The healthcare industry is in desperate need of a technological upgrade. Medical professionals, industry analysts and IT specialists all agree that in order to satisfy patient and medical professional needs, healthcare tech needs to become more efficient. Fortunately, hospitals and medical facilities are heeding this call for better tech processes by implementing new technologies.
New Hospital Tech
· Wi-Fi-enabled Technology – The Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, CA recently implemented wireless Internet for patients and guests. They have also implemented remote monitoring, which is allows doctors, nurses and other medical workers to monitor patients remotely with a handheld device, offering more flexibility for medical workers in a hospital environment.
· Image Sharing – Recently, hospitals have been implementing a new type of image sharing technology called the RSNA Image Share Network. In a nutshell, this new medical technology allows for seamless sharing of imaging and test results. The main benefit of this is that it significantly reduces the need for multiple unnecessary medical tests, reducing the each patient’s exposure to radiation from testing equipment.
· Big Data Analytics – A team of researchers from multiple universities (Dartmouth College, Brown University, Oregon State University, University of Minnesota) have been using big data analytics to gain sophisticated insight into cancer treatment. According to a few of the researchers, the new analytics technology will aid hospitals in determining early diagnoses for non-blood cancer. The major advantage of this approach is that a simple blood test – not an invasive biopsy – is all that is required for this brand of diagnostic technology.
· Electronic Medical Records/Electronic Health Records – This is one of the most common tools being implemented in hospitals all over the country. EHRs and EMRs are identical solutions, and are exactly what they sound like. In fact, hospitals and other types of medical facilities have actively been upgrading from paper records to all-electronic systems. The idea is that records can be pulled up, accessed and delivered to the patient easier.
The Problem of Storage and Security
While not all new healthcare technologies pose a security threat, many critics fear that moving to Wi-Fi-powered tools and digital record keeping will leave many hospitals open to major data disasters. With that in mind, there is an obvious need for greater security measures and automated storage backup systems for healthcare providers of all stripes. This will also involve building a robust team of healthcare savvy IT professionals to manage sensitive data within this new infrastructure. This is particularly important as it relates to EHRs, Image Sharing and big data analytics solutions for diagnostics.
Changing the IT/Healthcare Relationship
The adoption of new tech will always come with its own set of pros and cons, regardless of the industry. It’s true that hospitals need to ramp up their infrastructural security protocol before adopting new tech. On the other hand, hospitals and medical facilities need to avoid the trap of moving too slowly. Hospitals have a tendency lose IT momentum by getting lost in bureaucracy. This will do more harm than good in the long run, since the end goal is boosted efficiency.