How technology will continue to innovate health care

For the past decade, there's been a major push toward technology use within health care. Mandates for electronic health records and increasing use of mobile devices have changed the industry forever. As technology improves, it will continue to facilitate health care innovation and bolster quality of patient treatment.

Remote and telemedicine provide more options

Some patients might live far away from a doctor, or might have difficulty getting out of the house. In these situations, setting up regular in-person visits or follow-up appointments can be a challenge. Telemedicine can be used to maximize a doctor's time while ensuring that each patient gets the attention he or she needs. Becker's Hospital Review noted that doctors can use video chat to perform a full assessment and reduce time-out-of-office costs. This will help patients in rural areas get the treatment they require.

A doctor might also request to monitor a patient's health remotely. Wearable devices like smartwatches and fitness bands collect a vast amount of data related to physical activity and heart rate. Sending this data to a primary physician will help catch abnormalities quickly and provide quality care based on the information.

technology

Mobile devices provide information access for health care professionals.

Mobile devices grant information access

Doctors run around constantly within a health care facility. Sometimes, they might even go to other offices or make house calls to serve specific patients. Access to patient information is absolutely critical in these situations. More health care institutions are enabling mobile device use to ensure quick accessibility to EHR portals.

In fact, according to Spok's annual mobility strategies in health care survey, 65 percent of responding health care professionals have a documented mobility strategy in place. As a result, organizations have seen communication improvements across the board, improved patient satisfaction and better critical test results management. These benefits will help innovate health care operations and foster quality care.

"Analytics are the key to identifying patterns of care and illness."

Tech leading to better decision-making

When it comes to treating patients appropriately and catching trends, health care leaders must use technology to guide their decisions. A 2017 survey by Healthcare IT News revealed that 51 percent of respondents are planning to upgrade their analytics solutions this year. More organizations are starting to recognize analytics as a key to identifying patterns of care and illness to bolster population health.

Doctors can also use virtual reality and 3-D printing as other means to make critical decisions. Professionals are using this technology to approach difficult surgeries and determine the best course of action for the most positive outcome. Performing the procedure on a 3-D printed organ or in VR will help prepare doctors for the real thing and lead to better choices along the way.

Health care is undergoing constant innovation thanks to emergence of new technology and processes. Doctors will notice a number of benefits from using tools like mobile devices, VR and telemedicine. By adopting these assets, medical institutions can improve patient care, bolster decision-making and better serve patient and employee needs.