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The current pandemic highlighted the importance of a good healthcare system. While the medical professionals are hard at work in taking care of everyone’s health, it cannot be said enough that there is a need to reduce their work demands.
Well, one good way to do this is through technology. The healthcare industry is one of the main beneficiaries of the development of technology. This was proven time and again with the invention of the stethoscope and the x-ray.
Today, these developments have continued to help medical professionals in their work to keep everyone healthy. Here are some tech innovations that have helped the healthcare industry.
Remote Health Monitoring
With the pandemic raging worldwide, healthcare professionals have their hands full helping patients in the hospital. Due to this, they might not check on patients who are staying home for their medical treatment. In this situation, the doctor might not be able to visit the patient at home. In the same way, it wouldn’t be advisable for the patient to visit the hospital.
But the doctor wouldn’t be anxious about the patient’s health if the patient uses remote health monitoring tools and devices. Using these tools and devices will do away with unnecessary visits to the clinic. It also protects the patient from possible infection with the virus still lingering up to today.
Several devices offer these features. For instance, a pacemaker sends information about patients’ health with heart disease to a health center. Continuous glucose monitors also allow diabetes patients to monitor their blood sugar levels. These devices also have features that allow them to share information with their doctor. These devices make it easy for doctors to monitor their patients even if they haven’t seen them due to the pandemic.
The use of telemedicine or telehealth has also offered a lot of benefits for the healthcare industry. The current pandemic highlighted these benefits as patients didn’t have to visit their doctor for a checkup. When the pandemic started, telemedicine sessions increased by over 150 percent during the end of March last year.
This shows the confidence of both the doctor and patient in the technology. It allows patients from rural areas with little to no access to a doctor to meet with one virtually. It also reduces the cost of visiting the doctor in person at the clinic.
The technology could be used together with remote health monitoring since the doctor can virtually meet the patient if any issues came out with the monitoring device’s data. And with the current pandemic, both the doctor and patient are safe since telemedicine prevents the virus’s transmission. It also reduced patient waiting time.
Digitalization of Health Records
Paper records are now being replaced by electronic health records (EHR). These records are saved in the servers of the hospital or the cloud servers of an EHR company. This makes it easy to retrieve the records whenever necessary.
The information is also accessible by the medical professional and the patient. Aside from reducing the need to store tons of paper records in a cabinet, using the system also reduces mistakes due to their unreadability caused by some doctors’ handwriting.
Since the records are on the cloud and accessible to authorized individuals, it can enhance patient care since doctors can easily access the information when treating the patient, even for the first time. Workflow is also faster since entering information into computerized systems is easier compared to using traditional paper-based systems.
Genome is the complete set of DNA of a person. And genome sequencing is simply the process of figuring out the sequence of the bases or the DNA nucleotides. Personal genomics is considered the future of healthcare.
But the pandemic highlighted the significance of the process. It allowed researchers to determine the origin of a virus. It also helps them understand how a virus is contained in a certain area. For instance, the virus that initially arrived in the Washington State was different from the one that arrived in Maryland.
Similarly, it allows researchers to know if a certain variant of a virus has already arrived in the country. Knowing the variants allow researchers to estimate the spread of the virus. For instance, the UK variant has faster transmissibility compared to the original virus. When it arrived in the country, researchers noted the fast spread of the virus throughout different parts of the United States. It will also allow them to recommend measures that the government can implement to stop its spread.
Technology has always been at the forefront of medical innovation. With its continuing development, it will continue to provide the healthcare industry with the tools it needs to keep everyone healthy and fit.