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5 Ways Technology is Revolutionizing Healthcare

by BillingFreedom | Feb 20, 2024

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 Technology has evolved at lightning speed over the past 20 years. Every field and industry has been revolutionized in one way or another due to the rise in technological advancements. Healthcare is one of the industries which has evolved majorly with the increase in technology.

Remember the time when people with lung disease had no other options but to survive in a steel coffin, also known as the iron lung, or when couples thought the only alternative to infertility was adoption? No? But you do remember the last time you booked an appointment online or googled your medical symptoms, right?

This is how far medicine has come with the help of technology over the past 20 years. The impact has been so significant that now Biotech is considered one of the most funded research fields in the world. We have all heard of X-rays, Ultrasounds, and medical imaging like MRI, CT, PET, etc., assisting healthcare providers. But that is just the tip of the iceberg! There are so many other ways that technology has made healthcare accessible for both healthcare providers and patients.

Telemedicine:

There used to be a time when you had to travel miles to visit a doctor. Patients in remote areas often die due to the absence of healthcare providers. Telemedicine allows patients to consult with healthcare providers online through video conferencing or other communication technologies. 

Doctors have also assisted in surgeries through telemedicine, which has significantly helped programs like Doctors of the World, which focus on underserved areas.  

Electronic Health Records (EHRs):

EHRs have digitalized patients’ medical records, which are only accessible through the authorization of healthcare organizations and medical providers. This phenomenon led to more efficient compliance with HIPPA, which gives patients control over their health information.  

EHR has also opened doors to new opportunities for healthcare providers. It allows fast access to a patient’s previous medical records, makes appointment scheduling more efficient, and allows providers to deal efficiently with medical billing

With the help of EHR, healthcare providers can now outsource their medical billing services and front-desk calling, etc. This reduces the burden on doctors’ offices and allows them to focus on their patients. EHR has enabled medical portals, which have reduced the friction of communication between healthcare facilities and billing companies. It has also significantly reduced average medical billing costs for healthcare facilities and improved the account receivables for medical services.

Healthcare Apps:

With the increased use of smartphones, apps have become the most exciting phenomenon for mobile phone users. The app industry is now a billion-dollar industry, and healthcare owns a significant chunk of it. 

How can an app help me cure my disease? It was a challenging concept to grasp for the common public. Still, gradually people started using different apps to book their doctor’s appointments, look up their lab reports and access their medical records. Collaboration of healthcare apps with brands like Fitbit, Samsung, Apple, Google, and Sanofi increased their publicity. 

 There are two types of healthcare apps; medical apps and fitness apps. Medical apps have different types:

  • Women Health Apps like Glow, Headspace and Natural Cycles, etc., help women monitor their ovulation cycles, deal with postpartum depression, and keep track of their pregnancy etc. 
  • Personal Health Record Apps like Medic Log and Pain Diary etc., help patients keep a record of their personal medical history. 
  • AI powers Diagnostic Apps like Ada App to diagnose your problem based on the symptoms and direct the patient to a specialist. 

 Their fitness apps also have different types;

  • Diet and Nutrition Apps that customize a diet chart for the users based on their BMI, Age, Medical conditions and preferences, etc. 
  • Exercise and Fitness Apps that track your physical activity can be linked to different devices like fitness bands.
  • Lifestyle and stress apps primarily focus on mental health and help patients deal with anxiety, sleeping disorders, etc.

These apps track and monitor the health status of patients, remind them of medication, and can also be enabled to communicate with healthcare providers to help them manage chronic diseases. 

Wearable Technology:

Wearable technologies include fitness trackers, smartwatches, heart rate monitors, smart wearables, etc. AI powers these devices to keep track of the user’s physical activity and provide a detailed insight into patients’ overall health. Cardiologists especially recommend wearable technologies for high-risk patients. It is a wonder that a whole ECG can be done by just wearing a watch! 

3D Printing:

You would not expect 3D printers to be used by doctors, would you? But guess what? Medical Technicians are using it to create customized prosthetics, implants, medical devices, and surgical tools, which are highly effective as they are customized for every patient and are also cost-effective. It has revolutionized the surgical department by providing surgeons with replicas of bones, organs, and even blood vessels. It is majorly used in surgical and dental departments.

3D Printing has also played a significant role in improving the lives of patients who needed prosthetics. Earlier patients had to wait on lists for years until an organ or prosthetic was available. 

These are just a few technological advancements in healthcare over the past years. Various other phenomena are being introduced, like AI algorithms to predict and diagnose large sets of patients, advances in genomics, virtual reality training, etc. In the coming years, healthcare will be majorly reliant on technology.

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