When most people think about the technological advancements of the past couple of decades they think of electronic devices and the Internet. It makes sense that they think of these things because these are the things they interact with on a daily basis. That being said, perhaps the most impressive advancements of the past 50 years have come in the field of medicine. People are able to live high-quality lives with fairly debilitating diseases thanks to new treatments, medications, and procedures. People can fight their cancer and have it go into remission with the right treatment at the right time, and others can keep living quality lives even if they have diabetes. The world has changed a lot in the past couple of decades, and the medical field has changed right along with it.
Of course, some of the advancements that are making the biggest difference in people’s lives have come in the form of technologies that make it easier for patients and doctors to communicate with one another on a more consistent basis. Even just two decades ago, a healthy person would only visit their doctor once a year for a physical. They would fill out a health assessment (that worksheet with boxes that you check for various symptoms you’re experiencing), they would see the doctor who would say everything looks good, and they would go home. The problem with this type of approach to care is that people’s health changes throughout the year, but they might forget about symptoms that pop up because they go away by the time they’re visiting their doctor. However, those little symptoms that pop up might say a lot about a person’s health, and they might have an impact on care that they need down the road.
Today, it’s possible for patients to communicate with their doctor in a much more real-time fashion. There are applications out there that allow patients to update their health assessment throughout the year, inputting data about symptoms they’ve experienced. The doctors can review these health assessments throughout the year and perform real-time risk assessments. If they notice that a patient has input a symptom on their health assessment that might mean something needs to be treated, the doctor can reach out to that patient and have them into their office. This allows doctors to provide much better and more timely care to their patients, improving their health and increasing the chances of them living a long and productive life.
Companies like HealthAware are working with medical facilities and hospitals across the country to provide medical professionals with more timely information about their patients. They’re creating apps where people can input data on how they’re feeling and what they’re experiencing, and they’re even creating programs that send text messages to patients to remind them to take their medication or drink less alcohol. These types of technological advancements are having a real impact on the kind of care people are receiving, and when people talk about medical advances they shouldn’t forget to include these types of advancements as well.