With the boom of globalization, there has been an immense inflow of research and consequent developments associated with information technology, as it is the driving force behind communication and transportation in the contemporary era. The pandemic of information technology has penetrated the society deeply and has yielded in immense benefits for the entire populace of the planet. The fruitful upshots of the technology and its far-reaching effects are evidently visible in communication industry, educational field for distance learning, computer industry, entertainment industry, gaming, computer aided designing and graphics, marketing of businesses, and the likes. One pertinent utilization of information technology that has reaped humungous benefits for the society is in the field of medicine, whereby it is engaged in hospital management system, recording of patient history, regulation of patient monitoring, diagnosis, and for maintenance of life support systems.
Before the advent of computers, masses had to rely on sensory and simple tools for detection, but since the advancement of technology, devices and apparatus for aiding doctors, nurses, and hospital staff such as X-ray tools, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Tomography, and the likes have eased the process considerably. The merger of healthcare industry and information technology has therefore culminated in salvation of innumerable lives. Biotechnology, pharmaceutical and drug discovery, biomedical device fabrication based on microfluidics, labs-on-a-chip, organ-on-a-chip, and similar products have significantly improved the quality of life and all owe their existence to IT. Diagnosis, detection, and surgical procedures have benefitted from tissue engineering, MRI machines, artificial organs, ankles, braces, prosthetic and robotic limbs, self-healing adhesives, and many other previously unimaginable technologies, which wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for IT and its advancements (Gilbert & Enel, 2009).
Big data and cloud computing have become an integral part of the healthcare industry, which also propagate the usage of specially designed hospital management software that facilitates automation of routinely procedures, check-ups, and surgical operations at hospitals and clinics. The database of multitudes of patients are stored in the system with adequate information pertaining to their history of diseases, family history, medication, symptoms, prescription and dosage, treatment procedures, and kinship. It also aids in booking of online appointments of patients, payroll admission, discharge, and various other records. For monitoring of patients, specialized systems are installed in intensive care units as well as wards for continuous regulation of patients, which can be linked to doctors who are remotely available. Such monitoring apparatuses have the capability to check pulse, blood pressure, body temperature, and other bodily functions for informing the medical staff in case of any discrepancy so that proper action can be taken aptly. Life support systems for terminally ill patients and particular devices for certain impairments can also be tabulated as wonders of information technology in medicine and healthcare industry. Lastly, these systems are also helpful in investigation of symptoms from patients for prescribing medication accordingly. Automated tools for conduction of test such as CT scanning, ECG testing, and the likes are also facilitated by IT functions (Agius-Muscat H., 2000).
Rigorous research executed by scientists and doctors for searching novel techniques pertaining to prevention, diagnosis, curing, new medication for alleviation of symptoms or treatment is also aided by IT. Evaluation and analysis of diseases on cellular and microbiological level has yielded in the development of efficacious antibodies against viruses. Many pernicious diseases including malaria, MMR, polio, and other communicable diseases have been curtailed efficiently through administration of research, which wouldn’t have been possible without IT.
Internet, personal computers, and smartphones have radicalized the delivery of information to patients. The fabrication of specialized applications available on web and smartphone platforms has helped people in diagnosing their disorders correctly with prescription of medicines, which is particularly beneficial for people residing in far-off areas of underdeveloped countries. In medical education, tools of human patient simulators, virtual reality, and computer assisted learning (CAL) has made the lives of physicians easier as they gain hands-on knowledge and practical know-how of how to administer operations or treat hazardous situations (Agius-Muscat H., 2000). It also ensures connectivity between medical students, teacher doctors, and patients for rapid remedy delivery. CAL has vitally provided a platform for interactive learning for medical students in the arenas of anatomy, heart, and histopathology. Advanced Life Support (ACLS) and Haptics are two simulators that offer teaching skills to students in terms of ECG interpretation, drug dosage and prescription, injection episodes, defibrillation activities, intervention to problems, and similar procedures without actually coming in contact with actual patients.
Therefore, healthcare industry is now reliant on IT for most of its operations and has totally altered the field. IT further delivers cost-effectiveness to healthcare due to digitalization of records, which has rendered paper utilization a thing of the past. It also grants time efficiency due to the high amount of patient inflow at hospitals, appropriate coding systems, and disease categorization that makes work faster and easier. IT also makes healthcare accessible to elderly and far-off patients through Internet. Moreover, with the integration of IT in healthcare industry, life expectancy of the masses has augmented significantly due to the improvement of life conditions and standards of living.
Agius-Muscat H. (2000). The impact of information technology on medicine. Images in paediatric cardiology, 2(1), 1–2.
Gilbert, S. F., & Epel, D. (2009). Ecological developmental biology: integrating epigenetics, medicine, and evolution.
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