Smart technology is increasingly popular, and it is not new to healthcare either. Although it may not be as prevalent as it is commercially, smart technology is a major topic for medical suites and hospitals today. It’s all about gathering, sharing and using information with the lofty aspirations of improving care while also cutting costs.
The emphasis is on functional interoperability of medical devices and systems to develop a fully interconnected medical institution where data is seamlessly linked and readily available among devices and systems, particularly in electronic health records. But the question lingers, is it worth the investment?
4 Benefits of Smart Technology in the Medical Industry
An intelligent medical suite is based on a combination of existing technologies that are designed, set up and integrated to share data in real-time; and ultimately to provide an enhanced level of clinical information to enable diagnosis, to monitor treatment, and to provide data to see how your practice is performing. 4 key ways adopting smart tech can help are:
1. Increase Medication Compliance
Mobile technology can help patients adhere to their medication orders. It can provide patients with pertinent information on why medical adherence is necessary, especially prescription adherence. The technology can send patients messages and updates, providing them easy, convenient access to readily available information.
Smart technology can calculate when a prescription will run out and send the patient a reminder to get a refill. When the patient refills their prescription, smart tech can send dosage reminders and ask the patient if they took their medication or not.
These capabilities offer medical suites a resource to help lower medication noncompliance and to reduce readmissions.
2. Improve the Post-Treatment Process
Smart technology is a medium for patients and medical suites to monitor hospital discharge instructions and double-check prescriptions. This convenience helps improve medication accuracy and patient safety.
Patients receive a lot of paperwork and instructions upon discharge from their in- or out-patient care. This is not conducive to patients remembering detailed treatment and post-evaluation care (i.e. prescription requirements). Tech can help patients recall the information they receive at discharge by sending post-treatment instruction reminders.
3. Granting Patients Access to Health Information
Given many people now tend to Google possible causes of health issues, embracing smart technology that provides accurate information is a must. Current technology can help medical suites and healthcare professionals realize the value in storing and monitoring a patient’s historical information. Making information that is already accumulated and stored about a patient readily available improves evidence-based practice standards.
4. Bigger Data for Improved Healthcare
Smart technologies can provide physicians information on the newest and greatest evidence-based medical best practices. Mobile applications can be developed to track health outcomes and evaluate where deviations from expected outcomes occurred and why; allowing medical professionals to identify areas for improvement.
Big data may improve the healthcare system’s ability to assess population health. Mobile technologies can use applications to track health trends as an early indicator of emerging health issues.
Things You Should Consider before Investing in Smart Tech
Smart tech is revolutionizing the way patients and physicians connect, access and analyze information, and communicate.
While this technology has many great implications, it also raises red flags among some practitioners. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has issued and amended their oversight to specific mobile medical applications and how they are used to perform diagnostics. This evolving legislative landscape highlights the dangers associated with use of mobile technology:
- Data Privacy. Free and paid apps may send unencrypted data to advertisers and third party data analytics firms. This information is used for behavioral tracking, transmitting detailed personal information to advertisers.
- HIPAA Concerns. Many medical practices are aware of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). However, many app developers haven’t considered the importance of HIPAA compliance as required by the medical profession. Up to 50% of health apps have vague or non-existent privacy policies. Some fail to use encryption technology to protect data breaching during the transmission and storage of sensitive information.