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How Digital Technology Can Impact Primary Healthcare

Impact of Digital Technology on Primary Care

Posted by ThinSquare ON Tuesday , 30 Apr 2019 No Comments

In 2017, Forbes published an article that discussed a recent study on doctor wait times. The study involved 15 major U.S cities and the conclusions it drew raised serious concerns. According to this study, patients have an average wait of 24 days to schedule a physician’s appointment. This is a staggering 30% increase over stats from just 3 years prior to the study in 2014. This shows a large degree of inefficiency in the system. But with technology on a roll, it may be possible to receive primary healthcare through nothing more than your average Cox internet deals. Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it? Read on to discover more.
 
Digital Technology – Its Impact on Primary Healthcare
 
The healthcare sector spends billions of dollars every year to collect and process data. Gathering data takes up precious working hours. Sometimes, a lot of this data is not even relevant to patient care. Over the last 5 years, paperwork has also increased substantially. One tool to improve the efficiency of the primary healthcare system is modern digital technology. The benefits accrue not just to patients but to doctors as well. Here are just a few ways digital technology can help transform primary care:
 

  • Integrating Systems
  • Patient Empowerment
  • Healthcare Cost Reduction
  • Increasing Accessibility of Technology
  •  
    Below follows more detailed information on each component.
    Integrating Systems
    One way to upgrade the primary healthcare system is to integrate different medical systems. Medical history, appointment records, urine or blood test results etc. should be accessible to patients. This is easily possible through an app or portal. Mobile apps tend to get more favor from individuals because of the convenience and ease of use. Integration needs to be effective, especially in sensitive areas like primary care. Hospitals and clinics need to invest in the right software to integrate apps into the main infrastructure.
     
    Patient Empowerment
     
    Patients today are more aware of medical issues, thanks to the internet. The internet offers patients access to medical information relating to any symptoms they may be feeling. There is a world of social media groups that discuss treatments, recovery, and experiences. Using modern digital technology, healthcare services can boost this further.
     
    The vast majority of primary care patients interact with the health services for medical needs. This means the focus of empowering patients should be on improved efficiency. Patients should have the option to choose their own channels of communication with doctors. This improves doctor-patient engagement and makes interactions more meaningful. Automated messages could help reduce missed appointments and keep patients on track.
     
    There are also many wearable gadgets offering diagnostics on patients to doctors. Many of these can record and relay vital information. Information like heart rate, blood pressure and more. This makes it easy to manage chronic asthma, diabetes, and similar health issues remotely. There is also talk of using AI to record and analyze patient records. It can detect patterns and predict threats, alerting both doctors and patients.
     
    Healthcare Cost Reduction
     
    Rising medical services and Medicaid costs both contribute to increasing health spending. On top of that, the aging baby-boomer generation is driving up health insurance costs as well. Digital technology opens the doors to medical awareness. It helps patients learn to make better choices. They adopt a healthier lifestyle and try to prevent diseases from taking hold. This, in turn, reduces the cost of healthcare to treat those diseases.
     
    Increasing Accessibility of Technology
     
    Digital technology won’t help primary healthcare. Not unless the parties involved have access to it. Medical authorities need to illustrate the beneficial uses of technology in primary care. This will encourage patients to start using it when it comes to medical care. Patients embracing modern technology like wearables make the task easier. It may even let patients add to their medical records. This helps in giving doctors access to vital information.
     
    Conclusion
     
    We live in the Digital Age. Access to the world is literally within the palm of our hands – our smartphones. It makes sense that customers with service issues contact Cox customer service. They usually do so through their smartphones. It makes equal sense that patients with a medical problem be able to do the same. That is, to resolve the problem through smartphones. Digital technology makes primary medical care more accessible, effective, and efficient. How it continues to impact the healthcare sector will unfold as time progresses.