There are three ways technology has impacted the healthcare industry: the quality of human life, the production of healthcare-related jobs, and the world economy in general. Patients are more taken care of because of technology, and the quality of life has significantly improved because of more effective diagnosis.
Much of the recent progress—even the rise of the urgent care business—in the medical field happened because of developments in technology. But do the benefits the healthcare industry enjoys translate to how patients feel about the medical field in general? Are there challenges that have yet to be addressed by the industry?
Digitization of Health Records
Instead of depending on manually recording the health records of the patients, medical professionals now depend on computers to secure the medical reports. The uploading of medical files on the cloud is also possible now. As a result, patients can access these records no matter where they are in the world. It also helps far-flung areas to facilitate the delivery of health records and collaborate with bigger hospitals in the city.
Mobile App Technology
Patients can download apps into their phones so that they can access their medical records, get reminders about doctor’s appointments, and keep track of their medication. There are also health and fitness apps that can guide the patients in tracking their food and activity levels. These apps can be customized to help the patients take better care of themselves.
Some doctors even allow patients to ask questions via the app. This helps them provide patient care even if they are far away from their clinics. It reduces the time they spend filing records, maintaining visit logs, and other routine tasks.
Improved Patient Care
Not only are medical records easier to access and secure, but the various medical tools and equipment made available by technology also empower medical professionals to improve diagnosis and patient care. Since health records are now digitized, doctors can access the medical histories of patients and make better-informed diagnoses.
In terms of procedures, various medical equipment produces faster results that aid the doctors to make recommendations on the proper treatment of diseases. Then, there is also the 3-D printing technology that can now create prosthetics, dental devices, and hearing aids.>
Challenges the Medical Field Faces Because of Technology
But these benefits do not necessarily mean that challenges are not prevalent in the medical field. Technology is only as good as the person who programmed and handled it. Overall, there is reduced and impersonal health care because doctors don’t spend that much time getting to know their patients anymore. Some doctors depend too much on the digitized medical history of patients that they might miss a symptom or may fall into misdiagnosis.
On the other hand, patients read too much information on the Internet that they end up fearing diagnoses even before they went to the doctor. This does not help in the consultation because patients can doubt the diagnosis. As technology forwards, the cost of medical consultation and procedures will rise. This will make it harder for patients to find solutions to their medical problems.
Despite such challenges in the medical field, the benefits—faster and better diagnosis and improved patient care—outweigh the costs. The technological innovations in the industry will continue to give doctors better tools to provide medical services.