The Increasing Role of Technology in Healthcare

Advances in technology have made a significant impact in the healthcare industry, affecting how consumers obtain information, as well as communicating with their healthcare professionals and insurance agencies.

Consumers are increasingly turning to the Internet to educate themselves on various healthcare topics, research illness or disease, and searching for a physicians or health care facility. The Internet also provides a convenient means of locating the nearest pharmacy or medical clinic, printing out the required forms to bring to a doctor’s visit, filling out online applications for insurance or Medicare, or filing medical or insurance claims. Simply put, today’s technology and the wealth of information available on the Internet can make things simple and convenient for consumers.

A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals just how much of an impact technology has had in the field of healthcare. According to the study:

  • From January – June 2009, 51% of adults aged 18-64 used the Internet to research  health information in the past 12 months.
  • In adults aged 18-64, women were more likely to look up health information on the Internet (58.0% versus 43.4%) and were more likely to use online chat groups to learn about health topics (4.1% versus 2.5%)
  • From January through June 2009, almost 5% of adults aged 18-64 had communicated with a health care provider by e-mail in the past 12 months .
  • During the first 6 months of 2009, 6% of adults aged 18-64 requested a refill of a prescription on the Internet, and almost 3% had made an appointment with a health care provider in the past 12 months using the Internet.

And the numbers keep growing, as does the technology. Downloadable healthcare apps for smart phones are at their peak, with experts estimating approximately no less than 40,000 health-related mobile apps currently available. A recent study by Juniper Research, a British company that studies mobile technology trends, estimates around 44 million mobile health care app downloads in 2012, with an estimated rise to 142 million by 2016. A report by Mobile Health Market Report 2011–2016, estimated revenues for health care apps increased from $718 million to $1.3 billion between 2011 and 2012.

Why is technology in healthcare growing?

Today’s consumers are more savvy and want to be informed. The Internet is the perfect venue for information in the form of support groups, forums, published medical reports and studies, and healthcare information sites.

It is not only consumers who benefit from the growth of technology – healthcare providers and facilities can easily store, share and access information in a fraction of the time and at great convenience. In fact, Health care facilities are being encouraged by the federal government to switch to electronic health records (EHR), offering federal incentives to doctors and hospitals to help acquire and utilize health information technology.

Benefits of healthcare-related technology:

  • Improves the quality of care by reducing medical errors
  • Insures that your health care providers have accurate and timely information
  • Reduced healthcare costs
  • Reduced paperwork

As healthcare technology continues to advance, more and more consumers will continue to take advantage of all that it has to offer. Healthcare and providers and facilities will also benefit as medical companies strive to produce the latest and best medical technology equipment. A leading company in today’s medical technology is Pittsburgh-based Kennebec, whose Range of Motion and Muscle Testing devices provide accurate and complete patient data so that doctors and patients can work together to achieve the best possible results.

If you are a medical provider looking to prove medical necessity with deficiency proof and access more approved visits for your patients to help them get back to pre-injury status or maximum medical improvement, contact Kennebec, the leading Range of Motion and Muscle Testing software provider on the market.