Besides preventing deaths and severe illnesses, healthcare systems are primarily developed to enhance patient care.
The healthcare sector faces many issues, including limited access to vital resources and the lack of medical professionals. With the use of technology, medical facilities are improving service deliveries and patient outcomes. Below are a few real-life examples:
Electronic Health Records
While doctors can investigate an individual’s current and past health issues, it can be challenging to put all the pieces together to come up with a diagnosis. A few symptoms can indicate several types of related or unrelated illnesses. Thus, the likelihood of misdiagnosis is high when a physician doesn’t have an accurate picture of the patient’s health history.
With electronic health records (EHR), specialists can easily communicate and exchange patient data, leading to a better understanding of an individual’s health status. Health facilities, however, need to follow the guidelines indicated in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to ensure data protection as they provide managed healthcare IT services.
At its peak, the COVID-19 pandemic overwhelmed the healthcare systems worldwide, forcing patients suffering from less severe diseases to deal with their conditions at home. However, while at home, these patients were still able to access healthcare services through virtual consultations.
Also known as telemedicine, virtual consultations allow patients to access healthcare services through a medical facility’s site or the hospital’s downloadable healthcare applications. Virtual consultations have proven to be the best solution for patients with mobility problems. With just a few clicks and without leaving their home, patients can book appointments and speak with a doctor as if they were in the clinic.
Wearable Health Devices
When you come up with a specific complaint to a doctor, chances are, you’ll be asked to go through one or a series of diagnostic procedures. These medical tests often validate the doctor’s suspicion or help them make a precise diagnosis by ruling out other health problems.
Thanks to technology, internet-connected wearable devices have reduced a doctor’s guesswork dramatically. While not intended to replace procedures such as X-rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), portable health tools can transmit a patient’s heart and blood pressure rates and oxygen levels. These devices can share the vital signs with the physician in real-time, making health recommendations or monitoring based on the data gathered.
Chatbots And Surgical Robots
Chatbots refer to software that can process, analyze, and respond to information using artificial intelligence. When a person clicks on a health facility website, there’s a good chance that a chatbot will pop up to answer their questions to run you through the services offered. In most cases, a chatbot will do the same when you access the hospital or clinic’s messaging application. This technology facilitates patients’ inquiries more efficiently, as it can accommodate several users at one time.
Besides chatbots in digital channels, the healthcare system has also started using surgical robots to assist surgeons in performing minimally invasive and open surgeries and procedures. Doctors can manipulate these robots even in critical areas of the human body or when precision is necessary.
Healthcare facilities have tapped into the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) to make better decisions before and during surgical procedures. For instance, a surgeon can use an electronic device to look at the algorithms presented by the AI on a particular patient. The doctor can then use the analysis to make better decisions before the procedure.
While operating on a patient, an AI-powered machine can provide real-time analysis while operating on a patient, allowing surgeons to plan their next moves better and avoid procedural accidents. In most hospitals, an AI machine is used to show real-time surgery videos alongside the patient’s surgical map. This technology has proven to be highly beneficial to the healthcare system that AI may play a vital role in the operating room in the coming years.
Besides virtual consultations, healthcare services have become more available online through websites, social media platforms, and health applications. The digital space holds a treasure trove of health-related materials, medical advisories, and other health-related information.
While not replacing the need for clinical care, the internet could help individuals gain access to immediate health services. For instance, patients can search for online information about their symptoms while waiting for their doctor’s appointment. Doing this allows them to ask more sensible questions to their physician.
Telehealth has likewise made medical professionals’ lives easier with easy access to electronic health records, numerous medical references, and communication with other physicians. With the pandemic, the medical community has made online training more prevalent to help improve staff knowledge and treatment capabilities.
The Bottom Line
From making services more available to more people to revolutionizing how surgeries are done, patient care has immensely improved over the past few years.
With the growing availability of electronic data, medical apps, virtual consultations, and artificial intelligence, among other technologies, healthcare systems continue to develop innovations that result in better patient outcomes.