Healthcare Technology is Changing at Break-Neck Speed
The Healthcare Office of the Future is not 30 years away…it’s closer to 2 years away. (source – Moore’s Law)
Healthcare Technology is evolving exponentially. The technology being developed for the Healthcare industry is geared towards streamlining, scaling, gathering huge amounts of data and managing operations. The challenge is how does the industry keep up.
1. mHealth – Healthcare Mobile Technology
Mobile technology is no longer just for social networking and games. mHealth is now an exploding phenomenon with an impact to both Healthcare providers and patients. There are approximately 165,000 mHealth apps available in the Apple iTunes and Android app stores.1The impact seems to be going in a positive direction, but the challenge for most in the Healthcare industry is whether their offices are prepared for all the changes in technology. We are now in a world where health can be monitored and managed remotely with this mobile technology and the Healthcare industry is tasked with determining how to best utilize this information for the betterment of their patients while staying efficient. The successful future of mHealth is inevitable, are you prepared?
2. The Wireless Healthcare Office
Is the future already here? Are healthcare professionals already utilizing their current wireless technology to its fullest? The future of Wireless in a Healthcare Office definitely includes innovative and new technology for the Wireless user, but the short-term future of wireless access is its utilization and adoption. Notes may now be taken on a computer rather than on a clipboard, but does each applicable healthcare professional have a tablet that can meet all their needs to accomplish their jobs more effectively? Your “Wireless Goal” as a Healthcare provider is less futurist and more realistic. Success will be measured on how effectively you can implement the widespread use of wireless technology…that is what will prepare you for the future of wireless technology.
3. The Future of EMR
The future of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) is not whether it will be fully adopted, that is a foregone conclusion. The EMR benefits of less human error, reduced costs, more accessible
information, etc…2 should never be ignored, but the truth to the successful future of EMR lies in the strength of your IT Security.
With the enhanced accessibility of patients’ personal information comes the responsibility to protect that information. Anti-virus software alone is no longer sufficient. Many policies and procedures need to be in place to ensure that your patients’ electronic information is protected against hackers and cyber-criminals. How prepared are you if your IT infrastructure is compromised? Take this 5 question IT Security Quiz to test your preparedness.
4. Wearable Healthcare Technology
If the average person is asked to name a popular wearable health-based device, they would probably answer with a wristband that measures their steps. But, for those in the Healthcare Industry, the technology advancements in wearable technology will make the tracking of health data both more accurate and accessible. In the past, to get accurate test data a patient would have to devote a significant amount of time getting tested then waiting for their test results to be published. Wearable health monitors are now being developed that can be worn as an undershirt, arm patch, wristband, ear accessory, etc… Remember the first portion of this article, mHealth? Nearly each one of these new innovations incorporate an mHealth app connected via Bluetooth.
5. Waiting Rooms Become Obsolete
In the era of eHealth (health services delivered through the Internet and related technologies), the Healthcare Office of the Future tackles one of the issues for patients – the Waiting Room.
Thanks to advancements such as IoT (Internet of Things) and mobile technology, the days of manual information gathering and transfer are becoming obsolete. The future of the waiting room includes test results delivered through wearable devices and in-office testing stations where the patient can perform their own tests and receive results immediately.3 The increase in efficiencies are exponential compared to today.
No-shows and double-booking patients seem like an inevitable event in the Healthcare industry. For the physician group and clinic network of the future, they will be fortified with technology that can provide accurate analytics to plan and prevent these events. There is scheduling optimization software available now that can pull patient data stored within a network and give an estimate on patients likely to no-show offering options to double book the physician. The future of healthcare is about efficiency and technology can make it happen.
6. Virtual Office Visit
Many practices are adopting the Telemedicine trend and why not? The new tech-enabled world is said to be the answer to inefficiencies that have plagued the healthcare industry for decades. Not only are practitioners looking to improve healthcare results, they are looking at the patient experience in general. Telemedicine is becoming increasingly more advanced as a viable solution to patient services. The future of Telemedicine is to create an increasingly accessible direct connection with your physician. The future is now when it comes to virtual doctor visits.
Dr. Barbara Bergin, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon said, “As patients find it harder and harder to find doctors to see them, hindrances to virtual medicine—such as liability issues—will diminish out of necessity.”
With the emergence of electronic medical records and easy access to that information nearly anywhere in the world, your doctor can now use minimal resources to pull your records from the cloud and complete a full visit via a video call.
7. Healthcare and Augmented Reality
Pokémon Go is just the beginning of our love affair with this new world called “augmented reality.”
Certainly, it’s no surprise that apps on our smartphones can facilitate conveniences for society but what about its potential impact on medical emergencies? There are apps that can provide you with a geolocation of the nearest automated external defibrillator (AED).4For some, this could mean the difference between life and death.
Healthcare is finding its way in the augmented reality world. It’s time to think “out of the box” for ways to use this technology to respond faster to emergencies or reduce the non-emergency office visit that traditionally caused back-logs and long waiting times for patients. App developers are already taking a primary role in virtual information transfer to raise awareness of progressing conditions for patients. Their hope is to motivate people to make positive changes. For example, an app called EyeDecide, helps patients understand symptoms of their Cataract condition by recording the changes over time so the doctor can produce a simulation for review with the patient. For surgeons, software developers are on the verge of developing a way to view 3-dimensional reconstructions of tumors – empowering the surgeon with x-ray views in real-time.
These advancements in Healthcare Technology will be dramatic and the early adopters will reap the rewards.
Are you prepared for the future in technology? Explore the following resources to test your knowledge and learn more: