The health care industry is always experiencing some sort of growth, and with those growing pains often comes the tools necessary to accommodate more patients and provide better care to those who need it. Hospital-based technology is helping people live longer lives and improving patient outcomes across the board. Beyond the hospital, how are technological devices helping to improve the health care industry?
Here are a few interesting uses of telehealth tools that we will be seeing more of in the future:
1. Remote care
Patients who would normally not have access to specialized care are now able to receive prescriptions and consult physicians thanks to advances in telemedicine. For instance, in Mississippi, health care is faced with many challenges, one of which is a severe shortage of doctors, according to Politico contributor David Pittman. The state’s only medical hospital has connections to 165 remote sites so that doctors can give care to underserved communities. This has catapulted Mississippi to the top of telemedicine charts in the U.S. and has been invaluable to keeping patients healthy.
2. Elder care
The aging baby boomer generation will eventually begin to put more strain on health care providers as they need care. According to Bank Rate contributor Donna Fuscaldo, technology will change the way the elderly are cared for in a number of ways. Wearable tech, for instance, helps monitor heart rate and sleep patterns. In the future, they may be able to send important data about cardiac conditions and blood sugar levels to the hospital, where doctors can monitor conditions and react accordingly.
The use of telemedicine to provide care for seniors isn’t relegated just to physical maladies. Video conferences can help veterans get mental health care as well, according to a study reported by Reuters. The study offered remote counseling to people suffering from depression. Researchers found that 19 percent of the mental health patients surveyed responded to video-facilitated counseling, as opposed to the 22 percent of patients who reported a decrease in depression symptoms – nearly equal percentages. The implications of this kind of research are far-reaching for people who exhibit symptoms of depression but maybe don’t have access to in-person counseling.
It will be interesting to watch health care technology evolve in the coming years. For more emerging tech news and technology trends, please visit our page here.