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Digitization of the healthcare industry – Encyclopedia for Medicine & Health

Digitization of the healthcare industry

Digitization is making great strides. Hardly any field remains unaffected, this also applies without restriction to the health sector. But just as many people in other areas do not recognize at first glance what advantages digitization can have for them there, the same is true in medicine. This article, therefore, explains the 5 big advantages.

Unrestricted Information

Anyone reading these lines is already a medical digital beneficiary. Because MedicalFosters.com is an information portal for consumers. For example, if you look around in the category of diseases in our company, you will get information that only a few years ago was reserved for specialists just through digitization.

The only alternatives were encyclopedias—often formulated in a way that was difficult for the layperson to understand, necessarily severely limited in scope, and constantly in danger of becoming outdated. The medical industry is one in which updates, knowledge expansion, and rethinking happen in rapid succession. The book medium is not an adequate medium for constantly up-to-date information.

However, digital information is not only a benefit in terms of easier updating of a website. Because it is also true that storage space is much cheaper than paper and book printing. MedicalFosters.com would fill several volumes in book form and cost considerable amounts – medical knowledge would thus remain limited to a wealthy clientele.

Digitization has democratized health knowledge. She made it more accessible, more accessible, easier to understand. And that is not only an informative gain, but also contributes directly to public health – because everyone can find out what is good for them at any time free of charge.

acceptance of tasks

We live in a time where a swipe of the thumb on the smartphone display can operate the light, the TV channel, the heating, even the front door. And just as digitization makes countless large and small tasks easier for us in the household, it also works in the medical field.

Let’s start with the insurance companies. Here, the Clark company also acts as a digital insurance manager, but its main merit is that the Clark experts can be reached by the user via chat or telephone and advise the user individually. Just because the app is algorithm-based, the user does not get a one-size-fits-all insurance, but an offer individually tailored to their needs. The user enters all of their insurance data, such as sums, deadlines and the like, into the app. This has three effects:

1. The simplest benefit is that all insurance documents can stay in the cupboard after signing. All relevant information is in the app and can be viewed and edited there in a clear manner.

2. All contracts can be checked and evaluated on request.

3. Optionally, alternatives from other insurers can be automatically searched through and suggested – in this case the service even takes care of the termination.

But digitization can do even more. It reminds us to take medication down to the exact number of pills. It helps with sports, with preventive care, reminds of treatment and preventive appointments. Yes, the non-profit platform washabich.de even provides translations of patient reports – carried out by voluntary medical students in the upper semesters. All of this makes even complex medical points manageable for laypeople and therefore safer.

Simplified communication

If in a few years medical students will be confronted with important historical moments, 2018 will most likely also be mentioned in Germany. The year in which what had long been technically possible became possible by law: telemedicine.

For two years now, German doctors have also been fully permitted to treat patients remotely within the scope of what is medically justifiable. Nothing less than a real milestone – which, however, could only become such through digitization:

  • The possibilities of video telephony,
  • Various programs for collecting medical data,
  • programs for digitization and transmission,

they made it possible for medical communication to break new ground. However, it must not be forgotten that the process began on the day that the first health insurance patients received the health insurance card with a chip, that was in 1995.

This detail alone simplified both patient-doctor and doctor-to-doctor communication because at least the basic data was stored on a uniform medium. And all in all, this not only simplified communication, but also significantly accelerated the entire communicative procedure, including the administrative work – because where patient files are of course only maintained electronically, nothing can ever get lost or be illegible again.

Accelerated, precise, simplified treatment

Probably every reader has already come into contact with a digital blood pressure monitor at their family doctor. Maybe a laser clinical thermometer, a finger clip to measure oxygen saturation. He may also have been x-rayed. Not on film, but in such a way that the images appeared directly on the screen .

It is above all such general applications that show particularly succinctly how important digital technology has become in medicine. Because even the best-trained doctor is always “just” a person with the potential for error. In medicine, these can be of particular importance – for example, because diagnoses are made incorrectly, diseases are not treated correctly, values ​​are misinterpreted.

There is a reason why medicine was one of the fields that integrated digital technologies particularly early and quickly. In the beginning it was the fact that these are more precise and much faster than their analogue predecessors – let’s think of a simple clinical thermometer with a digital display instead of a column of mercury.

But the more development progressed, the more capable the technology became. Today we are at a point where the human doctor still has the authority to make decisions. But he can rely on a gigantic range of programs and techniques that question, check and thus simplify and reinsure everything that has the potential for error.

20 years ago, surgeons performed a gallbladder removal using a surgical robot – across the Atlantic. Today, the emerging 5G technology shows what is possible when gigantic amounts of data can be transmitted in real time. Simply put, because of you, robotic hand operations can be performed that are even better and safer than the steadiest surgeon’s hands ever could. The significance of this for the supply of remote areas with contemporary surgical methods can be foreseen.

relief for nursing staff

There are not only too few nurses in Germany. The problem is becoming more pressing in all states with aging populations. But where digitization is literally helping these forces with administrative tasks, it can literally do it today and even more so in the future.

We are on the threshold of an era in which the care robot is no longer just a gimmick at trade fairs. In the meantime, the AI ​​is really ready to complement humans in this segment – the only skeptics seem to be those for whom the robots are supposed to make their work easier. However, since that is the only remaining hurdle, it should be easy to overcome.

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.