The recent technological boom has revolutionized our lives by delivering endless information to our fingertips. Advancements in medicine have led to increasingly efficient means of providing patient health and care. From robotic surgery to telemedicine, patients and professionals are growing more reliant on technology to improve diagnoses, patient care, and quality of life. Recently developed technology has focused on allowing for an earlier diagnosis while increasing physician efficiency and healthcare accessibility.
Today’s medical advancements have become synonymous with “early prevention.” Medicine has traditionally focused on “tertiary prevention,” which aims to limit disability only after a disease has taken its toll on the body. This trend is a result of limitations in medicinal knowledge and equipment.
As new technology is introduced, the modes of care are beginning to shift to “primary prevention.”
Medicinal technologies have also developed a “primitive intelligence” that assists healthcare professionals to better perform their work. For example, nearly all US healthcare institutions have now implemented a CDSS (Computerized Decision Support System). This system automatically integrates pertinent patient information as well as related evidence-based clinical practice guidelines and presents it to the physician. By reviewing the information in the collected documents in a matter of seconds, the CDSS can provide physicians with accurate diagnoses, recommendations, and treatment plans. Inspired by the success of the CDSS, new programs continue to be generated to increase healthcare efficiency and reduce human error.
The third and most transformative change has been the introduction of “portal technology” to patients. They now have greater control over their healthcare experiences by being able to easily and safely access their medical records. In recent years, devices tracking health statistics of individuals have seen an increase in usage. Nearly all major electronics companies are releasing their devices with built-in programs that can encourage and promote a healthy lifestyle. These applications can sum up recorded information such as sleep schedules, daily exercise, and nutrition. This can prove to be a useful insight for physicians by allowing them to suggest improvements in lifestyle choices based on the collected data.
Technological advancements continue to lay the foundation for a healthcare system without limits. Increasing accessibility and reducing cost and error are important points to focus on if we hope to provide the best quality of care. As technology continues to be developed, the burdens and restraints presented to us today will certainly fade.