Technology is already improving the ability of healthcare professionals to diagnose, treat, and monitor the progression of diseases over time. Ironically, one of the most ubiquitous technologies isn’t used in the hospital setting at all: Tools for remote patient monitoring (RPM) are allowing patients to take control of their own health.
Ubiquitous Remote Patient Monitoring
Tools for remote patient monitoring have been shown to significantly improve the quality of life for patients dealing with chronic disease. Think of a diabetic patient who can more easily monitor his or her blood sugar levels and determine the best time to grab a snack. Such a device makes for steadier blood sugar levels, a higher quality of life, and a lower chance of having a diabetic event due to low blood sugar.
Streamlined Electronic Health Records
One of the most convenient yet potentially undramatic ways in which technology is revolutionizing the medical field is through providing greater accessibility of medical information. Technology can streamline the process of accessing a patient’s electronic health record so that misdiagnoses and pharmaceutical contraindications will gradually become a thing of the past.
A patient’s electronic health record (EHR) contains a lot of critical information beyond a patient’s medical history. An EHR provides healthcare professionals with the following kinds of information about patients: possible drug interactions, immunization dates, treatment plans, known allergies, radiology images, and relevant lab results.
Being about to cull this information at will is hugely beneficial to healthcare professionals and one of the most important, though seemingly unremarkable, ways in which technology is revolutionizing the field and changing the way that healthcare is provided to millions of Americans.
Technology Prevents Illness from Spreading
Remember the Ebola outbreak that reached Texas recently. The Centers for Disease Control was tightly monitoring that situation to ensure that the disease didn’t spread to imperil the health of millions of Americans, and they did a great job. Better monitoring and the ability to quickly look up incidence reports in a database reduces the spread of measles as well.
Improvements in medical technology help to fight the spread of the flu every year by letting healthcare professionals track the progression of the flu across cities, states, and the country at large.