The Impact of Technology in Healthcare—4 Most Important Changes in the Medical Field in the 21st Century

The technology we used to see and admire in movies has now become our reality. The technological advancements we encounter every day are shaping today’s education, industry, and economy. One of the sectors where the improvements have proved most beneficial is the medical field. The ongoing digitalization has enabled easier access to medical records, and you no longer have to meet your doctor face to face for them to diagnose you.

These innovations have not only facilitated communication between patients and doctors but have shown useful for medical professionals looking to expand their knowledge and advance in their careers. The technological revolution in healthcare has enhanced the entire experience for both patients and healthcare professionals. So, what exactly has changed in the past couple of decades? To find out, keep reading the article as we list the four most relevant advancements.

Big data

The Internet has enabled medical staff to store and access data without wasting their time looking for specific information in a messy filing cabinet. Nowadays, it’s become normal practice to have a virtual archive where you can share information and keep your documents up-to-date. Big data, specifically, has allowed healthcare professionals to conduct research studies and examine diverse population members more efficiently. That means they can follow the latest trends in the industry and keep track of the developments in healthcare.

By moving everything online, they have also reduced the costs and invested the money in getting new medical equipment. With big data, doctors can recognize risk factors more rapidly, which results in a higher number of prevented deaths. Plus, it improves the quality of life and helps prevent possible epidemics.

Electronic health records

We can confidently say that paper is slowly but surely becoming extinct and outdated. Keeping paper records in an archive is not only impractical but also risky as these documents can be easily destroyed by a flood or fire. It’s much safer to store the records online, but each hospital or clinic should make sure to back up the files just in case. An online copy of your patient’s disease history facilitates the treatment and enables the doctor to diagnose the patient faster.

If you’re changing doctors or your health center, you don’t have to carry your medical records from one hospital to another. Instead, you can file a request and have your medical papers sent to the relevant email address.

Online education

The previous couple of years, especially last year’s coronavirus pandemic, have prompted the transition to online classes, and many schools and universities have taken their studies online. How is modern online education different from the traditional classroom? Well, taking your classes online means you get to study from the comfort of your home and take exams even when the classroom is off-limits.

Medical online courses have also witnessed a sharp rise in the past couple of years. Many aspiring nurses and healthcare professionals have turned to digital education as it’s more flexible and affordable. Once you’ve taken a course and passed the final exam successfully, you’ll get your proof of completion in no time. For instance, if you’ve completed a Basic Life Support course, you’ll get a certification in BLS, which shows that you’ve acquired the skills necessary to provide help in unpredictable situations.

Telehealth

You’re feeling too sick to go to the hospital and wait in line for your turn to see the doctor? No problem, because telemedicine can now help you get in touch with your doctor no matter his location. You’ll be able to get in touch with your GP from your home as long as you have a stable Internet connection. Online platforms enable patients to check for symptoms, order their medicines and even have them delivered.

On the other hand, doctors can track their patient’s health condition and prescribe the necessary drugs. If the patient is suffering from a serious illness, the doctor can arrange an appointment and examine the patient in person.

Key takeaways

The modern era has positively influenced our healthcare system and allowed doctors and nurses to stay in touch with their patients and support them even from a distance. The technological advancement has also facilitated education and medical staff members can access modern digital courses and acquire the necessary qualifications.

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