Role of Healthcare Information Technology in Medical Science

Healthcare Information Technology

Information technology or IT is all about using computers as well as telecommunications devices to store, transmit, retrieve, and manipulate data. The use of information technology has extended to different industries and has spread even to the Healthcare industry.

The digital technology in healthcare is related to the application of information processing using computer software and hardware to use healthcare information, knowledge, and data for decision making and communication. With digital technology, it is possible to network systems and move health information easily.

Background of Digital Technology in Healthcare

The use of computer aided technology across the world in medicine began in the early 1950s. Gustav Wagner introduced the very first professional organization for healthcare in Germany in 1949. Health informatics also known as Health Information systems is a field involving computer science, information science, and healthcare.

The various health informatics tools used are computers, formal medical terminologies, communication and information systems, and clinical guidelines. Such tools are applicable to areas of clinical care, pharmacy, nursing, occupational therapy, medical research, and public health.

It was in the 1960s when specialized university departments and informatics training programs were introduced in Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, and France. Research based on medical informatics started in the 1970s in the US and Poland and over time development of qualitative education, infrastructure, and health informatics research were introduced in European Union, US, and numerous developing countries.

Significance of Digital Technology in Healthcare

  • With the growth in the IT sector, there has been a drastic change in medical education all across the world. As a result of these changes, majority of medical students today are computer literate.
  • Latest information on medical science is readily accessible through internet and handheld devices like personal digital assistants, palmtops, and other.
  • Presently, information technology assists medical education in numerous ways like internet and computer networks.
  • Virtual reality, computer assisted learning, and human patient simulators are the newest options.
  • It has become possible to carry rapid communication via emails on course details, feedbacks, and more.
  • Students can pursue long distance medical training with ease, at less cost, and students and tutors can gain smooth communication for 24 x 7.
  • Moreover, it has become possible for medical students to gain up-to-date information on distinct aspects of disease and health and to discuss the same with their colleagues in various contents through net conferencing.
  • Free access to medical journals, latest information and online textbooks on new development has enhanced the learning and research process.
  • ACLS simulators or Advanced Life Support and Haptics, also known as the science of touch are some of the greatest developments in the field. These are used in medical education to develop numerous clinical skills like ECG interpretation, precise intervention of injections drugs, and defibrillation without working on real patients.

To Sum Up

The advent of digital technology in healthcare sector has resulted in excellent developments and innovations. From electronic medical records to virtual reality to computerized provider order entry, the contribution is immense. But there is still scope for improvement where IT can be used to its full extent. And one key thing we must remember is that in pursuit of modern technologies, we must ensure that the relationships between doctors and patients do not get overlooked.

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