How Technology is Changing the Medical Field

The medical field has always attracted the most talented and skilled individuals to help those in need. Everything from delivering babies, to treating cancer, doctors have been on the forefront of new developments in medical technology. These developments include advancements in population science, clinical practice guidelines, and electronic medical records.

Population Science to Treat Epidemics

Population science is the study of health and illness in specific groups. In the past, public health workers applied this field of study during virus outbreaks. Now new technology has allowed physicians to evaluate populations on a larger scale. They are able to see the death rates and illness frequencies throughout the entire health care system. When looking at the entire population, health issues such as obesity, heart disease, and cancer are considered growing epidemics. Instead of treating an individual, doctors search for a large-scale method to treat these epidemics. These principles are used in clinical studies to better evaluate medical procedures.

Clinical Practice Guidelines

Evidence-based guidelines are allowing doctors to discover the likely causes of symptoms and the best way to treat them. In Taiwan for example, doctors have instant access to statistics throughout the national healthcare system. It’s impossible for a single doctor to recognize and treat every disease, especially as new diseases and disorders develop. New evidence-based guidelines allow diagnosing these illnesses much easier.

Electronic Medical Records

Medical billing and coding has, in the just a few decades, gone from paper system to a digital format. Medical practitioners of every field have followed along, developing new software to aid in electronic billing. Surprisingly, doctors are one of the biggest beneficiaries from the advancements in electronic medical records. From one computer, physicians have access to the entirety of a patient’s medical records. This also adds to the statistical documentation of a larger population. This makes the entire healthcare system more transparent and integrated. As the system changes, unnecessary costs and charges can be eliminated when treating patients.

New Fields of Study

These developments have even led to new degrees in health information, to better facilitate the keeping and exchange of information. These degree programs will better equip health care professionals to assist physicians in following disease, and keeping track of a patient’s medical history. A UC HIM degree in health information management can now be something coders can aspire to gain in order to help the flow of information and help hospitals stay on track.

In a world that is becoming more and more connected digitally, new technology allows the healthcare field to streamline the system. Entire populations and their statistics can be tracked, enabling physicians to follow the spread of illness, and new medical record systems allow physicians to look at a patient’s entire medical history. This reduces bureaucracy, and increases the rate of success, allowing physicians to look at a whole population when treating an epidemic. These advancements put the best, and newest tools in the hands of society’s most skilled and talented individuals, allowing them to better treat patients.

By Brooke Chaplan

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