What are the downsides to the medical industry keeping up with the fast-paced, ever-evolving technology appearing on our phones? Is there a catch to any of these modern-day conveniences that have been integrated into our own health?
Let’s take a look.
The uptick in telemedicine companies has put doctor’s care into the hands of thousands of patients – literally. From your mobile device, you can reach doctors, have one-on-one conversations, and even get prescriptions.
This has helped a broad range of patients, from rural dwellers who can’t always make appointments, to people who don’t have time for an office visit.
Time, mobility, and location are all issues put to rest thanks to telemedicine and “teledocs.” Sometimes trips to the clinic are simply unnecessary, and giving patients the option to skip them altogether is a good way to make sure they’re not ignoring their health.
Using healthcare apps
The downsides don’t all come from telemedicine itself. Rather, they stem from a lack of availability. Telemedicine isn’t yet available in all states, and the people who would benefit from it the most are sometimes left without it as an option.
But a big concern for many users is the risk of medical identity theft. Since many of these consultations don’t include video calls – just audio – someone with the right information could impersonate you and gain access to your medical records.
You can track your health data through an app, and you can have your therapy session via instant messenger. Women can even obtain birth control pills through certain online providers.
Like telemedicine, healthcare apps offer a level of user-friendliness that gives more people better options concerning their health. The best part is that most medical authorities agree that the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to the patient taking the reins.
Using healthcare apps
Scammers like to take advantage of any and every situation, including the increasing popularity of healthcare apps. It’s up to the user to do their due diligence in researching whatever service they use. Otherwise, you’re running the risk of getting wrong information, or worse – counterfeit medications.
Having a phone on you at all times can be a true lifesaver. Lost? Open your map. Need a ride? Ridesharing at your service. But there’s another benefit to having a phone in your purse or pocket – it can save precious seconds in a medical emergency. In the time of landlines and spotty cell phone coverage, emergency service wasn’t as “on-demand” as it is today.
Being away from a phone can be a life-or-death situation under extreme circumstances. If you’re hurt, stranded, or in danger, that smartphone could come in handy.
A lot of people have smartphones, healthcare workers included. So imagine this: your doctor takes a selfie in their office, and oops – your medical record is partially visible in the background. Or, a nurse who treated you in a clinic tweets about a certain patient who came in with an embarrassing injury.
These are both HIPAA violations, and they’re becoming more of an issue with mobile devices and social media being so prominent. HIPAA IT compliance doesn’t stop with healthcare providers, either. Any IT personnel working in the medical industry has an obligation to keep any information they view private.
IT is a vital component to healthcare, but also a sector that provides added risk of personal data being breached or leaked.
Tech and healthcare
Is Tech a Good Thing in Healthcare?
By and large, yes. Very few will argue that technology hasn’t been a huge boon to the healthcare industry.
From better treatment options to more effective IT infrastructures in medical establishments, tech has vastly improved the healthcare sector. Smartphones included.