Technology has played an increasingly important role in all aspects of people’s lives and healthcare is no exception. There are many ways in which medical practices can improve efficiency as well as patient experience. By utilizing the right digital technologies, doctors can reduce the time spent on paperwork and other administrative tasks, allowing them to spend more time doing what really matters: caring for their patients.
Telemedicine has become very popular during the COVID-19 pandemic and it looks like it may be here to stay in the coming years. Video conferencing technology can enable doctors to have secure remote appointments with patients. Telemedicine can help patients to avoid coming into the doctor’s office or hospital where possible when they’re sick and contagious. It can also help doctors to more easily reach patients living in a rural area. Telemedicine is also convenient for patients whose appointments are quick.
Not all patient communication should require an in-office appointment. Sometimes, patients just have quick questions or need a prescription refilled. This type of patient communication can be done digitally. Apps dedicated to patient communication are more secure and follow HIPAA better than social media or text messaging. The features of these types of communication tools are useful in that a patient can send photos and videos so that their doctor can see and hear exactly what they’re trying to describe.
Patients with chronic conditions may need help managing their health. If there are a lot of medications to take or tests that a patient needs to do, a health app can help remind them of what they need to do and when. Even if a doctor can’t see the data recorded in such a health app, recommending a health tracker app can help a doctor to improve patient outcomes.
Doctors don’t become doctors in order to focus on the paperwork, as necessary as it might be. There are plenty of digital tools available that can help to make the administrative tasks of running a medical practice quicker and easier. This can help doctors devote more time to treating patients.
The field of medicine is enormous, with different specialities and rare conditions. There are now health applications for doctors that offer digital databases of a wide variety of conditions. Some also offer pill identifiers to make it easier for doctors to figure out what medications a patient may already be taking. These digital medical assistance can help doctors to diagnose patients by providing them with information about symptoms and conditions.
Technological assistance can also work on a large scale with images. The Medical Seive is a part of IBM’s Research Grand Challenge and aims to create a cognitive assistant for doctors who use digital imaging, including ultrasound, CT, and MR imaging. The digital cognitive assistant would function as a sieve, sorting through images for anomalies in order to help radiologists, cardiologists, and other medical professionals to detect anomalies in digital images more quickly.
Network of Doctors
There are also apps available that connect doctors with each other as part of a large network of physicians. Doctors can contact each other to ask questions about patient conditions and also to get in touch with specialists.
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