The Impact of Technology in Healthcare
Technological advancements are saving lives, avoiding mistakes and improving patient experiences during their time in recovery. In the last 10 years the impact of technology on medical processes has been astronomical and in 2013 a study was conducted in Michigan that showed the “use of electronic health records has reduced the costs of outpatient care by roughly 3% compares to relying on traditional paper records” (source). Moving forward to May 2018, the introduction of GDPR has had a significant impact on businesses and the storage of their data, but how has this affected the healthcare industry?
With hospitals storing both a patient’s personal information and their sensitive data, GDPR governs how this data is stored, whether this data is accurate and if the data can be easily erased. Technology is fast becoming the way to store and remove multiple documents easily and the use of paper is almost defunct. This is due to the lack of security and accessibility around paper documents and the strict guidelines that surround storing data.
Using Technology for Automation in Healthcare
Automation is a huge benefit of technology and is beginning to save the healthcare industry millions of pounds and alleviate a lot of stress on the healthcare sector. “Computer terminals and iPads are already replacing the front office staff, where patients are checking in and out the doctor’s office. And that’s just the beginning. Next will come the robots that will replace back office staff in directing patients to different offices, where machines will perform tests and dispense test results like ticket machines. (source)”
The robot stage isn’t quite where we are today, however with the use of iPads, patients can order their weekly required food online and have it delivered to their beds directly from the hospital kitchen. This then monitors stock, food availability and reduces food waste as these meals are ordered for the patient in advance. “One of the biggest hospitals in the UK have successfully reduced food waste from 12% to below 5% by using iPads to take orders on wards. All patients now get a choice when it comes to meal times and food stock can be held for an extra week without increasing wastage” (source).
An article released today by Healthcare Global states that Google are looking to utilise AI to further overhaul the GP-patient relationship. Google are looking to implement automatic speech recognition software which will transcribe medical conversations and store them into the patient’s online data bank.