6 Ways Technology Is Changing How We Treat IllnessesApril 23, 2021 No Comments
Featured article by Sandy Jensen, Independent Author
Some people say the development and use of technology has resulted in the proliferation of various kinds of social problems, including the appearance of all sorts of diseases and illnesses, some of which exploded into epidemics and, at times, even pandemics.
But it can’t be denied that technology has also significantly contributed to the improvement of human life and health. Various technological breakthroughs and advancements have improved the treatment of illnesses which were previously classified as incurable, such as cancer. There are now ways to find out cancer via full body scan without having to go through invasive medical procedures.
6 Medical Technology Advancements
The application of technology is changing the way doctors and medical practitioners are treating illnesses. Here are some of those ways which many healthcare industry analysts have observed as becoming pervasive and generally accepted.
More Access To Better Treatment
One of the most observable ways that technology has changed the way illnesses are treated is, it has given patients and their families better treatment and access to their doctors, physicians, surgeons, and other health care professionals and consultants.
For instance, most hospital equipment and laboratory machinery now use advanced imaging technology and digital information processing. Some patients are even shown the results of their lab examinations even before they leave the lab room. But their copy is usually just emailed to them, and the physical copy handed to them a few hours or days later.
They also have better access to their doctors and physicians. Most doctors and consultants now allow their patients to get in touch with them through digital messaging and conferencing apps. Gone are the days when patients have to wait in line outside doctors’ clinics and offices for their consultation. Today, they can easily ping a message to their trusted consultants.
Improved Hospital Administration And Efficiency
The second way technology is changing the way illnesses are treated is in the area of hospital administration. Hospitals in the past had to rely on paper medical bulletins, diagnostic reports, and laboratory results. This was followed by analog and electro-mechanical medical and laboratory equipment. Then came digital equipment using laser, infrared and some even use nuclear technology.
Hospital administration has been vastly improved with the adoption of digital reporting systems. Most hospitals now have a centralized information system which puts together all the information about a specific patient. From the time the patient is rolled into the emergency room or checked into the ward, the earliest vital signs and indicators of other medical checks are saved in the patient’s personal profile or account with the hospital.
This helps the hospital staff put together in real-time all information, results, and medical data about a patient that they receive from nurses, doctors, laboratory technicians, and other hospital workers. This data can also be instantly accessed by doctors doing their rounds so they can have an accurate view of the whole clinical picture before they see patients and their families.
Improved Patient Care And Management
Another positive effect of the application of technology is improved care and efficiency. The use of IT in hospitals has vastly improved patient care and management.
For instance, the equipment and gadgets for immediate patient care now use digital technology. From sphygmomanometers, pulse oximeters, to blood sugar analyzers, and other hand-held equipment, most of them now use digital technology which provides more accurate and precise information.
In ward management, there are hospitals which optimize the use of surveillance cameras so they can have round-the-clock monitoring of patients. Some of the equipment attached to the patients can now be digitally and remotely monitored in nurses’ stations.
Of course, nothing can replace the good old practices of changing bedsheets regularly to maintain room cleanliness. But even these are now supplemented by Heating Ventilation and Air Condition (HVAC) smart systems which can detect heat, cold, dirt, and pollination levels in rooms with sensitive hypo-allergenic patients.
Some of the most advanced breakthroughs in medical technology have allowed doctors and laboratory technicians to examine patients without slicing them up. Most of these non-invasive technologies are making a difference in the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses, approach and care for patients, and recovery management.
In cardiology, for instance, the use of 2D echo and ultrasound technology has enabled lab technicians to conduct cardiology tests without opening up a patient’s chest. In the past, doctors wouldn’t know if there are cholesterol build-ups in veins and arteries unless they get an ocular view of the patient’s heart right in front of them.
But now technology can get that same information with even greater detail without having to perform surgery. And computers can now create visual models of what the patient’s heart looks like based on the 2D echo and ultrasound lab results.
In internal medicine and oncology, some surgeons no longer have to open up a patient’s stomach to see whether there are abnormalities or swelling of the large intestine or rectum. With colonoscopy, surgeons can now view what’s happening to the large intestine and rectum of a patient just by inserting a long, flexible tube (colonoscope) into the patient’s rectum. The doctor or surgeon can then view the entire colon by looking at the camera at the exposed end of the colonoscope.
Biotechnology And Cellular Treatment
Another area in which technology has significantly changed the way illnesses are treated is in the use of biotechnology, biomedicine, and cellular treatment. With the use of laser and nuclear technology, medical laboratories can now view, inspect, and analyze tissue, cellular, and DNA samples from patients at the smallest and most detailed levels of analysis.
With this level of analysis and sophistication, they can apply technology to calculate or forecast how a certain illness or disease would worsen or deteriorate if not treated. This then enables doctors to recommend medical courses of action based on the highly-detailed biomedical lab results and the available known medicines and treatments.
With the integrated IT system of hospitals, doctors can also make a quick research into previous cases which are similar to the current patient being examined and treated. They can easily access information on how previous cases were managed and treated, and see if these can be applied to their patient given the unique DNA make-up and condition of each and every patient.
State-Of-The Art Surgery And Therapy Equipment
When all of the efforts to treat a patient without slicing or opening their bodies prove insufficient, another way that high technology is changing the way illnesses are treated is the availability and use of state-of-the-art surgery and therapy equipment.
Much has changed in surgery equipment from the days of scalpels, scissors, and tongs. These ancient tools of surgery are still used but there are now modern and highly-sophisticated surgical technology.
The use of these equipment and devices has significantly improved the success rates of surgeries and other medical procedures. The use of automated robotic arms and laser equipment, for instance, has radically improved the effectiveness of therapy and precision of surgery procedures. Patients benefited from the introduction and adoption of technology in treatment of illnesses and diseases.
Technology Changing Treatments
Continuous advancements in medical technology are definitely changing the way illnesses are treated. From the application of IT to healthcare systems and patient information and care management, to the development and introduction of state-of-the-art laboratory machines and surgical equipment, technology is positively contributing to the improvement of the way illnesses are treated.
Sandy Jensen is an oncology nurse with years of experience assisting patients in various diagnostic procedures, specifically MRI. She shares her medical experience through her guest posts and blog articles.HEALTH IT