Tuesday, August 16, 2011

TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENT ...going to takeover the world of healthcare

Technological advancements in various aspects of human life have established supremacy amongst other species. Technology has played and will play an important role in human life, and offer new and better ways to expedite human efficiency in the upcoming centuries. The application of information technology has enabled vast array of information exchange in the wide spectrum of human interfaces and civilization progression.

Technology advancement has accelerated human efficiency multifold but highlights of recent technological breakthrough results in selected fields, giving an outlook on game-changing developments in the coming decades. Keeping abreast of new technological breakthroughs and vast array of information is a mix of state-of-the-art overviews to draw trend of upcoming human civilization.

Staying healthy is an imperative issue and a buzzword amongst the human fraternity globally. The healthcare profession, like many other businesses, continues to function within the realm of technology, Physicians encounter the use of technology on a daily basis. Technology must be the basis for changing the way patient care is being delivered. Clinical Information Systems have replaced paper charting. Duplicate charting and documentation are eliminated and error reduction allows more time for and flexibility in delivering patient care. Gone are the days of time spent trying to decipher illegible handwritten physician orders. But despite of all the technological advancement made by human curiosity, the human aspect of leveraging and delivering information technology for patient care is not sufficient even today.

In the context to Indian scenario, preventable diseases dominate over curable and curable diseases turns to terminal due to ignorance and patients’ access limitation to RMP & quacks. Rural Indians spend 1.5 times more compared to urban counterparts for same illness because rural physician to population ratio lower by 6 times and rural hospital beds to population ratio lower by 15 times. Almost 22 million Indian populations pushed below poverty line annually due to healthcare expenditure alone because hospitalization expenditure of patients are either funded by borrowed money or sold assets.

Although medical informatics applications have increased significantly within the past few years and information technology influencing mode of healthcare practice but healthcare professionals are facing lot of challenges in learning and working within the age of technology. In addition, advancements in information technologies have also become an integral link to resource optimization and continuing education. Healthcare administrators have begun to utilize informatics applications to assist with staffing, managing budgets and disseminating information.

Since Physicians and medical assistants spend a greater portion of their time documenting patient information and adapting to electronic documentation however, they yet follow conservative process to communicate with external world for patient care. Information communication technology advancements surfaced over the last decade in education, research, entertainment, administration and commerce has become inundated with society but healthcare yet follows conventional system. We must perceive the changes in healthcare practice as a challenge rather than a risk to our business and assist others through the transitions.

Some noteworthy technological advancement in healthcare includes image-guided therapy for the interventional radiologist and surgeon using multimodality hybrid imaging technologies. Such technology blends CT-integrated robotic systems and information communication technology for percutaneous needle insertion, electromagnetic tracking for laparoscopic positional correction, and fusion of live ultrasound imaging with CT datasets. The aim of these technologies are to allow image-based treatment planning, guidance, monitoring, and controlling of treatment effectiveness.

Handheld units are utilized to transmit patient information directly to electronic medical records (EMR) providing more efficient documentation with increased accuracy and consistency. Present information technology have eliminated the need of healthcare profession with applications that check for drug interactions, calculate dosages, analyze lab results, schedule procedures, order prescriptions, and automate other clinical tasks, thus reducing the probability of errors and increasing patient safety.

One downfall to the use of technology in healthcare is the potential breech of confidentiality and security pertaining to patient information. At all times, the healthcare provider must be cognizant of guidelines regarding patient privacy, security and confidentiality of patient information.

Since it has been established that change due to advancements in information communication technology will continue in healthcare, providing information regarding the benefits gained by the new system will augment acceptance. Technological advancement will definitely influence critical aspects of future medical care.
Global distributed and centralized medical system like www.mdyantra.com, a global healthcare ecosystem on cloud would be giving an outlook of game-changing developments in patient care the coming decades. MDYantra is aimed at change the pathway of patient care presently being practiced and delivered; thereby changing the health-care paradigm globally.

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