Rapid developments in healthcare technology have increased the quality of human life. It can be easy to dismiss these advances in medical technology as being non-impactful. Lest we forget, just a hundred years ago, many patients died from diseases that we now consider to be trivial illnesses.
Let’s examine some of these developments in med-tech and how they have impacted ordinary people around the world:
Digital Health Records
It wasn’t that long ago when all health records were maintained in filing cabinets. More often than not, these records were created using pen-to-paper annotations from a physician. This method of transcribing health records potentially led to patients receiving improper or incorrect treatments.
Paper health records created a world of problems for healthcare providers. By digitizing health records, providers are now able to avoid mistakes while ensuring that patients get the proper treatments prescribed by their physicians.
In the past decade, telemedicine has become mainstream. One of the biggest problems for elderly, disabled, or underprivileged communities was simply gaining access to a physician’s practice. With telemedicine, doctors and practitioners can help patients skip the logistics of getting to the doctor’s office. Consequently, patients also skip the waiting room of a doctor’s office, which could expose them to the diseases carried by patients who are there to see the doctor.
Using a computer, a smartphone, and a camera, patients can talk face to face with a qualified physician, describe their ailments, and get the help they need. Doctors can phone in prescriptions, and courier services can bring the prescription directly to the patient’s home without the hassle of having to wait at the pharmacy.
Mobile Health Apps
When you think about what we know about preventative health today versus a few decades ago, the difference in knowledge is night and day. For example, with what we know about second-hand smoke, can you believe that smoking was once allowed on airplanes?
From a health standpoint, it’s always better to be proactive than reactive to your health. Mobile health apps and devices help humans stay on course with their proactive health measures. Many health apps track the number of steps you take in a day while more sophisticated devices monitor your heartbeat while providing key diagnostic information to physicians about your well-being.