3 Information Technology Trends in Healthcare
New tech has made it easier to live and work in our current world. As it is, technology affects or is used in every aspect of our lives, from communication and transport to education and healthcare. While some might argue that mainstream adoption of modern technologies has had some adverse effects, not least mass unemployment, we can all agree that, to some extent, new technology has made our lives much easier and cheaper.
The healthcare industry, which grosses hundreds of billions of dollars globally, has been flirting with technology for a while now to (mostly) positive results. Below are 3 IT technologies that have been fronted as potential game-changers in the medical world.
1.Intelligent R&D Knowledge Sharing Solutions
Generally, medics are required and encouraged to gain more knowledge about their areas of expertise over time to make them more effective at work. Some knowledge can be gained by reading books or doing personal research. However, sharing of knowledge and information between experts and stakeholders in medicare is one of the pillars that hold the medicare industry together. To that end, there are a few technologies in the market that help medical professionals to collaborate in knowledge sharing and thereby provide better quality services to patients. Notable examples include CoMED and Bridges Collaborative, created by SoftTeco at the behest of Thicket Labs.
Here are some of the advantages of knowledge sharing:
- Effectively connects medical experts and researchers irrespective of distance
- It leads to more improved healthcare on a wider scale
- Gives researchers unlimited access to already existing experience
- Saves a lot of time through intelligent search functionality
2.Clinical Decision Support System (CDSS)
A Clinical Decision Support System, also known as Healthcare Decision Management System, is a software that analyzes and interprets patient data to assist healthcare providers in decision making. If you keenly follow the world of business and commerce, you may be aware that the basic concept of CDSS is borrowed from the Decision Support System (DSS) that’s commonly used by business managers.
A standard CDSS includes tools like clinical practice guidelines, patient-specific data reports, focused order sets, relevant references, and computerized alerts to patients and medics. For CDSS to be effective in improving patient care and medical services, there has to be a collaboration between healthcare providers, government agencies, and other stakeholders.
While most hospitals and clinics don’t have the technological infrastructure to effectively integrate CDSS into their programs, there is evidence to the effect that clinical errors like wrong prescriptions. CDSS also improves efficiency in patient care and enhances the safety of patient data.
3.IoT in Healthcare (Wearable Devices)
After the World Wide Web that opened the doors to a world of new possibilities and inventions, its successor, the Internet of Things (IoT) is said to be even more revolutionary. In the medical industry, IoT is used in wearable devices that facilitate remote monitoring of patients to help healthcare providers track how their patients are doing after discharge.
There are also smart sensors that detect chemical, biological and hormonal changes in patients’ bodies and transmit the data to their doctors in real time. Advances in IoT (on a general level) and sensor technology have led to smart sensors that possess both sensing and data processing and analysis capabilities and don’t necessarily require to be connected to a computer.
When the initial resistance to new technology fades and health organizations invest in the necessary technology to enable integration of IoT tools in their activities, the impact on their efficiency, budgets, and accuracy will be huge. Hopefully, that will happen in the near future.
Technology has the potential to change people’s lives for the better or, if wrongly managed, for worse. As more and more healthcare providers and health departments warm up to new technologies, we can afford to be hopeful of better, more effective and cheaper healthcare in the days to come.
Do you fancy the use of the above technologies in the medical field? What other IT technologies would you like to see in healthcare? Sound off in the comments below!