In the technologically advanced world, we now live in, almost everything we do is now digitized. This includes banking, shopping and even talking to friends. This could mean that healthcare is the next industry that could be making the switch but how will that impact the 16 million people that major hospitals in the UK every year?
For the most part, digital changes to life have been positive and helped to improve efficiency in completing basic tasks. So, why wouldn’t that be the same case for the healthcare sector? With so many things that can go wrong in this industry and people’s lives being on the line, it’s not quite so simple to say that digital healthcare will work. Here’s why.
The potential risks of technology in healthcare
Unfortunately, advancements in technology don’t mitigate the risk of things going wrong for the healthcare sector. In fact, it creates a few new problems too including:
- Cyber security risks
- Lack of empathy in patient and doctor interactions
- Frustration with poor implementation
- Too much reliance
What happens if something goes wrong?
During surgery or any other kind of medical practice, there is a risk that something could go wrong. This is known as medical negligence. When human doctors act negligently in their role, they are to blame. However, if technology is involved then who is liable and can surgical error claims be made?
This is still a grey area in the medical world and so, clear rules on liability should be set out when using digital equipment in the medical industry.
Is it more efficient?
Digital innovation has proven to provide more efficiency within the healthcare industry and one of the main reasons for that is the efficient triage of patients. Getting an appointment at GPs is also now easier than ever thanks to only booking options too which is a huge benefit. Currently, it can take up to 18 weeks to get an appointment in the NHS and this is sure to speed things up in the future.
Quality of care
Doctors and nurses are trained to know how to deal with patients in a caring way and perform their jobs to an exceptionally high standard, so patients can get on the road to recovery. But will this standard remain in a technologically advanced healthcare sector?
For the most part, quality of care remains with digital systems allowing for user-friendly systems, less waste, and greater measurements which will only enhance the patient’s experience in the hospital. There are some limitations, however, as bugs in the system may lead to a mix-up in prescriptions or screening appointments being missed.
Overall, the healthcare industry will benefit from technology when it’s used right which will lead to positive experiences whenever people are forced to visit hospitals or GPs.
5 Benefits of Digital Healthcare
The use of digital healthcare has soared in recent years, offering people more convenience and access to the medical care they need. With advancements in technology, medical practitioners are able to deliver better services to their patients, helping them manage their health needs easily and efficiently. Here are some of the benefits that digital healthcare provides:
1. Remote Patient Monitoring
With the use of telemedicine, users can connect with doctors remotely for real-time advice and monitoring. This helps patients get faster treatment as well as more accurate diagnoses from a certified medical practitioner.
2. Greater Accessibility
Digital healthcare makes it easier for residents in remote areas to access medical help quickly and easily with minimal travel time or cost instead of visiting a hospital or clinic. Numerous accessible digital tools also provide users with information on various health conditions and treatments which may help them manage their condition without having to make a physical appointment or wait extended periods for help.
3. Improved Research Data
Digital healthcare allows researchers to analyze large amounts of data conveniently; this gives an unprecedented insight into patient health statistics which would have been difficult or impossible with traditional methods such as manual paperwork filing processes. This enables clinicians to identify trends in patient issues much more quickly, enabling informed decisions based on high-quality research data rather than anecdotal evidence only.
4. Higher Accuracy Medication Dispensing
With the use of computerized prescription management systems, errors from misreading handwriting are eliminated and prescription errors are reduced which can lead to improved outcomes for patients overall. Advanced tracking systems allow pharmacies and medical facilities to monitor drug utilization effectively, leading to a better understanding of medication adherence by patients.
5. Digital Healthcare Improves Quality Care at Low Costs
The use of electronic databases offers greater convenience for recording patient records; this allows clinicians to access and update information at any given moment leading to higher quality care being provided whereas manual record-keeping involves cumbersome processes such as printing documents out, making it difficult keep track up-to-date filing while also increasing administrative costs due resources related costs such as storage space.
In conclusion, digital healthcare has provided us with numerous innovative and effective healthcare solutions. It has also made it more convenient and accessible for people to get the healthcare services they need. However, with the rapid increase in the use of digital health platforms, there is a responsibility to ensure data privacy, security, and accuracy for both patients and health providers.
Therefore, governments and public and private organizations must work together to establish enforceable regulations that are tailored specifically toward digital healthcare platforms. Additionally, companies should work towards creating trustworthy technology by employing cybersecurity tools while offering assurance to users that their data will be kept safe and confidential. Finally, all stakeholders must cultivate an open mindset regarding technology so that users are more aware of how their data is handled by the platforms they choose to utilize.