How Technology is Helping Doctors Diagnose Patients
- 31 Oct, 2019
Technology has made massive changes in every aspect of our lives, from the ways we go from place to place to the ways that we communicate with each other. The largest realm that technology has changed, however, might be healthcare. With technology becoming more accessible to doctors and patients alike, there are some significant ways it is helping doctors diagnose patients more reliably. Here are three ways that technology is helping medical outcomes.
Diagnostic medical devices are often large and difficult to transport from room to room. However, portable ultrasound devices are making it easier for doctors to use them more regularly to diagnose patients. Some models can even fit in coat pockets, increasing portability. Improving accessibility to ultrasound devices can reduce the need for costly CT scans and make the diagnosis process faster. Together, these factors help improve patient outcomes and improve the doctor/patient interaction. Smaller technology also helps with patient data collection. Wearable medical trackers like fitness or blood glucose monitors can provide doctors with long term, comprehensive data that allows them to make more informed predictions and diagnoses.
Artificial intelligence technology is impacting almost every aspect of our lives. In healthcare, it is helping minimize the risk of misdiagnosis. According to Boohoff Law, an estimated 28 percent of cancer cases are misdiagnosed. This leads to delayed treatments and thousands of wasted dollars annually. However, there have already been cases where AI has successfully diagnosed patients with cancer and other medical conditions. AI relies on highly accessible medical records to make correlations between certain signs and conditions and a proper diagnosis. AI can even be used to read medical scans to properly identify tumors, fractures, and other visual markers for disease. This allows for faster, more accurate diagnosis and can help get patients the treatment they need faster.
Each patient’s unique genome informs their risk for different diseases and can impact how different treatments will work for them. With the rise of big data and improvements in genomic screening, this tool can be used to optimize disease diagnosis, according to BioMed Central. One of the most popular uses for personalized genomic screening is determining breast cancer risk by determining whether a patient has the BRCA mutations. This allows doctors to know whether this form of cancer is more likely in their patients and make decisions based on that knowledge.
Technology has greatly influenced our lives in the past few decades and it’s likely to continue to do so as more technological advancements emerge. As shown above, technology in the medical field is continually advancing and solving more problems. As technology improves and allows doctors to collect more personalized data, diagnosis and treatment will only get better.