Healthcare Technology Featured Article

February 04, 2022

Technologies Role in the Future of Healthcare

When you are looking at the future and shape of healthcare, it is important not to overlook the importance of technology. Technology can change how patients receive treatment and care, and it can also assist healthcare professionals. Embracing technology and its use within healthcare is essential for all progression. So, now that you are aware of how useful technology will be (and already is) then, why not explore what specific roles it can be used within.

Technology Can Drive Forward Patient Care

Visiting a hospital or any other healthcare setting can be a concerning and worrying time for any patient. Patient care and patient support can give comfort to patients of all ages. Technology could be used to keep patients informed and aware of what is going on with their treatments or any medication they are on at any given point in time. Patient care needs to be a priority moving forwards because patients need to feel connected to where they are having treatment. When a connection is made you can ensure that you are providing care and assistance to patients at all levels. Without the advances of technology being applied, patients may still feel in the dark surrounding their health and any ailments they may have – leading to miscommunications and worry. When patients feel in the dark or confused, they can also struggle with other areas of their physical and mental health.

The Human Element is Still Required and Essential

You can use technology within every role within a healthcare setting, and this is positive as it shows healthy progression. However, you should never overlook the human element required within any role in the healthcare industry. Without this personal touch and approach, you can find patients feel lost and out of touch with what is happening with their treatments and their bodies. To ensure that the human element is still retained within the healthcare industry, it is important to focus on education, training and development. For example, technology can help healthcare professionals stay on top of treatments and patient data, but it cannot help with human emotions, feelings and doubts, and this is why the human element is critical to success. For instance, if you work within a social care setting or environment you need to focus on enhancing your education with MSW enrollment as well as focusing on using technology (both as and where you can). Within the future of healthcare, you need to have a professional, sympathetic and caring relationship with patients, and fortunately, this is something that can be taught and learned, and not provided with a piece of technology or a software package.

Increased Safety and Efficiency

The healthcare industry is fast-paced, and it is fast-moving. With changes constantly coming into play it is important to ensure that they are upheld. Safety (together with efficiency) is imperative in any data and any healthcare setting. If safety is not upheld, then patient data and patient records could be accessed. The same also applies to healthcare providers and healthcare centers. Technology can help to combat safety and security issues, and this could be achieved by introducing a new piece of software or creating a physical piece of technology that aids the security of sensitive information. It is something that is happening now with healthcare, and something that will continue to happen later down the line. As well as assisting with tightening of security/alleviating security worries and doubts, technology can also help processes become a lot more efficient. Within the healthcare industry, and any particular healthcare scenario, some processes and methods can seem a little outdated, and possibly even archaic. These out-of-date methods and processes are most likely costly and time-consuming. Improving the efficiency of the processed and methods used by using new developments in technology will ensure that streamlining happens whenever it can.

Monitoring and Preventative Measures

Healthcare workers and professionals can monitor patients, and they can focus on preventing further illnesses as much as possible. However, technology will work to introduce preventative measures. These preventative measures may follow algorithms that healthcare professionals do not understand, or they may use data and information (that has been collected previously). Monitoring and prevention will be much easier moving forwards, especially when you can use technology to carry out data comparisons quickly and easily. Technology (including software packages) and AI can quickly scan through data and information and find any abnormalities that may exist. In the near future, when technology can be used in a preventative way, the healthcare industry will shift even more towards creating and supporting a nurturing environment. When preventative methods can be introduced and followed, then healthcare professionals can reclaim that time, and re-shift their focus onto patient care and treatment.

Connection and Progression

On occasion, technology and healthcare professionals have clashed and as a result the best outcomes have not always been seen. It is important that a connection is maintained and embraced between technology within healthcare (and its users). When a connection can be made and even strengthened over time, then you can be sure of progression. Connections between technology and healthcare professionals can aid patient treatment and care and isn't that really what the end goal is. Those within the healthcare must be open and willing to progress, and this transition will be made easier with the help (and assistance) of technology.

Co-ordinated Care

Organizing a care schedule for one patient can be challenging enough, but as a healthcare professional, you have to juggle multiple patients at once – including those leaving your care, or perhaps moving on to another area. If coordinated care is not established and maintained, then confusion could easily occur. With confusion, mistakes often appear. Mistakes must be kept to a minimum within the healthcare industry, especially because even minor mistakes can have large and long-lasting repercussions. Software packages that are used can help to coordinate care between healthcare professionals in alternate locations. It could also be used to manage and coordinate care within one healthcare setting or location.

Software and Hardware

Diverse patient care is needed moving forwards, and more expertise is being required. This expertise can often be found in robotics. For example, robots can fill in, or supplement the tasks of a surgeon, or other hands-on healthcare professional. For instance, where there are shortages of surgeons (either due to low numbers or increased demand) a robot would be there, perhaps even on standby. Having robotics and robots to fall back on and rely on would ensure that there is never a crisis in the healthcare industry. Knowing that there is expertise on hand to assist (or even carry out) lifesaving, or routine operations is crucial, and this is something that technology can supply. AI, software, and even robotics can lead the changes which will inevitably happen in the future, and they can help meet the growing needs of both patients and healthcare professionals.

Improved Patient Records

Storing patient records, filing them, and even keeping them updated is something that is costly and time-consuming. It is certainly going to be one headache that can be eliminated thanks to the increased usage of technology. Currently, patient records are often manually updated – even if they are kept electronically. In the future of healthcare there has to be less room for human error, and more streamlined records and data. To ensure that this happens technology needs to be increasingly used and applied. When technology can be used to eliminate human errors, then data and records can be updated quickly, which will ultimately lead to better patient care and treatment. Inaccurate, incomplete or missing patient records are less likely to be prominent in the near future.

Future Improvements and Developments

The changes, improvements and developments that are on the way for technology within healthcare are exciting. Whether this is new wearables (used by patients and healthcare professionals), or electronic health records or documents used to cut down on a paper trail – times are exciting and change is prevalent. When healthcare professionals accommodate new ways of working and new ways of applying their care and treatment (even if this is from a distance), then technology can be further implemented and integrated into everyday tasks, including in routine appointments and operations. Technology in healthcare moving forwards has to evolve just the same as healthcare and industry professionals do for there to be a harmonious match.

Working Harmoniously - Side by Side with Technology

Development, change and progression can be hard to contemplate, especially when professionals within the healthcare industry have been working a certain way for any period of time. As populations are increasing, and as the demands on all aspects of healthcare are increasing there has to be a way that technology can be harmoniously introduced into daily routines – at as many levels as possible. Retaining the human element, and the emotion and compassion that individuals provide to patients is something that technology will struggle to replace, and this is where there may be further clashes moving forwards. Being open to change and being open to diversification is going to ensure that healthcare standards continue to improve and increase.

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