The development of technology has changed the world in so many ways, mostly for the positive. Most people think technology just stops with their iPhones, TV’s, and computers, but in the world of healthcare it strives far beyond that. Health care, hospitalization and even a trip to the doctors office are much more effective and proactive these days than they have been in the past due to the advancement in technology. Better technology and computer systems have radically improved the quality of healthcare.
There have been many advances in the improvement of robots to help professionals be more time efficient, but still have direct access to their patients. Through robotic systems that include video and audio capabilities, healthcare professionals can “go” into the patient’s home to provide follow-up care. We can never eliminate the need for hospitalization or in-person visits. Some patients will always need intense care, monitoring and direct physical evaluation.
We can, however, be more efficient in using our resources (KevinMD.
com). MD, Hiep Nguyen, stated in KevinMD, “Because hospital care is so expensive, insurance companies encourage us to discharge patients sooner, sometimes refusing to authorize care beyond a certain time period. While this reduces the immediate cost, there is a greater chance that patients will have complications and return to the hospital, negating the cost-saving effort. In addition, early discharge often leaves both patients and physicians feeling that their care was incomplete and of lesser quality.” People might assume that the cost of technology would negate the cost benefits of getting patients out of the hospital sooner, but this is not the case. Most of the technology that we currently use is already in wide use. Competition is making the technology even more affordable, economical and effective. There are many emerging advances in health care technologies.
Many people are familiar with MRI’s, microscopes, and heart monitors, but there are many people haven’t heard of like bioengineered blood vessels, magnetic molecules, “The YouTube cure”, and using water fleas as human test subjects. New brain scans were developed to perform up to seven times faster than previous MRI’s. This was such a huge improvement for neuroscientists and doctors as they were able to lessen the amount of time identifying problems, and more time fixing and improving them (nursing Schools, 1). Daphnia pulex, also known as water fleas, now have a big role in toxicology tests. This is beneficial for the safety and overall well-being of many different organisms, including humans (Nursing Schools, 2). “The YouTube Cure” is a method of treating Multiple Sclerosis, which is a chronic, typically progressive disease involving damage to the sheaths of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, whose symptoms may include numbness, impairment of speech and of muscular coordination, blurred vision, and severe fatigue. Paolo Zamboni came up with the idea of using inflated balloons on twisted neck nerves to relieve the horrible pain.
“The YouTube Cure” still exists on the fringes of medical science, but only time will tell whether or not it proves to be a worthwhile strategy (Nursing Schools, 4). When hospitals began experimenting with implanting electromechanical pressure sensors in their cardiac patients, they noticed a 30% decrease in readmissions. These wireless heart monitors, researched and created by CardioMEMS, relay arterial signals to doctors and greatly assist them in keeping track of all sorts of factors — making it an indispensable preventative tool (Nursing Schools, 10). In February of 2009, President Barack Obama said, “To improve the quality of our healthcare while lowering its cost, we will make immediate investments necessary to ensure that within 5 years, all of America’s medical records are computerized.”
I personally believe that this is what needed to be done, and Obama has made it happen. Even going to a doctors’ appointment I have noticed so much change in technology. They used to pull out folders for each individual patient, but now it’s all saved and they just pull it up on the computers. Even the scales are electronic now, instead of using the old scales. All of these advancements are great improvements in our society. It makes life so much easier and we are able to correct flaws faster and more effectively. We now have electronic medical records, online referral and prescription systems, and seamless transfers of digital images between providers, which make things a lot easier for professionals in the health care field.
It will drastically lower costs – on the order of $80 billion a year, according to one estimate (Forbes). As the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) found last year, 92 percent of studies between 2007 and 2010 reached positive conclusions on the effects of better healthcare technology, including cost savings. With all of the technological advances in the healthcare field, it makes things a lot easier for doctors and scientists of all kinds. People will obviously still need hospital care and medical attention, but we are now more able to make their hospital stays and visits faster and a lot more cost effective. So, all in all, better technology leads to better treatment and lower costs.
10 Amazing, Emerging Advances in Medical Technology.” Nursing Schools, Nursing 00000Colleges, Nurse Education. N.p., 16 Feb. 2011. Web. 29 Oct. 2012. Gallagher, Jason. “Five Amazing Technological Advances in the Health Care Field.” 00000Yahoo! Contributor Network. Yahoo, 26 Aug. 2010. Web. 29 Oct. 2012. Nguyen, Hiep, MD. “Technological Advances Can Solve Our Current Healthcare 00000Crisis.” Technological Advances Can Solve Our Current Healthcare Crisis. 00000KevinMD.com, 7 Dec. 2011. Web. 29 Oct. 2012. Flows, Capital. “Is Better Technology Still The Future Of Healthcare?” Forbes. Forbes 00000Magazine, 16 May 2012. Web. 29 Oct. 2012. DePompa, Barbara. “Technological Advances Key to Healthcare Transformation.” 00000Advancing IT. Web. 29 Oct. 2012.