|By Sarah Daren|
The rise of technology has greatly increased the accessibility of treatment for patients. It has improved the healthcare field, making it easier for medical providers to collect data, conduct research and provide treatments.
Healthcare experts forecast that technology will improve care and efficiency for patients as well as providers. This is already taking place, as more care providers incorporate new technologies for patient reports, updates, lab results, medical records and other uses. For instance, software programs are improving healthcare and disease control, such as the database that holds 14,000 individual codes that classify illness and symptoms for healthcare providers so that they can better understand their patients. With this resource, practitioners can improve how they manage diseases and provide better healthcare treatment. There are even high-tech vests that can identify chest or heart problems. This and other innovations will lead to more advanced research and will help care providers to solve many critical problems.
Technology is Improving Healthcare Management
Healthcare managers provide staff members with technological resources that increase their efficiency and improves treatment outcomes. The managers implement new technologies to promote growth, increase production and foster positive change in the caregiving setting. With new technologies becoming more available, healthcare professionals continue to rely on these new tools to deliver better services.
Some technologies that are currently being developed for healthcare professionals are wearable and implanted devices, telemedicine, data analytics and artificial intelligence. Also, electronic health records (EHRs) help healthcare professionals track and analyze large volumes of patient data. This advanced system leads to a better understanding of patient needs and reduces inefficiencies. Two other recent and remarkable developments in healthcare technology, however, are blockchain technology and machine learning algorithms.
Blockchain in the Healthcare Setting
Security of confidential information is a challenge for the healthcare industry. One out of four of all data breaches occurs in the field, affecting millions of Americans and costing approximately $363 per record — which can add up to billions of dollars. In light of this, healthcare leaders hope that blockchain technology can serve as a resource for securing sensitive patient data. Electronic health records contain patients’ names, birthdates, social security numbers and other private information. Due to the confidential nature of this data, there’s a heightened need for security in the healthcare industry.
Blockchain technology could be the solution that care providers need to solve the security dilemma. It’s made up of a network of information packets, called blocks, used to record, share and verify information. Healthcare providers, for example, might use the technology to record, verify and secure medical data, patient records, medical logs or other important information.
Blockchain data is stored all over the world on a network of participating peer-to-peer computers. When a block is completed, it adds to the chain of previously created blocks. In turn, a large system of information and facts are stored and can be accessed at any time.
Machine Learning for Enhanced Data Analytics
The healthcare industry manages large amounts of patient information using big data systems. Machine learning is a relatively new big data innovation that might revolutionize the healthcare field. The technology uses algorithms to continually “learn” how to unearth new discoveries.
Furthermore, healthcare providers manually screen volumes of images to help diagnose illnesses. With machine learning technologies, however, algorithms can be trained to search through large volumes of images quickly and produce suggestions for healthcare professionals. In some cases, algorithms can spot things that doctors may miss. A combination of machine learning and doctor’s judgment may very well be the future of providing highly accurate diagnoses.
As the healthcare industry moves information into the digital space, cybercriminals are growing more skilled in their trade. Due to the significant financial impact of a data breach, it is essential that cybersecurity is improved and remains a critical focus in the current technology-driven healthcare field. Healthcare organizations can improve their cybersecurity by implementing strong anti-virus protections, using firewalls, securing enterprise mobile devices, holding cybersecurity training classes, promoting the use of strong passwords, limiting network access and making use of other security technologies.
Keeping patient data safe is a mission-critical objective. As programmers and engineers continue their efforts to secure the world’s data, the healthcare field can look forward to more innovations to emerge and produce profound and remarkable improvements in the field.