Day by day, the role of technology in our lives continues to grow, and there is no turning back. Therefore, efforts should be placed not on debating whether or not to incorporate new technology in healthcare, but on determining the best ways to do so. As with all innovations, new technology can initially generate feelings of fear and hesitation, but instead of being held back by excessive caution, healthcare facilities should move forward, focusing on the benefits that can be reaped through the use of technology and on training staff to use technology responsibly.
Remote Patient Monitoring
Remote patient monitoring (RPM) has been one of many innovations that have reduced the need for patient travel and the time that clinicians must spend with patients. It has improved patient outcomes, led to faster response time, and reduced costs.
COVID-19-related changes to Medicare have allowed many types of RPM to be approved for reimbursement, which has contributed to the growth of this new trend in healthcare. In fact, a survey conducted by Spyglass Consulting Group found that 88% of healthcare providers had invested in or were considering using RPM in their practice. Furthermore, according to a survey by MSI International in 2021, 80% of participants were in favor of using remote patient monitoring, and between 65% and 70% said they would be willing to participate in remote patient monitoring programs with their care providers to monitor blood pressure, heart rate, blood sugar, and blood oxygen levels.
Using artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare is not a new concept, but its use is increasing in 2023, particularly to analyze large amounts of patient data. Based on patients’ medical records, history, and symptoms, AI programs can suggest diagnoses, medications, and treatment plans to physicians, who will of course continue to have the final say regarding their patients’ care. Although this technology does not eliminate the need for clinicians, AI can help reduce costs, as well as improve patient outcomes and increase staff satisfaction.
These innovative software programs can reduce the time and cost associated with ongoing care for chronic illnesses. The software, which can be accessed through mobile phone apps or computers, includes patient education, symptom monitoring, medication adjustment, and behavioral changes. Digital therapeutics can be prescribed by a physician for a particular medical condition, such as diabetes type I and type II, cancer, anxiety, musculoskeletal pain, ADHD, asthma, migraines, insomnia, and substance abuse. All the information collected by the software is reported back to the physician, reducing the number of doctor’s visits while also reducing the time patients need to wait for an appointment.
Innovations in the Treatment of Mental Illness
Although clinicians are still indispensable in the treatment of mental illness – as in all areas of healthcare – numerous technologies have been developed to improve mental health between appointments as well as to complete patient intakes and provide an initial diagnosis. In particular, a method of therapy called cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been used successfully to modify behavior through digital therapeutics – evidently, in conjunction with virtual or in-person therapy. Furthermore, video games have also been used to treat mental health concerns such as ADHD. The FDA recently approved a video game called EndeavorRX to treat this condition in children ages eight to twelve. After just one month of playing this game, 73% of participants in clinical trials reported an increased ability to pay attention without any negative side effects.
Healthcare Staffing App
Evidently, technology will never replace real clinicians. In fact, one of the most important recent innovations in healthcare has been the development of a healthcare staffing app, created to connect healthcare facilities and clinicians directly in order to quickly and efficiently fill extra staffing demands caused by leaves of absence or unexpected increases in hospital admissions, such as those caused by surges in COVID-19 cases. Nursa™’s healthcare staffing app is a must-have for all healthcare facilities to stay on top of staffing needs, which in turn contributes to higher patient and staff satisfaction.
Use Change to Your Advantage
Change is always daunting, yet it is also an unstoppable aspect of life. Instead of fighting against it, the most effective stance is to use it to your advantage – to take the positive aspects and use them to reduce costs, improve outcomes, and increase overall efficiency and satisfaction.