Recent Healthcare Technology and the CloudApril 4, 2018
Healthcare systems are adopting modern technology into their day-to-day processes in order to streamline medical processes and increase patient satisfaction, and this integration is having noteable positive changes in medical care. More and more hospitals are already adopting technology like the cloud, which has helped to increase the efficiency of sharing data between doctors. As technology continues to advance and produce lifesaving breakthroughs, recent healthcare technology interconnects with technology like the cloud to create a hyperconnected field of medicine.
The cloud serves as a method for sharing a vast amount of data, in real time, across many sources. This provides an invaluable resource that is exponentially more valuable depending on the kind of information you are able to share across it. While the technological advancements happening don’t always seem directly tied to the field of medicine, tech developers, as well as medical practitioners are always looking for ways to bring them all together to help patients.
Having resources like the cloud to analyze data in different ways provides a variety of opportunities, depending on who is using the information and how they know to use it. According to an infographic by Duquesne University, 83 percent of doctors had adopted electronic health care record systems by 2015. Additional training may be necessary to teach nurses and doctors how to use a cloud based system, but once this is done, they will have new ways to use the data that they wouldn’t have had before.
These methods include analyzing and interpreting data by capturing the data, provisioning the data, and then analyzing it. Similarly to keeping paper records, when capturing the data, it’s crucial to assure the quality of the data, as small errors can lead to huge mistakes in medicine. Provisioning data by moving it from transactional systems to enterprise data warehouses helps health analysts to analyze the data from a single, integrated repository. Afterwards, data analytics is used to see what new information health professionals can discover from the data in these healthcare information systems.
Technology and the Cloud
One of the many areas of medicine benefiting from the cloud and advancing technology is radiology. Radiology is crucial to properly diagnosing and treating any illness a person is suffering from as it helps provide a clear picture of what doctors are treating. Radiology is the first step to a treatment plan, or to knowing whether the treatment plan will need to be prepared by more experienced doctors who can handle difficult procedures. For the medical imaging sector, there is a need to efficiently share large digital medical images.
As images become more clear and doctors find more efficient ways to share them, the next steps have been to accelerate radiology diagnosis processes with artificial intelligence. Machine learning is a developing concept that can be used to identify patterns within medical images that are out of the ordinary and indicative of illness. According to an article by the University of Cincinnati, "Deep learning is taking this functionality to another level by allowing software machines to learn from the images it processes to complete more advanced and nuanced readings while reducing the likelihood of error."
Deep learning systems are a rapidly growing area of modern scientific technology that are bound to change the practice and study of radiology. As these systems emerge, a greater emphasis is expected to be placed on value based care, as well as getting into the practice of using medical imaging to diagnose illness much earlier than it has been used in the past. Too often, by the time a problem is certain enough to require medical imaging, it is too late for it to be treated with little to no consequences for the patient.
As medical practitioners continue to integrate technology into the practice of medicine, we will continue to see large shifts in the roles of radiologists and those who work with patient data. Already the cloud has helped to streamline information across medical professionals, as well as health organizations. Although change can be difficult at times, medical changes and advancements are all done with the expectation of decreasing wasted expenses and excessive efforts, as well as with the hope to save more lives.
About the Author
Avery Phillips is a unicorn of a human being who loves all things relating to people and their entrepreneurial spirits. Comment down below or tweet her @a_taylorian.