Technology has changed our lives and revolutionized all industries. In healthcare, it has played a role in almost everything. It has never been easier to register patients and to monitor all their data. Laboratory testing is now far more accurate and cost-effective. Additionally, medical technology has empowered people by providing them with wearable devices to keep track of their health, as well as providing plenty of other self-care tools.
In many instances, medical technology has moved out of hospitals and into homes. People now have a chance to get a medical consultation from their own homes through the use of video consultation. They are also able to use the latest medical software on commonly available mobile devices like tablets to replace expensive health monitoring systems. Today, then, technology allows people to use better vital signs monitors, telehealth, electronic health records, and remote monitoring equipment.
Better Vital Signs Monitors
A Vital Signs Monitor is an essential part of patient services. Without it, doctors, nurses, or paramedics would have to rely on intuition or keen observation to assess a patient’s health condition. For instance, when transporting patients in an ambulance, paramedics must take each person’s pulse and respiration rate to quickly evaluate how to support them before they get to the hospital. They can then assess how dire the situation is and what steps to take to keep the patient alive during the short trip. Hospitals, of course, need to purchase a wide range of monitors. They are necessary to measure pulse, pulse oximetry, blood pressure, non-invasive blood pressure, respiration, temperature, or vital signs variability.
Telehealth, sometimes referred to as telemedicine, plays a vital role in rural healthcare because people living in rustic and mountainous areas may not have access to hospitals. They can arrange an immediate video consultation with a physician hundreds of miles away to understand their health condition. In the past, a physician could only guess a patient’s health when speaking over the phone based on how well the patient described their symptoms. Now with video, a physician can see and hear the patient and get a much more accurate understanding of the patient’s health.
Telehealth is a rapidly growing field whose possibilities continue to expand as technology continues to evolve even more. In the future, it may be possible for doctors to run some medical tests remotely. Besides providing patients in remote areas a chance to consult with an experienced physician in a metropolitan area, telehealth also offers enormous cost-saving benefits for doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies. For instance, time and travel expenses are minimized when patients have a video chat with their physician.
Electronic Health Records
The use of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) has changed many aspects of medicine. It’s more cost-effective than keeping track of paperwork and the documentation is far more accurate and easier to access quickly. And, of course, many aspects of patient care have improved remarkably, like efficiency, effectiveness, timeliness, education, communication, and safety. In addition to better record-keeping, EHRs can be combined with the power of other technologies, like big data analytics and cloud computing, to provide even better patient care and diagnosis and treatment.
Remote Monitoring Equipment
Monitoring the health of the patient at home used to require ongoing nursing care and patient transportation to the physician’s clinic. It was both expensive and difficult for patients to get the care that they needed. Now many measurements of the patient’s vital statistics can be done remotely. For instance, someone with a pacemaker can now automatically send data to a remote center. If there is a problem with heart rate variability, the patient can be immediately contacted to see if they need help. Remotely monitoring the health of patients may seem invasive, but for patients with serious health problems, it is a sophisticated solution. Additionally, it is a life-saver for patients who could not otherwise afford to hire a full-time nurse to keep track of their vital signs.
In conclusion, the use of better vital signs monitors, telehealth, electronic health records, and remote monitoring equipment are just a few of the many changes that advances in technology have made possible. As technology continues to advance, even more remarkable improvements in healthcare are expected.