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It's not surprising that the healthcare industry wasn't at the forefront of digital transformation. Government regulations, security threats, and bureaucracy kept it behind while other industries like finance and retail embraced innovation.

However, in recent years, the healthcare industry has seen tremendous progress. We're witnessing the introduction of new medical technologies, groundbreaking ideas, and increased automation, all happening at an unprecedented rate.

The impact of technology in healthcare has already revolutionized the industry, transforming the way patients receive care and how providers deliver it.

How Technology Has Impacted on the Healthcare Industry?

The effect of technology on healthcare is proven by the rapidly growing healthcare IT market size.

A huge demand for high-quality healthcare services and solutions, a rise in acceptance of telecommunication, a demand for better patient data safety, and a rise in government efforts to support healthcare information technology are among the drivers that support the increasing technology impact on healthcare.

healthcare IT market size

The following are 5 of the top examples that showcase the effect of technology on healthcare.

#1 Going Digital with Health Records

An electronic health record serves as a digital repository of an individual's health-related data in real-time. Modern EHR systems extend beyond traditional clinical records stored in medical practitioners offices and encompass a wide range of information including medical history, lab results, radiology reports, allergies, medications, and treatment plans.

In contrast to paper charts, EHRs provide immediate and secure access to authorized users. This allows healthcare providers to gain a comprehensive understanding of patients' health histories promptly, facilitating informed decisions and swift actions when urgent care is needed.

EHR pros

#2 Better Care for Patients with Telemedicine

Telemedicine has evolved far beyond its role as a pandemic necessity. The scarcity of healthcare professionals and increasing patient demand have been instrumental in the adoption of telehealth services. 

By eliminating the need for prolonged stays in crowded waiting rooms, telemedicine proves especially advantageous for individuals managing health conditions like hypertension or heart failure. In addition to its convenience, telemedicine serves as a crucial resource, providing a secure and efficient platform for medical consultations while minimizing exposure to potential health risks, this way, significantly improving the quality of healthcare services and patient outcomes. 

According to a McKinsey survey, 55% of patients believe that they receive a higher quality of care through telehealth compared to in-person medical visits. This way of healthcare delivery offers patients greater convenience and personalized attention.
telemedicine market size

#3 Mitigating Cyber Threats with Blockchain

Cybersecurity remains one of the biggest concerns in the healthcare sector. 

In May 2017, a ransomware attack on the UK's National Health Service encrypted data on thousands of computers across the NHS network, disrupting healthcare services and causing significant operational chaos. 

As a result, hospitals and clinics were forced to cancel appointments, divert patients, and postpone non-emergency surgical procedures. The attack highlighted the vulnerability of healthcare systems to cyber threats and underscored the importance of robust cybersecurity measures in protecting patient data and ensuring uninterrupted healthcare delivery.

Blockchain technology aids in reducing these risks by securely encrypting and transferring patient data, overseeing the medication supply chain, and even addressing the outbreak of harmful diseases.

For example, blockchain systems help solve the problem of keeping track of a patient's complete history and keeping it safe. Instead of storing the actual medical data, blockchain uses special codes called hash functions, like digital fingerprints of the information. Only authorized people, with the patient's permission, can access these codes, making sure the data is private and accurate, and reducing the chances of healthcare data leaks.

blockchain applications in healthcare

#4 Improving Physicians’ Training with VR

Training healthcare staff can be tough for several reasons, like the length and intensity of the medical training, the constant impact of technology in healthcare, and the complexity of medical knowledge. 

It’s obvious that medical professionals need a lot of knowledge and skills to diagnose and treat patients well because they're responsible for people's health. 

Luckily, technology can help solve this issue. Surgeons, for example, can use virtual reality and augmented reality tools to practice before surgeries, allowing them to explore organs or see 3D models of tricky cases. These 3D models can also help in teaching or explaining surgeries to patients. 

A study by Harvard Business Review found that surgeons who trained with VR had a 230% improvement in their performance compared to those who trained traditionally.

A popular tool is a Surgical Theater platform that allows surgeons to explore anatomy with XR technology to understand the potential risks. The platform integrates with existing medical imaging systems such as MRI and CT scans to generate patient-specific 3D reconstructions, providing surgeons with valuable insights and enhancing their decision-making process.
VR in healthcare

#5 Improving Diagnostics with AI

The results of the BMJ Quality & Safety research showed that approximately 795,000 Americans suffer permanent disability or death due to diagnostic process medical errors annually, highlighting the urgent public health concern.
medical errors problem

However, in recent years, with the growing impact of technology in healthcare industry, AI has become more common in diagnosing and medical imaging, helping doctors do their job better.

AI, especially deep learning, can identify patterns and anomalies in medical images and data with high accuracy much faster than humans, reducing the risk of human medication error and the valuable time needed for diagnosis. Through analyzing large datasets to identify patient-specific factors that may influence diagnosis and treatment, AI can detect subtle signs of disease or abnormalities that may be missed by human observers.

A good example is Arterys. Arterys offers AI-powered medical imaging software for cardiovascular and oncological imaging, including cardiac MRI and CT angiography. One of the key features of Arterys' platform is its ability to optimize image quality and provide real-time guidance during medical imaging procedures. This helps healthcare providers obtain high-quality images and make more informed diagnostic decisions quickly and efficiently.

Positive Impacts of Technology in Healthcare

The impact of technology in healthcare industry brings numerous and far-reaching benefits.

Remote Access

The impact of technology in healthcare industry makes it easier for patients to access healthcare services remotely via telemedicine and mobile health apps. It’s especially important for patients in remote or underserved areas and people with chronic and infectious diseases.

Cost-Effective Care

Technology impact on healthcare has made medicine more affordable compared to traditional methods of treatment. A good example is telemedicine. A study by mHealth Intelligence, which examined the adoption of a virtual healthcare platform at Frederick Memorial Hospital in Maryland, revealed a 50% decrease in patient care expenses. 

By avoiding expensive and unnecessary emergency room visits, patients can save money, while healthcare practices can reduce overhead healthcare costs related to maintaining physical facilities and staffing. 

According to estimates from the Federal Communications Commission, telehealth technologies have the potential to save the US healthcare industry an astounding $305 billion annually.

Improved Patient Care

Technology enables healthcare providers to deliver more personalized and efficient care, leading to better outcomes and higher patient satisfaction. For example, wearable health devices, such as fitness trackers and smartwatches, empower individuals to monitor patient health and wellness in real-time. 

According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, 21% of Americans report using wearable devices to track their health metrics, leading to increased awareness of personal health status and behaviors.

Faster Diagnosis and Treatment

Advanced medical imaging technologies and diagnostic tools powered by artificial intelligence can help healthcare providers diagnose diseases earlier and develop more effective treatment plans.

AI-powered medical imaging algorithms are a good example of the impact of technology on healthcare. They can analyze medical images, such as X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans, with a high level of accuracy. For example, a study published in Nature Medicine found that an AI algorithm developed by Google Health was able to detect breast cancer from mammograms with similar accuracy to radiologists, potentially leading to earlier detection, treatment, and preventive care.

Negative Impacts of Technology in Healthcare

While the impact of technology on healthcare offers numerous benefits, there are also some potential drawbacks.

Now, let’s have a look at the negative technology impact in healthcare.

Disrupting Human Interaction

Increased reliance on technology in healthcare may diminish patient-provider relationships and interpersonal communication. Some patients may feel disconnected or alienated when interacting with healthcare providers who prioritize remote consultations over face-to-face interactions.

Dependence on Technology

Healthcare providers may become overly reliant on digital technologies, leading to potential disruptions in patient care if systems fail or malfunction. Additionally, reliance on technology may diminish critical thinking skills and clinical judgment among healthcare professionals.

Data privacy and security concerns

The digitization of healthcare data introduces cybersecurity risks, such as data breaches and unauthorized access to sensitive patient information. Ensuring the security and privacy of electronic patient records and other digital health data is a significant challenge for healthcare organizations.

Unlock the Benefits of Technology in Healthcare

The technology impact in healthcare completely reshapes how the healthcare industry is organized and the way healthcare organizations operate.

It brings a lot of benefits for patients, doctors, and care providers if implemented correctly and used wisely.

inVerita is a custom healthcare software development company with a special focus on data security and privacy standards for healthcare companies. We have successfully delivered various products from telemedicine software to dose-controlled prescription medication delivery systems. 

If you need a consultation on how you can integrate advanced technology into your product, fill in the form and we’ll arrange a call with you.
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