Technology is improving the lives of humans across the globe, thanks to advancements in many areas. Technology has paved the way for modern medical treatment like x-rays, but that evolution is continuing. Health informatics and new types of therapy can radically change certain areas of the healthcare system.
Healthcare that uses telecommunications technology is becoming much more popular. In rural areas, it can change how frequently people visit their primary care physician. Patients can virtually meet with their doctor, while doctors can serve many more patients than can be seen physically. Telemedicine can save patients up to $100 per doctor visit. ICU’s equipped with telehealth services are shown to have a 26% lower mortality rate for outpatients than traditional ICUs.
The ability to track our steps, heart rate, and activity levels with wearables have put a renewed focus on fitness and health. Wearable technology has gotten so accurate that some insurance companies offer insurance discounts to healthy users. More than 130 million fitness devices have been shipped since 2018, and their prevalence in society will only grow. These wearables are incentivizing users to take control of their own health by showing quantifiable progress that can be measured over a period of weeks, months, and years.
EMDR Therapy for Trauma
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a new type of psychotherapy used to treat psychological stress and trauma. EMDR therapy is gaining popularity as a treatment to relieve symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. But it is also gaining popularity as a means to treat the underlying causes of addiction. EMDR is used by leading addictions specialists to help addicts overcome their underlying behavior and involves no medication and is achieved solely through visual stimulation. While simple, this type of therapy should only be practiced by a licensed professional since it is designed to surface traumatic memories that patients’ re-live.
Personal genome sequencing is the future of healthcare. Sequencing and analysis of a person’s genetic genome can help understand the health risks for specific disorders. The human genome is like an instruction book for each person and is unique according to their DNA make-up. Technological advances in this field have allowed home DNA kits to become commonplace. Twenty years from now, health insurance companies may want to see a copy of your genome to determine your risk factor.
Electronic Health Records
The healthcare industry has been slow to adapt to the Information Age and access to the internet. Patient privacy and HIPAA violations have been the primary factors for slow adoption, but electronic health records are catching on. This has several benefits in the health field. Many hospitals relied on paper patient records in the past, but now these records can be shared digitally. Faster transfer of patient information means faster care when it matters. Interconnected systems also help doctors, hospitals, and clinics to avoid over-treating a patient. This can help stem the tide of the current opioid epidemic by keeping accurate records of prescriptions a patient has received.