Over the past several years and in decades to come, technology is changing the healthcare market. As the industry becomes more competitive, providers are asking themselves whether you as the consumer will want to use their innovations. Nothing matters unless you benefit. Here are just four of the ways that technology benefits patients.
Healthcare Information Technology
Computers and the internet have changed nearly every part of society, and the medical field has taken advantage of it to provide you new levels of service. EMR (electronic medical records) have become the norm so that providers can efficiently store, search, and recall your records in moments. They can also be quickly shared over the cloud so that doctors in LA can make informed diagnoses or treatments on patients from Miami or even visitors from Tokyo.
When records are this accessible there are often concerns about the safety and security of those medical records. For this reason, many healthcare providers invest in additional tools and technology to ensure the security of medical records.
You can more reliably count on positive outcomes and improved quality of life. Risks and recovery times are shrinking. Better monitoring through devices like Wi-Fi enabled wearables helps doctors spot problems earlier. Techniques for minimally invasive surgeries, more detailed imaging, and faster biopsy and DNA testing continue to improve. Once complex surgeries that were high-cost and high-risk are now efficient and routine. You can expect robotic tools, lasers, custom 3-D printed prosthetics, and replacement parts grown from your own cells for personalized treatment.
All of this is made possible by continuing research in both public and private medical laboratories. Scientists are doing research on new procedures and medications at facilities all over the country. The end goal is always better, faster, and safer treatments for you.
With modern technologies researchers are able to examine disease at a cellular and even genetic level to find the most effective course of action and develop new vaccines. Medical science has virtually eliminated once-common illnesses like polio. Even in third-world countries, millions more are saved every year from widespread threats like malaria.
Medicine and the Law
One important aspect of modern medicine are laws to protect patient rights in most developed nations. In the U.S., HIPAA (Healthcare Information Portability and Accountability Act) regulations mandate levels of protection for your information, including how it’s stored, how it’s used, and who gets access to it. Part of this accountability is that you have the right to review your own medical records. More providers are offering the means to do this easily via mobile apps. In 2018, it’s estimated that 50 percent of mobile users will have downloaded healthcare apps, making it easier than ever to stay informed.
Thanks to modern technology, it doesn’t take someone with a masters of healthcare administration to help you navigate your care. Constant innovations in healthcare are making treatments more encouraging, and a better value, for consumers. That’s a trend that’s only going to continue into your future.