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Risks and Benefits of Healthcare Technology Trends

Digital health care depends on the stability of the internet connection. However, even stable internet does not promise high-quality service because such care has to rely on specific technologies. System bugs are common with the use of internet-dependent equipment, and even a highly stable network connection does not guarantee that these will be avoided. To reduce these issues, healthcare providers need to be capable of correctly evaluating digital tools (Skiba, 2017). Healthcare professionals have to actively engage in the constant learning process regarding the quality of the digital platforms they choose to use to provide good healthcare. Additionally, physicians should properly instruct their patients with the correct guidelines for the use of their chosen technology. Therefore, most responsibility regarding the use of digital equipment lies on healthcare providers.

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Another challenge associated with technology-based healthcare is the questions of confidentiality and data safety. Most of the medical information about the hospital’s patients is stored digitally. Considering the frequency of data breaches in the digital age due to the ease of replication of any electronically processed information, there is further concern about patients’ privacy. According to Mitchell and Kan (2019), healthcare professionals have to adapt to the new digital reality rather than avoid it, by prioritizing the security of some information over the other. The protection of all digital information is an impossible task and, therefore, physicians have to understand that some patients, for example, those with stigmatized diagnoses, require more privacy than others.

Healthcare technology allows for clear communication between patients, their families, and physicians because of all parties’ engagement due to the accessibility of the treatment in the comfort of the patient’s home. Mitchell and Kan (2019) suggest that such medical services allow for greater attention to the patient’s needs, without having patients seek care outside of their convenient environment. Such focus on the patient’s demands and improved communication positively affect the quality of patient care, as it can be easily monitored by patients’ relatives.

Technology-based healthcare proves beneficial in terms of the value of patient care and attention to public safety. Due to Covid-19, many health services should be moved into a safer space. One promising trend is virtual care through such methods as telehealth, which refers to “services that are delivered by telecommunications-ready tools” (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2017). Virtually provided assistance limits virus exposure, which is currently crucial. Therefore, there is potential for telehealth to become the primary way of assessment and treatment.

References

McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2017). Telenursing and remote access telehealth. Nursing Informatics and the Foundation of Knowledge (4th ed). Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Mitchell, M., & Kan, L. (2019). Digital technology and the future of health systems. Health Systems and Reform, 5(2), 113–120. Web.

Skiba, D. (2017). Evaluation tools to appraise social media and mobile applications. Informatics, 4(3), 32. Web.

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