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The Impact of Technology on Healthcare

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Technology today affects every single aspect of modern society. In fact, there isn’t an industry out there that hasn’t been affected by the hi-tech revolution.

Whether we are talking about transportation, communication, security, banking or healthcare, they all rely on technology in one way or another.

But nowhere is this immense impact more apparent than in the field of medicine and healthcare.

Technological breakthroughs are revolutionizing the way healthcare is being delivered.Modern technology has changed the structure and organization of the entire medical field.

From widespread adoption of electronic medical records, to advances in bio-medical engineering and technology, modern healthcare and its delivery methods are changing at an ever increasing rate. But what impact will these changes have on medicine and overall care delivery?

The Advantages of Technological Innovation

Without doubt, medical technology is indispensable to people’s health and improved quality of life. It also contributes billions of dollars to the economy. There are many benefits that innovative technology brings to the table when it comes to healthcare.

Keyboard and Stethoscope

jfcherry / Flickr / CC BY-SA

For example, the widespread adoption of electronic health records has resulted in significant savings in health care costs as well as improved patient health and safety. In more and more healthcare facilities, patient files are being kept in databases that can be accessed from anywhere in the facility.

This is not only a time saver but it also results in better data coordination and management.It is also technological innovation that has opened the door to more non-invasive procedures.

Diagnostics have never been easier and more accurate, especially due to advancements in areas like nuclear medicine. Nowadays numerous methods of imaging allow for technicians and physicians to examine a patient’s anatomy without needing invasive procedures to form a diagnosis.

Minimally invasive surgeries, especially within the disciplines of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery, have also become more common in recent years. The development of better instruments and more advanced technology have allowed surgeons to perform procedures in minimally invasive ways that just wasn’t possible a few years ago.

The Dark Side of Technology

Technology can also bring hidden dangers if you aren’t careful. The internet in particular is known for this. Though some would disagree, the infinite stream of medical knowledge available online is not necessarily a good thing.

Keyboard and Stethoscope

ibmphoto24 / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND

Websites like WebMD can be a great resource for living a healthy lifestyle, but they should never be used to replace your physician. Far too often a simple ache can be misconstrued as something far more serious.

Self diagnosis is a dangerous road to go down.At best you’ll scare yourself into thinking something is seriously wrong when it isn’t.

At worst you’ll misdiagnose yourself and cause serious damage to your health and well being. There’s a reason it takes nearly a decade to become a doctor.

Unfortunately the internet provides a cheap and “easy” way to avoid going to the doctor. In the long term, however, it may wind up costing you much more than you ever expected.

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