Mobile technology and the Internet of Things have become natural parts of our daily lives. We’re getting smart shopping lists from our refrigerators, tracking our daily activity levels, and connecting with family and friends all over the world. But healthcare technology has been slow to adopt these changes.
The reluctance to go completely mobile in healthcare settings makes sense. Medical staff is just getting used to the technologies they’ve already integrated–and there are issues of security, confidentiality and interoperability. If it’s a struggle getting data from your fitness tracker into your main health app, how can a hospital aggregate the important patient data using apps and smart devices?
The good news is that healthcare and technology companies are making fast progress dealing with these issues. And there are some really cool healthcare applications of technology on the horizon.
Apps that Share Data with Your Doctor
Currently, apps such as Micromedex and CareZone give you important tools to ensure that you’re taking the medications at the right time — and in the right dose. CareZone also lets you document notes to share with your physician during your next visit so you don’t forget to ask important questions or share new symptoms. BabyBump allows pregnant women to track their progress and set up those frequent doctor visits.
As the ability to gather and share health information improves, expect apps that provide a direct link to your physician so you can avoid unnecessary trips to the doctor.
Smarter At-Home Healthcare Technology
Patients often struggle to get high-quality healthcare devices that provide the level of support they need after being discharged from the hospital.
As smart beds and medication dispensers become more common and affordable, expect to see these kinds of healthcare technology used in homes and care facilities to help shorten hospital stays while ensuring the safety and comfort of the patient. For example, a connected medication dispenser can alert the health care team and authorized family members if a medication dose is missed so they can intervene quickly, if necessary.
Tools that Connect All Members of a Healthcare Team
When patients see specialists for different issues, it can be challenging to ensure that everyone is apprised of new developments and treatments tried. Large systems and managed care organizations do a good job of sharing information through charts stored in their proprietary system. As mobile computing power and interoperability improve, look for new tools that share information among authorized providers, even when they aren’t part of the same healthcare system.
Apps that connect doctors can help avoid medication interactions and ensure that doctors aren’t depending on patients to share information about their treatment.
As we use mobile technologies and the internet of things more in our daily lives, it just makes sense that we want healthcare technology to incorporate these powerful tools. And technology and healthcare companies are working to address lingering concerns and make these technologies fast, easy, and safe to use in healthcare.
Ready to Make a Change?
If your healthcare company is ready to join the digital age, give us a call. 7T can help you optimize operational efficiency and provide convenience for your customers.