Can technology improve patient care?

The evolution of technology has been exceptionally fast paced in recent years, with the development of artificial intelligence and virtual reality being two such innovations that are bound to revolutionise the way the world works and operates in years to come. These innovations have not avoided the medical industry either, and in fact have enabled the sector to improve upon both patient care and the services that they are able to offer.

This is certainly a case of technology being used for good, enabling expert doctors and surgeons to perform procedures that otherwise may have been impossible – or fraught with risk – and the medical team as a whole to work in a more efficient manner.

Anytime, Anywhere

A move to electronic patient records, rather than paper based ones, was a necessary decision for the medical industry to make, and it has been further enable by the integration of Cloud Computing. By placing documentation, apps and data in to a secure Cloud proposition hospitals, doctors and medical institutes across the country can quickly and easily access the data they require – without the need for laborious processes and waiting for files to be delivered.

Not only is this beneficial for the medical staff themselves, but it enables faster and better treatment for patients too.

What could the future hold?

The advancements that have already been made are greatly beneficial all round, but what could the future hold for the industry and how could this be beneficial to both patients and staff?

Robotic Surgery – A futuristic concept maybe, but one that is already beginning to gather momentum in surgeries across the globe. The removal of human intervention could enable surgeries to become more streamlined and reduce possible risk of infection.

Wearable Sensors – Currently used to measure activity on a personal basis, these devices could be utilised by medical providers in order to better log and track the movement, habits and health of a patient. With the ability to track things such as heart rate, calorie consumption and sleep these devices could easily be utilised to monitor patients with heart conditions, weight issues or even sleep apnea.

Mobile Units – With the advancements in technology, mobile units can now be better equipped than ever and offer a range of services that patients want and need. Not only would this be to the benefit of the patient, but it could assist in freeing up GP surgeries and hospitals for routine tests and scans.

Of course it is essential that any of these advancements are well maintained and are not at risk of downtime, or possible security attacks. Ensuring that medical providers select suitable IT providers and security solutions is key to ensure the fluidity of these services for patients.

But how can this be achieved?

The basis of all these innovations, and the ability to achieve them, is all based on medical institutes and healthcare providers having a reliable IT infrastructure from which to develop upon. Solutions like Big Data, particularly for the medical industry, require vast amounts of storage capacity and they also need to be kept in a secure manner that meets any legal requirements – something that certainly needs to be considered when looking to implement services like wearable sensors that will collate vast quantities of data.

It is clear that technology will make great advancements within the medical industry in the coming years, and for that reason both the sector itself and those supplying IT services to it need to remain agile and support business innovation. Cloud computing is, and will further become, a key enabler to allow the medical industry access to essential future technologies, with a faster speed to access enabling increasingly rapid access to and delivery of data. After all, if this technology can improve patient care it has got to be worth it.

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