Who could have thought about having online consultations before the COVID-19 pandemic? No one, right? That’s why it’s safe to say that not everything was bad about the pandemic.
Being isolated and unable to receive basic help made the world realize that there are other ways to do things. Instead of sticking to the same old routine, the healthcare industry went for their best option, technology.
Even though the concept has been around for a while, circumstances created due to the pandemic accelerated the process of making healthcare more accessible to the public through technology.
Here’s how technology has transformed healthcare and made it accessible to more people.
EHR brought about the most impactful transformation in the healthcare industry. To simply put it, HER is an electronic or digital version of a patient’s history that is kept in real-time.
Healthcare professionals can benefit from patient-centered records that are instantly available to authorized users only through this amazing technology. EHR significantly reduces the time for doctors to devise a treatment plan for patients. They skip the steps and save valuable time that they’ll otherwise waste determining the patient history, allergies, test results, medications, etc.
The streamlining and automation of EHR eases the workflow and assists doctors and nurses in making better decisions.
Those aiming toward MBA programs with healthcare concentration can benefit immensely from the career opportunities offered by electronic health records and big data.
Tools that give patients access to their health records, such as EHR, play a defining role in home monitoring and patient education.
There’s a certain distrust among patients regarding confidentiality, privacy, and security regarding electronic health records.
With big data, IoT, and complete automation, we cannot ignore the growing cybersecurity risk. To ensure that healthcare access through technology is reliable, implementing blockchain technology in healthcare seems to be the way to go.
According to various surveys, it costs the healthcare sector $6.5 billion annually due to data breaches. Therefore, one of the most effective ways to deal with cyberattacks is to use encryption and decentralization to make patient information transparent.
This will encourage them to trust their medical records circulating in a distributed system. More people coming forward would mean that more people are gaining access to healthcare services from the comfort of their devices.
Remote monitoring has been a winner during the unforgettable COVID-19 pandemic that has undeniably halted the spread of the deadly flu.
These devices and applications can assist doctors in monitoring their patients without physical contact and administering the immediate treatment without wasting time.
Some devices can measure your weight, heart rate, and even sugar level. These applications allow patients to upload their information for a healthcare team or a doctor to consider and monitor their condition.
This healthcare accessibility is more beneficial for older people with conditions like dementia. The devices can help track the changes in their activities and monitor their vitals.
Most medical advice is drawn from data produced by machines and other methods. How would you like to receive medical advice from a device? That’s the next step in increasing healthcare access to make artificially intelligent doctors available to the commoner at their fingertips.
Reputable companies such as Babylon and others are even developing apps that would help them receive medical advice through their phones without requiring a consultation from an actual doctor.
This will make it extremely efficient for people to obtain medical information in case of emergencies if they cannot connect with a human doctor.
The best thing about this technology is that it is capable of learning over time, and thus, it will become a reliable means of accessing healthcare from a small device in the palms of your hand.
Let’s say that AI doctors aren’t readily available to everyone, especially people living in remote areas, so what’s the alternative?
There’s no better alternative than going back to what was initially working during the pandemic: electronic consultation. Instead of going through a time-consuming process, people can efficiently utilize tools like video calls or virtual spaces to receive primary care from doctors.
It wasn’t practical during the pandemic to accommodate too many in the hospital simultaneously, especially during the peak months. Various communication technologies help connect healthcare professionals to those in need.
There’s no need to limit a basic need such as healthcare to conventional methods just for its sake. Technology will always keep advancing, and the world needs to benefit from it.
People can use various healthcare applications on their devices like smartphones, smartwatches, the internet, personal digital assistants, and more to seek medical care.
Mobile health or mHealth provides support through digital technology in key areas, including appointment reminders, monitoring vitals, mobile telehealth, information delivery, and more.
A wide range of mobile applications is available that can automate simple tasks, provide tools for tracking health information, help self-manage their condition, access EHR, and provide information on treatments.
Personalized health applications are one of the best examples of 24/7 access to healthcare for anyone who owns a phone or other devices.
It should be a global scenario to allow free and 24/7 access to primary healthcare to all human beings on the planet.
However, until that happens, it is vital to develop ways to make the current healthcare system as accessible as possible. Technology, for that matter, has played a defining role in transforming healthcare for the better.
Today, an average person with a phone has enough resources to find aid and information for at least emergencies or primary care.
We should not resist change, especially if it can make things easier. The COVID-19 pandemic has taught the world that no methodology is impractical and that having appointments over video calls isn’t as normal as anything else.