Computers have come a long way to be what they are today. Room-sized computers have slowly morphed into small, weightless, and portable machines that can easily be slipped into backpacks without attracting too much attention.
Their uses have also grown on a large scale. Today, they can be implemented in almost any industry because of how they make work easier. In the medical world, for instance, computers have revolutionized healthcare. The kinds of services that are offered in hospitals today can’t be compared to the services that were being offered a few years back.
There are four main areas that computers have proved to be invaluable technological equipment. These four areas are: In the field of communication, in controlling and automating medical equipment, in record keeping, and in medical research.
1. In Communication
The medical world simply cannot thrive without communication. This is because communication opens a channel for sharing information that actually saves lives.
Computers have made it possible for healthcare providers all over the world to share their experiences and instruct inexperienced providers on how to go about certain procedures. Computers have also made communication much cheaper. By having a network of interconnected computers, doctors can easily be notified on matters that require their attention without requiring messengers.
Besides keeping communication costs low, computers have also enabled video conferencing. Inexperienced surgeons have been able to successfully perform surgical procedures by relying on the instructions of an experienced surgeon who is located in another country or region.
2. Improved Medical Equipment
The ICU sections of most hospitals always contain a number of life supporting machines which are run by dedicated computers.
Patient monitoring machines record data from a patient based on his bodily conditions. They are computerized to analyze real-time results by themselves so that they can only raise alarms in case something has gone wrong.
Some examples of patient monitoring machines include acute care physiological monitoring systems, pulse oximeters, apnea monitors, and intracranial pressure monitors.
Besides patient monitoring equipment, computers are also used in life support equipment. Computers basically control the way this equipment functions based on a patient’s condition.
Although nursing staff is often at the bedside, in some cases without the help of computers and technology it would require someone to remain at the bedside. This would require a lot of money to implement, but computers have taken care of all that by automating almost everything. Staff can now be available to attend to the needs of other patients while still being able to safely monitor from a distance and be alerted of any acute changes.
3. Record Keeping
Computers have made it easier for patients’ records to be stored and retrieved faster than if they would have resided on record books. The way in which computers organize new information is also remarkable. Even without sorting the records, computers give you the option of searching for a patient’s records by filtering out the other records.
Apart from organizing records, computers also offer many storage options. Since patients’ records may still be accidentally deleted or corrupted, they can be backed up on other computer servers or on removable storage devices.
4. Improvements in Medical Research
Nowadays, advanced scientific research is not dependent on human effort alone. Computers have taken up most of the workload that researchers used to be burdened with. Since computers can handle torrents of data, they are slowly pushing healthcare to greater heights.
With more accurate results being obtained from computers, better ways of performing certain procedures are being discovered. Additionally, better drugs are also being manufactured, thanks to advancements in medical research.
All in all, it would be virtually impossible to live in a world with no computer mainly because the medical world thrives because of computers.
Cindy Revels is a lab information specialist and guest author at Health-Information-Technology.net, a site with guides and helpful information for prospective students considering careers in health information technology.