The pandemic highlighted the importance of technology to bridge the gap between the patients and medical practitioners even if they are not in the same location. Technological innovations allowed people to consult their doctors even if they did not set foot in the office.
Aside from this, the healthcare sector also saw many other innovations that positively impacted the industry. Here are some tech innovations that helped the healthcare industry in the past year.
Wearables and Other Devices
Wearables have a huge potential in the healthcare industry since it allows medical professionals to get patients’ biometric data even if they do not visit their doctors. Wearables have a long history dating back to the first eyeglasses designed to correct vision. But it was only in recent years when its use for medical purposes became apparent.
The pandemic highlighted their importance further since it allowed medical practitioners to monitor their patients’ health remotely. Mobile phone fitness trackers, smart health watchers, and wearable biosensors are some of the wearable devices that allow patients to provide health information to their doctors even without visiting them.
When the pandemic started, safety procedures were implemented to protect both the doctors and their patients from the virus. Unless the patient needs emergency care, doctors used video conferencing software to meet with their patients for consultations. Telemedicine also allowed patients living in isolated areas to consult their doctors without traveling to the city.
The use of telehealth saw an increase of around 150 percent at the start of the pandemic. Aside from reducing the risk of transmission, telehealth also allowed medical professionals to conserve the supply of personal protective equipment, which was limited during the pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) even recommended using the technology in areas that had a considerable outbreak of the virus.
Competition from Freestanding Clinics
Healthcare providers faced a huge demand for their services during the pandemic. But some clinics faced competition after large retailers opened freestanding clinics offering urgent and primary care in the market. Even though these freestanding clinics help take the load off medical practitioners during the pandemic, the situation will change after the country attains herd immunity and everything goes back to normal.
Due to this competition from freestanding clinics, healthcare providers can consider hiring agencies offering medical and eye care PR services to get ahead of their competition. These agencies can help healthcare providers to increase their share and expand their reach in the market.
Many industries are already using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to enhance the services they provide in the market. These technologies increase productivity and enhance efficiency in these industries. In healthcare, AI and ML have enhanced diagnostics and the treatment of patients. It also allows medical practitioners to collate and analyze information necessary to improve patient care.
The use of these technologies also increased the efficiency in making medical decisions, particularly when it came to predictive analysis based on any available data. Even as the industry poses some challenges in its widespread adoption, AI and ML may soon be used in the industry once it resolves all concerns concerning their use.
Internet of Things
Aside from AI and ML, the Internet of Things (IoT) is also facing challenges in its use in the healthcare industry. One major challenge the technology has to overcome is data security. Despite this challenge, IoT has shown its great potential in improving healthcare outcomes for patients across the country.
The increase in the use of telehealth technology is just one of the benefits of integrating IoT into a healthcare provider system. Monitoring patients’ health allows medical providers to receive information about the status of their patients even without checking them.
Electronic Health Records
The use of IoT, AI, and ML also facilitated the emergence of electronic health records (EHR), which came following the enactment of the Affordable Care Act. The information on these records is only accessible by authorized individuals. This facilitates the work of medical professionals who may need to see these records to help their patients.
These medical professionals do not need to go to the office and go through the files. Instead, they can access the records online and ask for access from the healthcare institution. With this, these institutions are also aware of the importance of ensuring the records’ security and preventing unauthorized access to them.
The healthcare industry has started to benefit from innovations in technology. Even as some institutions are resisting their adoption, these technologies offer many benefits that can enhance productivity and improve efficiency in the healthcare industry.