Digi-Care: How Hospitals are Adapting to the Digital Age

More and more hospitals are employing digital methods to make their processes faster and easier for their patients. Healthcare is shaping up to be one of the biggest implementers of cloud computing and other new-age digital services. This is evident from the first all-digital hospital in America — Humber River Hospital.

Using wearable technology on patients and employees and a paperless system, Humber River is blazing a trail. It’s only a matter of time before other healthcare providers start upgrading their IT services. Here are the newest innovations experts expect to see soon.

Air Traffic Control-Class Response to Emergencies

A lot can go wrong while you’re in the air. The slightest miscommunication may mean disaster. To avoid this, air traffic control centers are continually advancing their communication systems. Healthcare providers want to provide the same responsiveness to their hospitals. Nowadays, wearable technology can easily track a person’s vital signs — with the goal of preventing emergencies before they happen.

A study conducted to test the practicality of wearables to continuously monitor vital signs showed that both patients and nurses find wearables useful. Nurses kept better track of their patients’ vital signs and responded to emergencies earlier than before. The patients, however, complained that the wearables were bulky and contained too many wires. Further advances are needed to create a comfortable and wireless system for patients.

Cloud-Based Records

Technology and healthcare conceptThe rise of cloud computing in recent years has changed the landscape of information management systems for the better. It has allowed everyone — from an individual to large-scale businesses — to have secure and continuously available storage for their important files.

Now more and more hospitals are adopting a cloud-based records system. Together with creating a paperless system, cloud storage allows for seamless access and management of patient data. This eliminates the need to fill up redundant forms. Doctors can also issue lab tests with a push of a button and receive real-time notifications once the tests are done.

Healthcare Robots

Akin to animated “personal healthcare companion” Baymax, healthcare robots can be programmed to answer medical questions and provide medical assistance to a patient. They can be equipped to supply patients with medicine to use for the day. They can also work with wearables to track a person’s vital signs. This allows robots to call for a caregiver or ambulance in case the patient comes to harm. Most nurses find hospital work significantly stressful. Robots can also make a nurse’s job easier by delivering medication, lab samples and results, and even food to the patients.

Recent advances in Artificial Intelligence have shown that this is possible in the near future. In fact, tech giant Samsung recently revealed their healthcare robots at CES 2019.

The common theme in these technological innovations is responsiveness — a principle that hospitals always need to improve on. Cloud-based patient records and vital-tracking wearables are slowly becoming a reality. And though it has shown promise, artificially intelligent robots are still ways away from implementation. Nonetheless, it’s always exciting to see what future technology has in store for hospitals.

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