What has technology brought to health ? Over the years , innovations in technology has brought in a sea change in the way healthcare is managed and delivered. Here are some of the cutting edge technological advances that have benefitted healthcare management.
- The electronic health record. In 2009, only 16 percent of U.S. hospitals were using an HER and in India it was yet unheard of, with all records being maintained manually in clinics and hospitals. But by 2013 , more than 80 % of hospitals in the US and in India moved over to electronic health records. This allows efficient record keeping and management.
While the EHR has already created big strides in the centralization and efficiency of patient information, it can also be used as a data and population health tool for the future.
- Use of tablets and smartphones in healthcare: Smartphones and tablets allow healthcare providers to more freely access and send information. Physicians and service providers can use tablets and smartphones as tools for orders, documentation and simply to reach more information when with patients.
These devices also enable patients to become active players in their treatment by connecting communication with biometrics. Right from monitoring weight, blood pressure, the number of steps walked in a day or the speed at which one runs, wireless technology is here to transform people’s lives.
- Telemedicine/telehealth. Telemedicine is a growing field, and its scope of possibility is expanding.
Full assessment through a video chat with a physician, relaying of procedures in virtual classes, and reaching out to patients in different ways are possible through telemedicine. Telemedicine clinics will also reduce time out of office costs for employees and employers by eliminating the need to leave work to go to a primary care office.
- Portal technology. Patients are increasingly becoming active players in their own healthcare, and portal technology is one tool helping them to do so. Portal technology allows physicians and patients to access medical records and interact online. Mr. Sturman says this type of technology allows patients to become more closely involved and better educated about their care. In addition to increasing access and availability of medical information, Mr. Hoover adds that portal technology can be a source of empowerment and responsibility for patients. “It’s powerful because a patient can be an extraordinary ally in their care. They catch errors,” he says. “It empowers the patient and adds a degree of power in care where they can become an active participant.”
- Remote monitoring tools. At the end of 2012, 2.8 million patients worldwide were using a home monitoring system, according to a Research and Markets report. Monitoring patients’ health at home can reduce costs and unnecessary visits to a physician’s office. A pacemaker automatically can transmit data to a remote center. A Holter monitor can monitor heart rate and detect any abnormal rhythms which can go otherwise undetected in a clinical or hospital diagnostic setting.
- Sensos and wearable technology. The wearable medical device market is growing at a fast pace. Wearable medical devices and sensors are simply another way to collect data and alerts can be sent to a care provider when a patient falls down or a bandage that can detect skin pH levels to tell if a cut is getting infected. In India many companies are investing in wearable technology to encourage fitness and health maintenance, such as GoQii, fitbit and Healthify Me. Not only is the data tracked in terms of number of steps, calorie burnt, goals achieved , but also a health coach or a nutritionist interacts on a regular basis to keep the patients motivated.
- Wireless communication. While instant messaging and walkie-talkies aren’t new technologies themselves, they have only recently been introduced into the hospital setting, replacing devices like beepers and overhead pagers. As science and technology advance, more and more innovations that are patient centric and offer more convenience and efficiency can be envisaged. Technology will surely transform healthcare in amazing ways in the days to come.
Effect of technology on children – Posts
Obesity and Physical Fitness
More and more children in India and abroad are becoming obese , thanks to the amount of time spent with the video gaming, television and other gadgets.
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry notes that obesity — or having a body weight that is at least 10 percent more than the recommended number of pounds for the child’s age and height — has multiple causes, one of which is a lack of exercise. Spending hours in front of screen, whether it is a television or computer, can quickly contribute to a serious decrease in the amount of physical activity that a child gets during the day. Children need at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day to maintain a healthy weight and level of fitness, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The more tech-time that a child engages in, the less likely it is that he will get in his daily dose of physical activity. This can, in turn, contribute to negative effects such as weight gain.
Knowledge and Learning
Technology results in knowledge explosion. There is a lot of information out there on the internet, and children usually resort to googling any assignment or information they want. While trusted sources such as universities or major educational organizations have websites that contain real, verifiable information, other websites may not have the same authority. Technology and the Internet allow almost anyone to post information and call it an authoritative source. Children may not have the discerning ability to root out misinformation and may believe everything said on the internet and take it at face value. This leads to a lot of misinformation and miscommunication, which can sometimes even be dangerous when it comes to healthcare. Even adults fall prey to false claims and advises that are not verified over the internet and try to self medicate.
Social media, like facebook, twitter and whatsapp do help connect with friends, but have a downside as well. Children can easily become addicted to these and spend loads of time over virtual, and sometimes with people they have not even met in person , rather than developing actual social skills on a personal basis. Social media can also lure children into doing dangerous things , thanks to the anonymity of the profiles, such as going off to meet someone in a lonely area without informing parents or lending money to strangers and so on.
Children who use social media may not fully understand how the anonymity of the Internet allows predators to pose as kids, putting them at risk in the event that they give out personal information or plan an in-person meeting.
There are a host of media images of teen idols and pop stars constantly bombarded on social media, TV and other channels such as You Tube. These often include, and glorify, negative behaviors such as underage drinking, drug use or risky situations. Additionally, the media may portray an idealized image of the child or teenager when it comes to weight and appearance. Children develop a false sense of reality and what is, and isn’t, acceptable when it comes to his actions.