Role of Technology in the Healthcare Sector
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From Deep Learning, Artificial Intelligence and IoMT, technology has now built inroads to provide instant care management in case of emergencies with real-time access to patient history.
The role of technology in the Healthcare sector has been the redefining force in patient-care management, hospital process management and, above all, in predicting the future course of treatment (predictive healthcare) based on data analysis.
Though the healthcare industry generates the huge amount of data on a daily basis, one of the biggest challenges for the sector was the inability to access patient history as it lacked technological infrastructure to build capacity that could store, organize, manage and provide access to data as and when required.
The role of technology is assimilating all possible patient information like health issues, treatment period, medication, allergies, doctor information, health records and even post hospitalization information amongst other information into one electronic window called Electronic Health Records (EHR), which provides real-time information access globally helping in immediate patient care, has been the beginning of technology inclusion in patient care management. This exclusive repository of medical history for patients providing multiple benefits like instant global access to past information that can help in charting appropriate medical procedures and, also, in reducing the economic burden of the patient due to non-requirement or duplication of basic medical tests and other mandatory check-ups.
Stored in hospital private servers or cloud servers, many hospitals and private medical practitioners, now allow their patients to access and download their healthcare records, if required. This provides worldwide instant access to one’s personal healthcare data in times of medical emergencies.
Predictive to Preventive Healthcare
Data assessment based on important data points like medical history, past and present lifestyle, environment, habits, present medication, genetics and other current symptoms can predict future ailments that can possibly lead to a life-threatening situation. Preventive Healthcare, based on data analysis, is predicted to be the next big technological advancement in the field that will provide insights into possible future ailments. This technology will also help to lower the burden of medical expenses for individuals, and also the overall healthcare expense for the government, as it can help medical practitioners to provide data based counselling to patients.
The data assessment and analysis can also provide a lot of inroads to better patient care management through improved process efficiencies and decision making. Hospitals and Care Management facilities, on the back of data analysis, would be able to determine and chart and effective route of treatment based on patient history, genetics and favourable outcomes.
Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)
Hospitals, Doctors and other Care Management facilities are now deploying technology across all possible departments to facilitate and ease the process of inpatient care management. IoMT (Internet of Medical Things), a network of interconnected medical devices and applications, are being deployed by hospitals for continuous monitoring of patient’s vital parameters aiding medical practitioners to understand the recovery process and take necessary recourse if required.
Especially, in the case of senior citizens who tend to have increasing healthcare issues and with the rise in life expectancy, healthcare costs are also expected to increase with age and medical treatment and procedural requirements. IoMT can provide a better way to care for our elderly and has a tremendous potential to help deal with the rising costs of care. IoMT devices can help track vitals, heart performance, monitor glucose and other parameters and activities and sleeping levels. There is a huge opportunity for IoMT things to help remote caregivers ensure quality patient care management with devices and a connected care ecosystem.
The IoMT, apart from clinical applications, also has non-clinical benefits like out-patient management (doctor appointment allocation or rescheduling), asset management like operations, asset tracking (medicines/physicians/staffs/ambulances) and adherence to quality standards for hospitals.
Newer technological advancements in the field of data management, AI and ML are now aiding healthcare providers and practitioners globally to monitor and manage their patient’s in-hospitalisation and post hospitalisation process requirements in a more refined manner. From predictive to preventive healthcare management, the process is to simply care management, empower patients with their health data, and make them aware and largely responsible towards their own health management.