allowing individuals to be more involved in determining their best treatment options.
The Value of Medical Technology
Using medical technology effectively provides value to healthcare organizations, practitioners, and patients in many ways.
Public Health Improvement
The emergence of the COVID-19 virus demonstrated the need for rapid responses from the healthcare community in response to public health issues. Technology allows healthcare systems to easily share information on issues such as treatment options and the spread of communicable diseases. This makes it possible to develop strategies to minimize the effects of COVID-19 and other diseases on the public. The use of cloud-based systems facilitates information sharing, also known as data interoperability, which can lead to improved health outcomes.
Improved diagnosis and treatment
Mobile devices in the hands of healthcare practitioners improve patient diagnosis and treatment. Medical information is available on the spot, allowing doctors to discuss a patient’s condition immediately no matter where they are located. Armed with a tablet computer, healthcare practitioners can make more informed decisions regarding treatment and care in their offices or the field. Once again, the cloud is an underlying facilitator of this ability by making healthcare information available to anyone with an Internet connection.
Improved Patient Education
One of the positive impacts of medical technology that benefits all patients is access to improved education. Information made available through technological solutions helps current and prospective patients better understand their condition, treatment options, and likely outcomes. Examples of how advancements in medical technology enhance patient education include:
- The availability of healthcare-related information on patient-accessible portals;
- Information regarding emerging treatment options;
- The ability to compare alternate healthcare facilities when choosing a provider;
- Prompt availability of testing results to inform patient decisions.
Furnishing individuals with healthcare education enhances the patient experience and helps them communicate with their providers.
Lower Healthcare Costs
Medical technology advancements make it possible to lower healthcare costs in a variety of ways.
Electronic Health Records (EHRs)
The use of electronic health records (EHRs) has helped keep the cost of healthcare in check. It has been demonstrated that healthcare providers, particularly hospitals, enjoy substantial savings per patient when moving from paper records to meaningfully implemented EHRs.
In some cases, office-based physicians are lagging in adopting EHRs, but they are catching up due to the potential benefits. They may be concerned with the regulatory issues involved in processing EHRs and lack the technical resources to address them effectively.
Electronic and interactive appointment scheduling minimizes the occurrence of missed appointments. Enabling patients to self-schedule and change appointments reduces the number of missed appointments and saves healthcare facilities from the costs of wasted time. Healthcare providers can quickly be advised of changes and reschedule other appointments to avoid downtime.
Medical technology is helping to streamline the administrative workflow in healthcare organizations. An improved workflow helps practitioners minimize the time and expense of processing patient information. The associated benefits to patients include faster response time to health-related queries and more timely treatment recommendations.
The connectivity and centralization of healthcare information streamline the jobs of nurses and doctors who can effectively monitor and address patient issues. A single employee can monitor multiple patients with the assistance of technological solutions, providing better care with less legwork.
Better medical device management
Many patients rely on medical devices to maintain their health or monitor recovery from surgery and other types of treatment. Technology has made it possible for medical devices to be monitored from a central location where issues can quickly be addressed.
Sensors built into medical devices are the foundation of the IoMT and have eliminated many of the problems previously encountered by patients. Abnormal readings received by monitoring software can alert providers so they can proactively address issues before they become critical. Patients save time and travel expenses by having the devices monitored remotely and being advised when they need to visit their healthcare facility for treatment or to replace or service their equipment.
Engaging an Experienced Partner
Healthcare organizations can benefit from the advancements in medical technology. As noted, in many cases, the foundation for these advancements is the connectivity facilitated by cloud-based computing environments. Consolidating the information generated from medical devices, patient consultations, and other healthcare facilities enables patients and practitioners to make informed decisions that lead to better outcomes.
Many healthcare organizations find it difficult to take advantage of cutting-edge medical technology due to a lack of in-house technical expertise. Cloudticity can provide the necessary technical expertise to enable healthcare organizations to take advantage of the public cloud benefits.
To learn more about how we can help you achieve digital transformation through cloud adoption and enablement, schedule a free consultation. Or read our free eBook, The Business Case For Public Cloud in Healthcare to learn more about why you should be going cloud-first today.