The growth of technological innovation has reached almost all industries over the last decade. As far as the healthcare sector is concerned, from self-care tools to lab tests, from data monitoring to patient registration, the role of technology is increasingly becoming paramount.
FreedomCare, one of the most trusted providers of CDPAP or the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program, lists down the most important technological advancements in the healthcare industry over the last ten years.
Electronic Health Record:
Electronic health records were used by only 16 percent of U.S. hospitals in 2009. However, by the end of 2013, out of all hospitals eligible for the meaningful use incentives program by CMS had incorporated electronic health record programs. The EHR has already made big strides in terms of efficiency and centralization of patient information. It also holds tremendous potential to be used in the near future as a data and population health tool.
The advent of mHealth has already freed critical healthcare devices of cords and wires and has enabled patients and physicians to keep an eye on different healthcare processes regardless of where they are. Many physicians and service providers now make use of different mHealth tools for documentation, orders, or accessing information while they are with patients. However, it is important to note that mHealth is much more than just wireless connectivity. It functions as a tool that connects communication with biometrics, allowing patients to play an active role in their own treatments. Many healthcare experts feel that in the near future, mHealth has the potential to bring healthcare monitoring out of the lab and office, and make it a part of people’s lives.
Remote Monitoring Tools:
Monitoring the health of the patients at home can significantly reduce unnecessary visits to the clinic and costs. For example, a cardiac cast with a pacemaker is capable of transmitting data automatically to a remote center. The use of such advanced home monitoring systems can help reduce the rate of patient readmissions significantly. As we see more and more healthcare facilities getting penalized financially for readmissions, there is certainly a chance of avoiding these penalties by using home monitoring systems.
Diagnostic accuracy and healthcare efficiency can be improved significantly by tailoring treatment plans as per individual requirements. In particular, pharmacogenomics may help reduce excess healthcare spending amounting to billions of dollars resulting from readmissions, misdiagnoses, adverse drug events, and other unnecessary costs.
Sensors and Wearable Technology:
The global market for wearable medical devices has been growing at a breakneck speed over the last few years. These devices and sensors make it effortless for healthcare practitioners to collect patient-related data. It could be as simple as bandages capable of detecting skin pH levels or sending alerts to care, providers, when an emergency situation arises.
The benefits of telehealth are simply unlimited, particularly in rural areas where it is not possible to have the same resources as in metropolitan areas. Through remote monitoring, video conferencing, wireless communications, and electronic consults, telehealth connects patients to critical health care services. Telemedicine, on the other hand, involves using a toll-free phone number or an online account to provide basic patient information. Based on this information, the physician either declines or accepts the visit.
This is an advanced healthcare tool that allows patients to be actively involved in their own healthcare. Using this technology, both patients and physicians can access medical records online and interact. By increasing the patients’ access to medical information, this technology serves as a source of responsibility and empowerment for patients.
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Real-time Locating Services:
Real-time locating services are increasingly used by hospitals these days to instantly identify problem areas and focus on efficiency. Tracking systems can be implemented for devices, instruments, and even hospital staff. At the most basic level, this technology ensures that expensive supplies and equipment belonging to a facility are not leaving the building.