Pioneering medical technologies enhance and extend the capacity of physicians, nurses and other healthcare practitioners. They streamline the collaboration among healthcare providers across different facilities and speed up patient access to treatment. They even have the ability to alert emergency responders to accidents in real time and offer predictive capabilities previously unimagined. Three healthcare technology trends are topping the charts in terms of industry impact.
Electronic Health Records
Equipped with Electronic Health Records (EHRs), medical practitioners are capable of providing patients with enhanced, efficient healthcare. Records are more easily accessed, updated, and shared among relevant doctors, nurses and specialists, reducing wait times for patients. They’re also more secure, and they encourage more complete documentation and more accurate coding and billing. The decreased paperwork, improved safety, and reduction of redundancy not only improve the overall state of healthcare but also reduce costs for patients and providers.
“The more connected the records are among different healthcare systems, the more helpful they are,” says Jennifer Blalock, RN, a medical professional with Atrium Health in Charlotte, NC. “They allow immediate access to diagnoses, labs, tests and prescriptions, greatly improving patient care and, critically, safety.”
Internet of Things
As broadband internet becomes more widespread and the cost of connecting decreases, more devices are being designed with WiFi capabilities and sensors built into them. This ability to connect any device to the Internet is having a profound impact on healthcare management. Fitness trackers and other mobile health apps empower consumers to maintain their health more effectively and with greater autonomy. As consumers become more health conscious through the use of these apps, they’ll take up less time in healthcare centers, giving providers greater bandwidth for more critical health issues.
Physicians and emergency responders are also empowered by the development of fall detection, temperature monitors and other wearables that give real time access to patients even when they’re at home. Prescriptions management, sleep cycles and even a patient’s heartbeat can be monitored remotely to ensure premium healthcare at any time and in any location.
“Remote trackers, also known as telemetry, enable patients to get more consistent care and doctors to get more consistent knowledge about patient compliance. Patients also receive more regular care based on the fact that they are required to come into the office for monitoring,” Blalock says, adding, “As a placebo effect, it also seems to provide many patients with just more peace of mind.”
Augmented Intelligence (AI) has the capacity to optimize the performance of healthcare providers by amplifying and extending diagnoses. With the enhancements offered by AI, healthcare providers are able to access results faster and even automate nonessential aspects of their workload. This reduces wait times and speeds up the referral process, ensuring patients with urgent medical issues receive more immediate care.
Through the rapid analysis of expansive stores of data, AI also equips healthcare providers with improved predictive analytics models. Data that may have been merely warehoused by healthcare facilities in the past now has the potential to be used in early detection of diseases and the streamlined implementation of preventative healthcare.
Blalock notes that there’s still some hesitation among both patients and more traditional physicians when it comes to the use of AI, often because patients don’t completely understand that practitioners are using the AI to supplement their own interpretation. Instead, they fear that AI may be actually taking the place of personalized diagnoses.
“I think it’s a good resource in regard to predictive information,” she says, “Which seems to be the best use of AI by healthcare and the direction in which it’s moving. I do still think there should always be caution included in its use. Large healthcare corporations are constantly looking to reduce cost, and too frequently, they do this by reducing direct patient care providers.”
Antares: Your partner in healthcare technology
At Antares, we’ve spent thirty years successfully developing custom software for clients in the healthcare industry, including the Louisiana Department of Health; the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center; McKesson Automated Prescription Systems and Amedisys, Inc., a leading provider of home health, hospice and personal care. Our experienced tech experts analyze your needs and design custom applications built to your exact specifications. Contact our team today to learn more about the technologies we’ve helped implement, and how we can help you achieve your business goals.