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The Role of Technology in Health Maintenance

By Carlos Lopez Patan - Medix


By Carlos López | Director General - Wed, 01/04/2023 - 10:00

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Over the years, there has been a remarkable increase in products and services aimed at contributing to a healthy lifestyle and, therefore, to a higher quality of life. Likewise, this leads to  information overload, as several industries attempt to help society adopt habits that will enable us to maintain our well-being in the future.

The web is currently the most widely used means of searching for information and medical advice. During the pandemic, for example, telemedicine increased 90 percent. On the other hand, given the large amount of data (infodemics) that is uploaded to the web, it is advisable to learn to differentiate between true information and misinformation.

Meanwhile, technology promotes balanced lifestyles through tools and devices used not only by patients, but also by healthcare professionals. mHealth, defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the medical practice supported by mobile devices, contributes to reducing costs and inequalities, as well as being useful in preventing future risks and diseases.

Technology companies have taken on the task of providing tools that enable patients, without the need to visit a doctor, to measure their heart rate, monitor their calorie intake and burn, or keep a record of their sleep, among many other data, which, while providing many benefits, can also involve a risk, since no technology will replace the recommendation of a doctor. This is an aid that, if properly understood and implemented, can help us improve our quality of life, on the one hand, and turn to a health professional when required on the other.

Recent reports by data experts highlight that there are more than 97,000 health applications, 70 percent of which are intended for wellness and sports, and the remaining 30 percent are exclusively for patients and medical staff. Therefore, companies should focus on patient and physician education so that technology can meet its objective of facilitating healthcare services, not replacing them.

In terms of the benefits of technology for the healthcare professional, its impact is evidenced in improved treatment through the better use of devices, programs, and drugs, among other things. Technological advances make life easier for patients, enable the timely detection of diseases, and complement treatments. The equipment and devices installed are becoming more and more comprehensive, enabling safer and less painful interventions.

It is clear that we bear a great responsibility, whether as patients, as healthcare professionals, or as a company; we must understand the value of technology in the healthcare industry, of which the following are worth highlighting: improved patient care and experience through automated processes such as electronic records, results consultation, and other data capture offering public and private organizations a big picture of the effects of healthcare and areas for improvement, real-time information exchange, and remote counseling between healthcare professionals to the benefit of communities, mainly those located outside of urban areas.

Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare

Healthcare organizations have accumulated so much useful data for improving patient care and helping researchers develop better treatments for medical conditions that it would be impossible to analyze without artificial intelligence. Although AI technology is relatively new, it could be applied in many beneficial ways in healthcare organizations.

These advances help boost innovation in the development of new drugs, decode the human genome, and get faster and more accurate diagnoses, which is very useful in complicated scenarios, such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

By applying this technology, we have the opportunity to treat health conditions effectively in the shortest possible time, thus relieving the workload for health professionals and increasing the availability of treatments to improve patients' health.

In the coming years, the development of AI technology will keep advancing and will be applied in more and more medical fields, streamlining and improving the work of healthcare organizations and institutions as well as health professionals' education. The application of artificial intelligence in healthcare represents an advantage for society, provided that its use complies with ethical standards and is monitored and regulated by health authorities and health professionals.

Photo by:   Carlos Lopez Patan

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