How New Technology Is Helping Patients Manage Their Health

How New Technology Is Helping Patients Manage Their Health

How-New-Technology-Is-Helping-Patients-Manage-Their-Health.jpg

How New Technology Is Helping Patients Manage-Their Health

Technology has infiltrated all aspects of our daily lives, from our work to our finances, grocery shopping (think Amazon Fresh – grocery delivery service), our workouts, eating habits, and even the way we manage our health.

Doctors used to belong to an exclusive club that handed out diagnoses to ailing patients, while patients trusted their input and regarded their trade as secretive voodoo science. Human bodies are complex and to understand the way we function doctors have to study each aspect of the daily bodily functions and its hidden segments to be able to assess our health. Technology has always played an essential role in medicine from the invention of x-rays to ultrasounds to modern surgery techniques. Doctors have not only cared about the patients based on the way their bodies function, but they also worked together with scientists to develop innovative ways to patch us up, to repair the bones or remove cancers.This is not only true for in-vivo (processes performed in the body) techniques, but also in diagnosis of various illnesses through in-vitro (processes performed with biological samples outside of the human body- blood, urine, plasma, etc.) diagnostics.

Patients now are in unique position to participate in their health since the knowledge of medicine is no longer accessible only to doctors. There are credible online resources that offer glimpses of diseases by listing their various symptoms (i.e., WebMD). Patients can assess their well being before heading to see a specialist. Doctors think that this is creating unnecessary fears in patients, but the access to this knowledge may be encouraging patients to visit doctors more often to discuss their concerns, where before patients waited for severe symptoms to develop before going to see a medical provider.

Many modern hospitals and doctors’ offices are also using EHR (Electronic Health Records) where patients’ data is accumulated and easily shared among various medical providers. EHR facilitates diagnosis and decision making on indications and treatments. EHRs are also easily accessible to patients, which helps them understand and manage their health and treatments better. Prescriptions can be requested through online patient portals, and this information is collected in an EHR file. A simple click of a button at an ER shares your information with your primary care provider for follow up and further treatment. It has never been easier to inform all the various doctors, from primary care physicians to various specialists, about a change in one’s health condition, allowing them to make better decisions about potential treatments.

Remote monitoring tools for patients with chronic diseases help them stay connected with their medical providers as these devices automatically send data to remote health centers. Anomalies are recorded and submitted to appropriate doctors and treatments and responses are automatically scheduled making sure that the patient is treated promptly. Patients and their families can relax knowing that their doctor will be notified directly should an unwanted event be recorded with the device. This eliminates dependence on the patient calling the doctor to report adverse reactions or unusual symptoms. Little is left to interpretation thanks to modern technology.

Wearable technologies, such as Type II diabetes monitors, similarly help patients get a better handle on their condition (sugar levels). These monitors help reduce the number of blood samplings to help determine if a treatment is necessary.These devices help patients understand the effects of their daily activities and meal decisions on their sugar levels.Data collected can be sent to mobile devices for easier access, and it can be shared with healthcare providers.Parents can use the devices to monitor their children’s conditions when they are away from them. This fosters independence in those children who have a condition that needs to be constantly monitored.

how-new-technology-is-helping-patients-manage-their-health

Medical technology is moving ahead in great leaps. It no longer focuses on only mass treatments for populations of patients suffering from a particular disease, companies are trying to understand procedures as their pertain to each patient. Genome sequencing breakthrough, which the modern computing techniques powered, was developed to map gene variations associated with various cancer markers in patients and also with drug responses. This technology when accessed can help doctors create individualized treatments for their patients. Soon this technology will be present in individual doctors’ offices, hospitals, ERs assisting providers in making treatment decisions based on unique genetic makeups or specific viral mutations. Sequencing also helps identify microbes that cannot be extracted with standard cultivation techniques.

From the smart pill technology (where pills report to doctors when the patient has taken medicine through wireless transmission) to microfluidics point-of-care devices that can help detected prostate cancers in as little as five minutes in a doctor’s office, medical treatments are evolving every day. Medical breakthroughs are continually happening, and these new technologies are helping patients take control of their health and also obtain personalized therapies based on their genetic make-up and lifestyles. Technology undoubtedly is helping us live healthier and longer lives. It also helps medicine reach remote rural areas, and third-world countries by miniaturizing devices, developing point-of-care diagnostics equipment that can be taken to remote villages and help treat populations that have no access to large medical centers.

It is hard to imagine medicine without modern technology, and we as patients certainly benefit from having first-hand knowledge of our own body, and its functions, understanding of our symptoms and treatments and we can work with our medical providers to obtain best possible therapies to help us lead healthier lives.

 

Subscribe to our newsletter