Technological advances in the healthcare industry can revolutionize how patients are treated throughout the continuum of care. Technology companies such as Apple are certainly paying attention. Despite the significant changes in technological innovation, many healthcare facilities are still dependent on old technology, using fax machines and paper to transmit information. As the healthcare industry is a good portion of the economy, it’s time for technology and the healthcare industry to merge.
Streamlining Processes and Embracing the Internet
For the healthcare system to actually become streamlined, it is necessary for hospitals and healthcare facilities to fully integrate the use of the web into everyday life. This promotes better coordination of the care of patients, keeps costs down, and improves the overall health of patients. Digital health startups have started to address the problems that the healthcare industries are struggling with, providing facilities with the software applications necessary to provide excellent care to patients.
Connected Devices Help Provide Quality Care
The same technology used for fitness trackers to count steps is now being used to measure the vital signs of patients 24 hours a day. Doctors then have access to data in real-time and are able to understand instantly how the body is responding to certain treatments and activities. Tracking vitals is likely to become routine, giving patients the ability to be informed about their level of health at all times. This information makes it possible for doctors to provide quality care, without having to wait for further diagnostic testing to occur.
Disease Management Will Become Easier
With technology able to measure everything from the intake of medication to levels of hydration, it becomes much easier to manage the disease. As the management of disease currently compromises over 30 percent of spending in the healthcare industry, this will reduce costs to the sector overall. With improves in technology, doctors are able to see all relevant information about one patient in an electronic medical record. This keeps all of the providers of the patient well informed, ensuring that all medical needs are addressed as soon as possible.
Also, collecting data on individual patients makes it possible to then assess the data and look for patterns among patients. This will help define illnesses and follow epidemics, changing the way healthcare is addressed in the future.
The biggest hurdle for technology companies is understanding what regulations exist to using technology in healthcare and how it relates to the privacy of patients within the system. Companies such as Apple are in tune with these regulations and are better able to move forward with building the technology necessary to advance the healthcare industry.