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How Technology Can Improve the Patient Experience
Thanks to new therapies and new discoveries, medicine and how we practice it is evolving constantly. Practitioners must be open to utilizing advances in technology if they want to maximize their effects on patients, their communities and the healthcare industry as a whole.
Here’s how technology is already improving the patient experience:
Technology is changing the way doctors practice medicine
It used to be that the only way a doctor could treat a patient was with an in-person office visit. Only then could the doctor run tests, acquire data, take assessments, and present the diagnosis and treatment plan. Now, there are numerous ways for doctors and patients to interact. Thanks to smartphones and apps, access to doctors is now in the palm of your hand.
Companies such as Amwell and Doctor on Demand offer apps that allow you to see a board-certified physician at a time and place of your choosing. These doctors are available 24/7, can prescribe medication and are even covered by many health insurance companies. This could be the new age of primary medicine, and it could lessen the burden on an already overtaxed healthcare system.
Data is improving health outcomes
Big data now affects almost every aspect of our society, from retail to politics to medicine. Doctors can instantly share large amounts of data collected over many years, which can better inform other physicians in clinical settings. Big data will allow us to build better health profiles and better predictive models around individual patients, so we can better diagnose and treat disease.
Big data in healthcare has the ability to predict epidemics, cure disease, improve quality of life and avoid preventable deaths. Big data can analyze a person’s entire medical and social history, providing valuable information for physicians and other practitioners when determining the causes of disease processes. Armed with this knowledge, doctors can create individualized and precise treatment plans, which can be more effective for every patient.
Not only does big data allow us to draw upon a wealth of past medical information, but when combined with the Internet of Things (IoT), it has the power to alert healthcare workers in real time to issues and trends within patients. This could reveal problems before they occur, and it could drastically decrease response time to life-threatening issues.
IoT allows for the transfer of data from interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, or people over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. This technology can increase patient satisfaction – for example, by alerting loved ones the moment the patient is out of surgery.
Additionally, IoT enables healthcare professionals to acquire real-time data on patients, making it easier to detect and prevent health emergencies. Just imagine if technicians could read and store EKGs instantly, or if they could monitor and adjust medication pumps remotely. This would save time for healthcare workers, and it would deliver safer, more personalized care to patients.
Clearly, physicians and healthcare facilities that don’t utilize these new methods and technologies may find themselves left behind.
The future is here
Now, companies are trying to figure out a way to incorporate artificial intelligence into medicine. Combined with IoT and big data, this technology could streamline clinical settings. Not only would it free up time for doctors and nurses, but it would also improve patient outcomes by detecting important shifts in patients’ vitals faster than any person in charge of multiple patients could.
Healthcare organizations can benefit by making sure their hiring processes bring in those willing to embrace new technologies, and by partnering with recruiters who know how to find tech-savvy physicians. This is crucial, since facilities that have physicians willing and able to use these new technologies will enjoy the highest levels of success for their staff and, more importantly, their patients.