New Technological Advancements in the Healthcare Field
Over the past few years, technology has become increasingly important to health and care services, benefitting patients as well as service providers. The CQC has stated that it aims for regulations to not stand in the way of innovation, but that technological advances must not come at the cost of losing “high-quality, person-centered care.” Bearing this in mind, the CQC performed a review of several recent technological innovations in the healthcare field. These individual products can be grouped into six broader categories.
1. Automated triage technology
This category encompasses technology that aims to use the internet to transmit data concerning patients’ health from their homes in order to quickly and efficiently identify potential health issues. By monitoring a patient’s health while they are in their own home, it enables healthcare professionals to be aware of an issue when it first arises rather than when the patient goes in for an appointment. It also allows hospitals and care givers to know which patients need help the most urgently.
2. Digital records
This category focuses on digitizing patients’ records in order to encourage coordination of medical care. One product in this category shares records across healthcare professionals including general practitioners, hospices, care homes, and ambulances throughout London. These services also allow patients to view their records themselves.
This group concerns mobile apps that can be used to aid patients with accessing care. One app in particular focuses on providing users with real-time information on wait times for urgent care centers. It combines this with details on traffic conditions in order to show users the fastest way to receive care for minor emergencies.
The main service in this category is a system of sensors placed around a patient’s home. These sensors can be attached to household items such as outlets in order to monitor the habits of the patient and identify unusual behavior. This can be used to detect risk of dehydration as well as falls.
By having patients with health conditions such as type 2 diabetes or COPD answer regular surveys about their health, an algorithm can analyse their responses and flag any potential issues. Not only does this enable patients to seek proper treatment immediately but it also allows healthcare professions to be aware of problems before the patient arrives in their offices.
Similar to telemedicine, telemonitoring focuses on identifying health issues while the patient is at home. One interesting product is an optical sensor that can be used to monitor a patient’s pulse and respiratory pattern in their home and flag any abnormalities that are concerning.
“Driving Improvement through Technology.” Driving Improvement through Technology | Care Quality Commission, Care Quality Commission , 6 Feb. 2020, www.cqc.org.uk/publications/themed-work/driving-improvement-through-technology#telemonitoring.