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Advances in communication, such as the Internet, are making health care information more easily available to both physicians and patients. Not only can the doctor more easily check the patient, the patient can more easily check the doctor. Information that was once confined to intimidatingly large textbooks is now available in understandable chunks that can be easily understood, even by the lay person. We have even see the advent of telemedicine, which uses the Internet to diagnose and treat patients at a distance.
However, these advances don’t always make things easier. The Internet is full of unvetted information and advances in technology make physicians more dependent upon a sophisticated infrastructure that require considerable capital investment. This, in turn, makes doctors and healthcare professionals more dependent on those who supply the capital. Even so, few people would want to give up the advantages that IT brings.
Many hospitals are using digital and wireless in a number of different areas, from patient care to genomic medicine and in controlling and making the best use of assets. The use of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology enables them to keep track of such assets as cell phones, medicine, IV pumps, gurneys, wheelchairs and laptops. This improves inventory management, keeps vital supplies easily available and helps in the sharing of equipment.
The increase in the number of applications and Web based operations has given physicians a toolkit that enables them to diagnose and treat patients in a more effective and error free manner. Technology is making it possible for doctors to examine patients without the need to be physically present in the same room. This is enabling doctors to see more patients, especially those in remote areas who would not normally have access to the sophisticated medical infrastructure available to those who live in urban areas.
This is only the beginning. Digital innovation makes it possible to increase the quality of care, reduce costs and improve diagnosis as well as patient safety. Digital technology is driving a revolution in healthcare by increasing the capabilities of both the medical infrastructure and the physicians themselves.
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