Many individuals believe that the technological revolution is the best thing that has happened to humanity. Technological advancements have spread to all corners of society, including healthcare. Even though new technologies have brought various advantages to the healthcare sector, certain concerns about their use and integration in healthcare have been raised. Therefore, there are advantages and disadvantages to using technology in healthcare. Its advantages include that it enhances patient safety and confidentiality, improves access to information, improves the organization of data and information, results in efficiency and flexibility in treatment, and enhances patient education. On the other hand, the disadvantages of using technology in healthcare are that it is susceptible to breach of patient information, lack of empathy in patient-doctor interactions, and frustrations due to poor technology implementation.
Increasing patient confidentiality and data security technology have several advantages for healthcare organizations. First, it improves patient safety by utilizing medication warnings, clinical flags and reminders, clinical decision support, improved recording and reporting of consultations and diagnostic tests, and the availability of comprehensive patient data (Astier et al. 222). Health IT data has been shown to enhance medical practice and is useful for assessing the success of various treatments. Medical alerts may also improve guideline and evidence-based care compliance. Through standardized medical records, it is possible to reduce practice variances, conduct systematic audits for quality assurance, and optimize evidence-based therapy for common illnesses.
In addition, the use of technology enhances the easy retrieval of information. Through a centralized database, physicians have easy and rapid access to the data and information about their patients (Tian et al. 64). In the past, medical professionals would look for patient information in files, which was a procedure that was both time-consuming and inefficient. In addition, it gives patients access to their medical information, making them feel better informed about their diseases and encouraging them to take an active role in the decision-making process that is being jointly undertaken. It may enhance follow-up for missed visits, consultations, and diagnostic tests, all of which occur outside the patient interaction. For example, a health care professional can search within a practice for certain patient cohorts to monitor and increase adherence to specified health care, such as hemoglobin levels.
Technology improves the organization of data and information. Data and information may be better organized owing to technological advancements. A technology-based healthcare approach averts fraudulent claims on insurance policies and frivolous litigation. Some patients have a habit of telling insurance companies false claims about their hospitals’ services. Consequently, patients can no longer provide incorrect information while using technology. On the other hand, physicians’ ability to quickly and easily access patient information and data has increased treatment quality. They do not need patients to supply information since they already have it all in digital form.
Additionally, healthcare technology has resulted in flexibility and efficiency in treatment through remote monitoring tools. Its goal is to make it possible for medical professionals to track the development of their patients even when they are not in a hospital or other clinical environment. Patients benefit further from this since it results in fewer trips to the hospital that are not essential. For example, the ability of modern pacemakers, which are driven by the Internet of Things, to be operated remotely has fundamentally altered the delivery of medical treatment (Mukati et al. 3). These remote monitoring gadgets keep track of the patient’s cardiac state and relay that data to the telemedicine center in real-time. Other examples of remote monitoring equipment are blood pressure cuffs equipped with Bluetooth, which can communicate data about the patient’s blood pressure in real-time to the physician so that it may be examined. These remote monitoring technologies, as opposed to a traditional in-person visit, enable the healthcare practitioner to provide superior patient care by progressively developing a deeper knowledge of the patient’s symptoms throughout their treatment.
Another advantage of using technology in the healthcare industry is that it leads to enhanced patient education. Education of patients has become an increasingly important component of healthcare, and practitioners are more open to technology that might improve patients’ access to information and stimulate their interest. In addition, thanks to technological advancements, patients now have access to softwares and programs that deliver health education material that is individualized to their personal requirements and situations.
There are a number of disadvantages associated with healthcare technology use. First, it raises the possibility of inappropriate use of private information (Keshta & Odeh 2021). Inconvenient access to patient records increases doctors’ risk of improperly utilizing such records. Additionally, healthcare data breaches are more likely when information may be accessed rapidly. Finally, because more information and data are stored in databases, the integrity of that data is vulnerable to technological advances through hacking.
Another disadvantage of using technology in healthcare is that it results in a lack of empathy in doctor-patient interactions. There is no question that telehealth has made it possible for patients and doctors to maintain a connection despite the physical distance between them. Furthermore, as more and more practitioners embrace the strategy of telehealth, one-time consultations are fast becoming a thing of the past. Nevertheless, technology is serving as the go-between in all of this activity. Although this makes sense from the perspective of increasing productivity while simultaneously decreasing costs, it does not make sense when considering the human element of treatment. Connected gadgets and dashboards cannot provide the personal touch of an empathic human being, which is something that patients yearn for. This is particularly true of patients who are old or otherwise fragile; they may have trouble comprehending the treatment plan, and there is a possibility that they may be confused about the diagnosis of their ailment.
Moreover, technology in healthcare often results in frustrations with poor implementation of the given technology. Technology is excellent if and only if it does its job. In healthcare, where outcomes may be life or death, it is crucial that the technologies used to provide care for patients be reliable and consistently enhance the standard of care currently being offered. Technology like AI, however, is strongly reliant on past data and may fail to adapt efficiently to operational data, leading to substantial mismatches. As a result, clinical staff may feel complacent since these problems may not arise in all situations. Complacency might cause people to stop checking the system’s predictions against other methods.
The use of technology in healthcare has evolved into a fundamental component of medical practice. Introducing new information and communication technologies in the healthcare sector brings many possibilities for both positive and negative outcomes. It improves patient safety and treatment, access to information and data, and data management, among other things. However, this leaves data and information vulnerable to medical breaches, as well as the information of patients vulnerable to scammers. From a broader perspective, it is indeed true that technology has significantly altered the medical field. Therefore, healthcare organizations should use a wide variety of modern systems and software available to improve efficiency and quality of treatment.
Astier, Alain, et al. “What is the role of technology in improving patient safety? A French, German and UK healthcare professional perspective.” Journal of Patient Safety and Risk Management 25.6, 2020, pp. 219-224. Web.
Keshta, Ismail, and Ammar Odeh. “Security and privacy of electronic health records: Concerns and challenges.” Egyptian Informatics Journal 22.2, 2021, pp. 177-183. Web.
Mukati, Naveen, et al. “Healthcare assistance to COVID-19 patient using internet of things (IoT) enabled technologies.” Materials today: proceedings, 2021. Web.
Tian, Shuo, et al. “Smart healthcare: making medical care more intelligent.” Global Health Journal 3.3, 2019, pp. 62-65. Web.