Over the past twenty years, technology has grown to impact every industry on the planet. In the modern economy, every company is a technology company. Technology is now used in every industry, from finance to hospitality to consumer goods. The healthcare industry is no exception.
Here are three ways that technology is being used in healthcare.
The Rise of Wearable Technology in the Health & Wellness Industry
We all know that the main drivers of good health are behaviors that occur outside our doctor’s or dentist’s offices. Our mouths don’t stay healthy because we go to the dentist twice a year; they stay healthy because of our daily brushing and flossing commitment. Our bodies aren’t healthy because we go to the doctor once a year; they’re healthy because of our daily commitments to healthy diet and exercise practices.
Technology has promoted healthier living through the rise of wearable tech such as activity monitors (FitBit, Garmin, Coros, etc.), wearable ECG monitors, and wearable blood pressure monitors. Wearable tech allows people to get real-time feedback on how their behaviors are impacting their health. It’s harder to go multiple days without sufficient physical activity when a FitBit is reminding individuals that they’ve only taken 2000 steps in a day.
Technology Promotes Better Communication Between Healthcare Providers
Doctors used to operate entirely on paper. This meant that when patients visited their PCP (primary care physician), the doctor was recording the results of the visit on a piece of paper that got stored in a filing cabinet. If the patient had a follow-up visit with a specialist, the original PCP would often forget to send the documentation over to the specialist, resulting in more errors.
In modern-day medicine, notes are taken electronically and stored in an EMR (an electronic medical record). This means that doctors can often share information with each other with the click of a button. Greater communication results in fewer mistakes made.
More Accurate Health Insurance Pricing
Health insurance is all about decreasing risk. Technically, those who lead healthier lifestyles should be able to purchase insurance at lower rates. Health insurance companies can now use technology to aggregate data about their members and offer lower rates for members that adopt healthy practices.
In the future, health insurance companies could use data from wearable tech to influence health insurance costs. It’s not hard to imagine a universe where the number of steps one takes per day (recorded by FitBit!) is a key factor in how expensive one’s health insurance is.