Technology in Healthcare.

 

Emerging information technologies are changing the healthcare landscape. Some of these trends include: big data analysis, cloud computing in healthcare, and health sensing technologies (Chen et. al., 2015). Health sensing devices have given the consumer the power to track their own physical, mental and physiological health. If the user needs, they can often seek medical assistance through these devices as well (Chen et. al., 2015). These devices could potentially reduce costs and healthcare visits as a clinician could monitor a patient’s’ symptoms from a distance. There are many forms of sensing devices such as: sleep sensing, falls detection, and heart state sensing (Chen et. al., 2015).

For big data, an unprecedented amount of health data has been collected thus far with no signs of slowing down. This data can be used to not only deliver patient centred care to improve health outcomes, but also care that is based on evidence (Chen et. al., 2015). It is widely known that healthcare can be vastly improved through the utilization and consumption of medical data. Medical information retrieval and medical data mining are two forms of big data used in healthcare. Medical information retrieval involves looking through large datasets to find relevant information that may address the end-users question. Medical data mining helps look at hidden patterns in datasets to help end-users make more informed decisions (Chen et. al., 2015).

Moreover, cloud computing can decrease health care costs, keep data secure, and can help achieve efficient use of resources. Cloud computing can be used for health data storage and manipulation and security and privacy protection (Chen et. al., 2015).

Electronic medical records (EMRs) collect data of inpatients and outpatients who are at the hospital. EMRs can help to facilitate research and improve the quality of patient care as they have the potential to work with emerging technologies (Chen et. al., 2015).

All of these trends can help to make healthcare more efficient and effective by aiding in detecting healthcare problems early on, providing innovative solutions, and helping to allocate medical resources through better management and understanding of health data. These innovative technologies are also changing the “patient” to “consumer” (Chen et. al., 2015). Patients are now more in control of their health and healthcare data. Healthcare technologies have empowered the patient to take more responsibility for their health and have enabled them to make more informed decisions as a result (Chen et. al., 2015). In addition, there is now more support for patients’ through technology such as telemedicine. Lastly, there has been a  shift towards preventative care as opposed to treatment by focusing on wellness and health through certain technologies such as health sensors. There is a hope that by focusing on prevention, technology in healthcare can help to reduce costs, improve patient outcomes, improve the quality of care and reduce readmission rates. Overall, healthcare technologies working together can help to foster sustainable healthcare ecosystems, enhance our current healthcare capabilities, foster collaboration, and put more of a focus on preventative care (Chen et. al., 2015).

References:
Chen, S., Li, J., Mulder, J., Pan, H., Wang, Q., Wang, Y., Wu, H. & Yang, J. (2015). Emerging information technologies for enhanced care. Computers in Industry, 69, 3-11. Retrieved from https://journals-scholarsportal-info.libaccess.lib.mcmaster.ca/pdf/01663615/v69icomplete/3_eitfeh.xml