The Digital Transformation of Healthcare and What it Means for You

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Medical care has come a long way in the last hundred years. Where once we had a system that required doctors to travel far and wide to respond to house calls in which they would ultimately offer medical treatment and consultation that is rudimentary by today’s standards, we now have an industry that is becoming increasingly high tech. Particularly in recent years, digitalization in the medical field has created unprecedented levels of precision and connectivity.

Let’s take a look at some recent tech-based innovations in the medical industry and consider how these developments have impacted the experience of patients.

DATA

Running a hospital or clinic involves managing massive amounts of information. As medical professionals have incorporated technology into this process by digitizing records and analytics processes, they have decreased the chances of human error in recordkeeping, billing and even things like diagnostic work.

Digitalization has also made it easier for medical personnel to navigate through information, in its many forms. Ultimately, the use of technology has meant greater convenience, reliability and timeliness for patients in accessing their medical records and billing information, which in turn has simplified their healthcare experience.

More important, it has given doctors greater access to a wealth of information and tools that help them to make critical decisions regarding diagnosis and treatment options. This has created an added measure of precision and security for patients by helping doctors to make more informed decisions.

ACCESSIBILITY

For patients whose medical conditions require consistent attention or follow-up from medical professionals, maintaining access to this assistance can be a problem. Hospital stays and in-home care arrangements are expensive. Patients from rural areas may find that frequent travel to see a specialist can become an imposition.

In response to this challenge, some hospitals have adopted remote access technology that allows patients to consult with their doctors and access other medical resources from the convenience of their homes. This is especially useful for patients who live hours away from the care they need. Rather than making the trip to the hospital or clinic, patients have the option of connecting with their doctor via video chat, thus granting them remote access medical care that is informational in nature, rather than hands-on.

Because of this technology, a cancer patient can remotely consult with their oncologist about treatment or other questions, no matter where and when these questions may arise. A patient who is in a state of emotional crisis and in need of psychiatric care can immediately access qualified medical personnel at the hospital who can help them determine an appropriate course of action. A patient who has been recently diagnosed with diabetes can consult with a diabetes educator at the hospital via video chat to find answers about lifestyle changes they need to make.

All of these patients, who may have otherwise been impeded by health, time or distance, can now receive immediate care and attention because of remote access to medical personnel.

Another important development that addresses the circumstances of patients in need of frequent access to medical care is known as remote monitoring. This technology makes use of medical devices that monitor a patient’s condition from their home and transmits the data in real time to data centers where medical professionals can monitor the patient’s condition.

This lessens the need for follow-up appointments, hospital stays and constant in-home care, thus empowering patients and simplifying their lives.

It’s not difficult to recognize the benefits of using technology in the medical world. The digitalization of medical information has created an added sense of certainty and safety to the process of administering medical care. Remote access and monitoring have enhanced connectivity between doctors and patients.

Interestingly, the benefits go beyond what happens between practitioners and patients. In order for the use of technology in the medical field to progress, there must be people who create, apply and operate the technology. Thus, the increasing digitalization of the medical field has created new career opportunities. Universities and trade schools across the country, including many MyCAA schools and other specialized programs, are now offering programs to train people for careers in the newly developing tech side of the medical industry.

When it comes to the digitalization of the medical world, everyone wins. Greater precision, greater connectivity and even new career possibilities are all fruits of the medical tech takeover.

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