Few things are as intertwined as technology and healthcare in the modern economy. The intersection of these two fields involves everything from routine diagnosis to medical imaging, cutting-edge cancer treatments, and even online patient records. There are are a few notable areas where healthcare has benefitted significantly from high-tech developments, which most patients are likely to appreciate and use on an almost routine basis.
iPad Deployment in Medical Environments
The development of the iPad was one of the most consequential for Apple in 2009, and it has become an indispensable tool in delivery of patient care, as well. Today doctors, whether they’re in family practices or emergency rooms, often carry an iPad along with them instead of a traditional pen and paper. The reasons why are numerous, but they all dramatically enhance patient care. Thanks to unique medical apps and accessories for iPads and other tablet devices, doctors can now use these devices to conduct routine examinations and have access to advanced diagnostic tools for patients that don’t seem to fit neatly into any potential disease or disorder. Speeding up diagnosis makes treatment easier and more effective, and it leads to better patient outcomes. Tablets have therefore revolutionized routine patient care, emergency treatment, and even the diagnosis of terminal diseases.
Two-Way Communication Between Doctors and Patients
One of the biggest developments in patient communication has come in the form of online medical records portal and wearable devices. Smart watches, for instance, now allow patients to share information on their physical activity and heart rate with physicians on an ongoing, instant basis. Online portals make it easier for doctors to be alerted to diabetic patients with blood sugar irregularities, as long as they’re wearing an insulin monitor. Other examples abound, but the central theme is this: Doctors now have instant access to patient health data and alerts that can aid early diagnosis and prevention. As a result, it’s easier for patient care to transform into the “disease prevention” mode and away form the costlier “disease care” mode that has characterized treatment in the United States for the better part of a century.
Big Data and the Advancement of Diagnosis
For centuries, doctors have had to note patterns relating to pathology in written form, individually, over a long period of time. That is still the case to some extent, but it’s becoming less common with each passing day. In the current era of high-tech health care, doctors are able to contribute patient data and diagnosis information to a massive database accessible to physicians all around the world. This data can be “crunched,” analyzed, and reported by supercomputers. The result is quicker access to patterns and characteristics of diseases like diabetes, cancer, ALS, and many others. By identifying these patterns more quickly, doctors can treat patients early in the disease itself. In some cases, they may even be able to reverse the effects of the disease, as is now the case with “pre-diabetes” in patients that are notified early on.
Patient Care is Transforming at a Rapid Pace
Ensuring good health is easier than ever in the 21st century, thanks in no small part to the Internet, tablet devices, and the ability to process “big data” when analyzing patient symptoms. Given these great successes and advancements in patient care, it’s likely that technology and healthcare will continue to converge and rapidly change the future of human health and wellness.