It is no secret that we have spiralled into a sedentary lifestyle that pushes us to spend more hours on a desk chair rather than on our feet. Accompanied with bazillion other things that are strikingly wrong with our generation, this has taken a toll on health and fitness. Now a global concern, harnessing information technology in healthcare has helped navigate a field that deals with gigantic amounts of sensitive information. Latest technological advances focus on applications of internet of things and machine learning but here, we are going to talk about its much more basic, yet crucial implementations.
Software applications are used for networking between different entities in the sphere of healthcare and fitness - patients, doctors, hospitals, drug companies, medical representatives, labs and pharmacies. With these entities fanning out geographically each day and users becoming more locomotory, remote access solutions are crucial. Through official websites, chat boxes and instant messengers, communication has become effortless and painless. Specialised social network platforms are a new development, and give professionals the opportunity to discuss medical problems, crowdsource diagnosis for real-world cases and help save lives.
Analysing healthcare with blinders on would reveal that it is restricted to diagnosis and treatment of a disease. However, there are a multitude of sounds that work in unison to form the syllable of this industry.
Foremost, web portals are used to simplify the process of booking an appointment because if there is a lag in this arena, it will hamper the rest of the communication link - patient’s health, reputation and monetary-wise setback for the entire system. Next, the revenue cycle needs to be monitored since managing billing, payments and reimbursements, and printing respective prescriptions is a tedious task for healthcare organisations. Thus, software can be used to track the activity of each payor source, sort revenue statistics, release bills, generate alerts in case of any missing or misleading information, and notify the user when something needs to be done. They can also be used to manage human resources and payroll.
It was during days of yore that doctors were dependent on fax and paperwork to share patient information. With cloud technology, all data can be accessed at one place, conferring more fluidity to professionals, and information can be recorded and updated in real time. A repository of different symptoms and signs would help doctors diagnose diseases at a fast pace, and make information processing a much less complex process. This would also allow creation of algorithms and patterns wherein inputting details of one patient would map it to the others and help them arrive at useful conclusions. Risk assessment will be also be easier with the ability to breeze through data mining.
A much more vital aspect orbiting this technology is the maintenance of electronic health records (EHR) that involve personal medical records and health information exchange. They allow you to maintain information in a precise and comprehensive manner, leading to better healthcare treatment. Since consumers wish to have mobile access to their medical records, this digital version of a patient’s health information is very useful for it allows users to access this data securely and instantly.
A car built by company ‘A’ can have speakers of brand ‘B.’ Similarly, an X-ray machine may belong to company ‘C’ but the software underlying its functioning may be built by company ‘D.’ Thus, often middleware is employed to operate a medical device to basically connect client and back-end systems, providing interoperability. These software are also used to increase transparency between different departments of a healthcare organisation that need specific patient information, supplemented by improved adaptability to the EHR functionality.
It is only a matter of time before all of healthcare becomes digitized and with statistical data indicating greater incidence of diseases in the coming decades, there is a pressing need to address this global issue.
“When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot be applied.” - Herophilus
My team and I are avid seekers of technology. We would be delighted to know what you’ve been doing to contribute to this evolving madness. Feel free to strike conversation with us.