Over the last few years consumers have relied on digital technologies and other tech innovations including information tools that have helped equip their practice with the most updated means of progressing healthcare.
It is apparent - In order to offer the best care possible, we must utilize the tools currently at our disposal. Within that logic, we look towards utilizing devices and methods that are familiar to the public. Through those means we can integrate a more secular database for finding patterns and better communicating health through a large group of people.
With so many aspects to analyze, here are some hyper-focused points to engagement that show the relationship of information and technology assisting in methods towards advancing healthcare:
The incredible surge of people using online research, social media, and smart phones towards health means have contributed to an increase in equity through affordable access to health information. The National Center for Biotechnology Information commented on the correlation with population health and the use of technology to progress how we gather information and analyze health means:
“These advances have helped open the door to health-related innovations that are reaching the most vulnerable in society, including populations in the United States that are historically under-served because of race and ethnicity.”
Here are a few Methods that combine technology and information:
- Broadband & Telehealth
- Technologies Towards Healthcare technologies
- Using Enhanced Analytical Methods
Broadband and Telehealth
Access to reliable and affordable Broadband and Telehealth services is a critical component of supporting healthy communities. Access to broadband gives patients access to high-quality care and this is shown true for rural populations that don’t usually have much access to health services that require internet access – the health results are low on the spectrum.
The lack of access to Broadband and Telehealth is shown to have negative effects for both healthcare. The ability to provide proper healthcare needed towards a community of people is directly associated with how they connect with providers.
Sadly, the number of communities that don’t have access is a very staggering number. The Federal Communications Commission researched the amount of people who currently have access:
“Over 21 million Americans, particularly in rural and tribal areas, still lack basic access to broadband.”
Certain areas experiencing high rates of chronic disease are a result of not having consistent or stable connection to internet/broadband. Using information technology tools such as Telehealth and Broadband give people the possibility to monitor health and have early interventions when needed to help the issue at hand.
Technologies Towards Healthcare
Speaking on the various tools at our disposal, communities must learn how to identify linkages with existing mobile, telehealth, social media technologies that allow for use within the healthcare spectrum.
These entities allow research and analysis of data from its users to improve patient outcomes. Organizations needs to put these analytic solutions to use as they become more prevalent in use towards obtaining patient information.
EMR use is a fantastic example of a technology that thrives off of data and information from other devices. Some systems offer a mobile app extension of their system to help create further transparency between the patient and provider. These tools help providers identify patient disease patterns and progression early on.
Using Enhanced Analytical Methods
Most of the tools and devices mentioned all live within the holistic approach of integrating technological and informational methods – enhanced analytical methods.
The healthcare industry is evolving and expanding best practice use at an unprecedented rate. Healthcare professionals are hurtling through a storm of healthcare-related data and what seems to be aiding their work stems from a few tools we touched on. Health IT Week acknowledges these as:
“Clinician data entry, sophisticated medical devices, web-based health communities, electronic health records (EHRs), insurance records, prescriptions, and patient surveys.”
The growing interest for data and information about population health speaks volumes on the need for enhanced analytical methods which information and technology can help support.