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Healthcare Technology Improving Patient Care

Healthcare Technology

As the demand for healthcare continues to surge, so does the need to improve and streamline patient care. Without evolving processes and treatments, the need could easily outpace the ability to provide thorough care. Thankfully, innovations in healthcare technology make it possible for providers to not just keep pace with demand, but constantly improve patients’ quality of care.

One issue with treating patients in managing their information. Just as a patient’s needs and concerns will constantly change, so will their medical records. Any medical provider, therefore, needs constant access to the most updated information as well as in-depth medical history. Before technology, this meant storing information in paper charts that not only took up considerable amounts of space and manpower to maintain, it too easily resulted in inaccurate or lost information. Information and treatment could not be easily coordinated and shared between a patient’s various physicians, which resulted in anything from inefficient medical care to dangerous conflicts in prescription medications. With the use of medical data networks, software, and even hand-held devices, however, many of these problems have been eliminated.

Today, a patient being monitored for things like fetal health or cardiac rhythm can have their information checked remotely by a doctor or nurse sitting in their office or even on vacation using mobile applications on phones or tablets. A diabetic with problems stabilizing his blood glucose would previously have had to consistently write down their glucose meter readings to share with the doctor at a later date.

Today, some meters offer the ability to download glucose measurements to a computer for better charting, and a few even allow you to transmit your information instantly through wireless transmission to your doctor’s patient records server. For patients under the care of multiple medical providers, any updates or changes in their health can be automatically sent to each provider with alerts to note them of any critical issues. Many doctor’s offices today are even making it possible for a patient to check his or her own medical history and make appointments online. Using a combination of software, patient databases, and secured servers, this service allows you to check things like the results of your last blood test, or a record of your past visits, from the privacy of your home.

Healthcare technology is also reducing the likelihood of medical mistakes. For instance, many patients in hospitals now receive a bar-coded identification bracelet that attaches electronically to their medical records. Such a process means even an unconscious patient can be assured health providers have their correct medical information. Also, one major problem in medical care is prescription medication mistakes. Matching barcodes to electronic charts, however, will not only alert a provider of any potential conflicts with the medication to be given but will also automatically update the chart with the latest dose given. Using a similar system, patients who receive blood transfusions can be assured that they receive the correct blood type.

Treating patients means not just understanding their medical needs, but managing the flood of information generated by their care. Despite increasing demand, healthcare technology is making it possible for medical providers to consistently improve not just the speed, but the accuracy and quality of patient care.

Evolution of Wireless Technology

Wireless Technology

The golden era of wireless mobile application development started in the year 1980′s, from which the technology GSM (General System for Mobile Communications), a European standard, first launched and invaded the marketplace. This 2nd Generation (2G) digital communication system has brought about the significant milestone in advanced technology, making long-distance communication possible and easier to use. Both cellular equipment vendors and telecommunications operators benefitted with the increasing demands from mobile users.

In GSM, the exchange of voice calls and SMS (Short Messaging System) through a portable or mobile device became widely used internationally. Its real-time and reliable transfer of information captured the attention of many users, that even the cost of services, where voice calls were charged per minute and SMS per message sent, and the hardware requirements, such as SIM card and mobile phone, are negligible for the consumers longing for efficient and reliable communication technology. As a result of further study, GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) came known in 1990′s. This is the beginning of data or internet connectivity via wireless communication. As consumers became enticed to accessing their emails, browsing websites and chatting using their phone, a greater challenge was formed amongst the service providers – the increase in bit rates and throughput for faster transfer of data.

EDGE – Enhanced Data Rate for Global Evolution

From this EDGE, or known as Enhanced Data Rate for Global Evolution, is introduced. With this development, the cellular vendors were also required to cope up with the demands and have to parallel the efforts of creating mobile phones compatible with these technologies. The handheld devices are designed to adapt the services from a voice call to sending text, to downloading data and surfing the internet with user-friendly interfaces.

It is in summer of the year 2000 where the specification work on wireless technology was assigned to the international group 3GPP (3G Partnership Program), which will be responsible in research and application of the evolving 3rd Generation (3G) wireless technology – UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunication System). This offers a new circuit-switched service called video calling and improved data rate up to 384kbps. Not far from the launch of 3G, HSDPA (High-Speed Download Packet Access) came into the scene, offering up to 14.4Mbps data rate for mobile subscribers.

Within these last two decades, the growth of mobile application development continuously changes and became so widespread that it affects the lifestyle of most people, in any country regardless of age and social group. The services of wireless technology paved unlimited demands from the mobile users. Because of this, another telecommunication technique called WiMax or Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access is being rolled out by operators in some countries in Asia and US. Not as simple as it sounds, this technology offers that in a few years, the delivery of Internet access throughout the globe without any wires is possible, not only to mobile phones but also to portable computers, any handheld devices, and every living room.