The Impact of Medical Technology on Healthcare Workers and Patients
Across the globe, one can easily see the impact of technology in just about every sector within industrialized countries. But alongside computer science, medical science has also advanced exponentially. And this means that both patients and healthcare workers must adapt.
If you look at medical advancement just within the last decade, we’ve seen leaps and bounds in how patients are cared for, and how medical professionals have adapted to technology. But this also threatens to leave some behind if proper education isn’t acquired.
Studies have suggested that the pace of human technology may be moving at too fast a pace for many to keep up. Regardless, advancement moves parallel to the ability to adapt in all industries. As such, new tools are often emerging to aid those in professional healthcare roles who need to keep up with technological changes.
In the following, we’ll explore how medical technology has impacted healthcare professionals and patients alike.
Artificial Intelligence is no longer the stuff of science fiction. In fact, AI has been integrated into our lives within the last decade and its implementation continues to increase, especially in the healthcare field.
One way AI and advanced tech is making a big impact is in long-term care. And this has been put in place for many reasons.
A few reasons for technological advancement in long-term care include the following:
- Mitigating staff turnover
- The ability to attract tech-savvy residents
- Reducing liability
- To remain a competitive option
- Maintaining financial viability
The advancements in long-term care comprise a long list. And a few of the top technologies in long-term healthcare facilities include activity sensors (including biosensors), electronic records sharing, telemedicine, and intuitive computing (machine learning).
Additionally, long-term care is not always synonymous with elderly patients as some are quite young and suffer from debilitating injuries. As such, knowledge of advanced tech in long-term care needs to be taken into consideration if this is a career path that you’re pursuing.
It wasn’t too long ago when most healthcare professionals only needed a basic familiarity with computers and various forms of software. As of 2022, this has changed across the board.
Today, not only do healthcare professionals need to understand how to use advanced computer tools, but even some newer medical students are actually learning how to code in order to properly calibrate new software and the tech that it controls.
When it comes to treating the patient, a doctor may have to postpone care until a tech team can assess any issues with the technology being used. And this can cost valuable time. In order to get around this, many medical professionals see the value in becoming more proficient with their computer skills.
Additionally, as more patient files are being transferred into a digital archive, the need for both patients and doctors to familiarize themselves with these apps has become integral for care as well. And the more knowledgeable both patients and doctors are of these tools, the better the care experience will be.
Telemedicine saw a huge upswing during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. During 2020 and 2021, many patients and those who needed care were apprehensive about visiting a hospital or clinic out of fear of catching the virus. Additionally, many of those in need of care found that they were turned away for basic health issues.
Telemedicine made it possible for a patient to receive treatment for mild to moderate health conditions, all without ever having to leave the comfort of his or her own home. Additionally, telemedicine also enables doctors to diagnose and prescribe medications as well, offering a greater convenience to the patient.
As remote work, Zoom meetings, and virtual conferences become much more common across many industries, telemedicine is also following this path as well. Further, telemedicine also makes it possible to bring care into remote areas where a patient may have to travel many miles just to receive care.
At the end of the day, telemedicine may not be the direct contact that some patients prefer, but it is a technology that’s making life easier for both doctors and patients alike.
Advancements in modern medical technology will continue to push forward. And as these advancements will likely help to make patients more comfortable, and make medical professionals’ lives easier, these advancements must still be understood.
Understanding the technological progress that affects us all becomes a task for everyone to undertake. And if you work in the medical profession, this means learning and adapting alongside the pace of modern technology.