Today, the technology is changing the landscape of the world and leading us towards a sophisticated technical world. The emerging role of ICT has created a huge impact on Healthcare. It enhances the quality of care, increases the patient security and data protection and reduces operating & administrative cost.
The telecommunication devices are more user friendly & used by a huge population around the world which have reduced the communication gap to a zero level. Therefore, accessibility to information has become simple using ICT and also people find themselves more relaxed while availing healthcare service.
There are various challenges faced by the Healthcare sectors such as storing the medical record of the patient, maintaining Hospital Information System, maintenance of medical equipment, medication error and lot more. Now, the Hospitals depend on ICT to revamp the whole process of the healthcare sector. Through ICT the urban –rural disparities have been broken & shortened. If a doctor has the right communication channel it is easy to deliver treatment and care for the patient who is located anywhere around the world. The system helps the Doctor to continuously monitor the patient’s history, diagnostic report, and track the current health condition. The Doctor can also interact with patient, recommend to take medical examination and prescribe medicine.
The village population lacks proper healthcare awareness due to the absence of accurate information. The transportation difficulties in rural areas are also a disadvantage taking the patient to the hospital on time.
This is a major reason for the increased number of infectious diseases and death rates in villages. This can be addressed by installing proper communication channel so that the Doctors in the villages can communicate with the nearby towns and thus the life of many people can be saved.
By digitalizing the reports, one can have a track on his own health condition. It also helps in getting second opinion from any medical practitioners around the world. This keeps the people to be connected with their doctors and fine tune the patient- doctor relationship. This system ensures the people to have a better medical experience and leads them to a healthy life. This indirectly improves the health status of the country.
The use of ICT in healthcare can be categorized into 4 main streams such as;
- Health & Education
- Hospital Management System
- Health Research
- Health Data Management
In this Digital era, people can easily seek, access, learn & communicate with others within a quick span of time. This makes education accessible, available and open to all. Health education creates awareness among the public about the communicable diseases, health status, prevention measures and various current diagnostic & therapeutic procedures. This gives a freedom to the people to choose the best hospitals and doctors to approach for treatment and to have their life in a healthy way.
ICT helps the Hospital management to lead the organization in a successful way. This helps the management to overcome the challenges faced by the Hospital. ICT helps the management to improve the patient safety and satisfaction, get updated to the latest technology, have a knowledge on population health & statistics and keep a note on the government mandates on track. Primarily, the workplace can be strengthened.
ICT in healthcare research helps in finding the possible prevention measures to eradicate and reduce the spread of diseases. We can find new technology in diagnosis which reduces the time and cost. This saves the lives of many individuals by providing treatment in advance. Through ICT, the traditional healthcare systems can be eliminated and new models can be formed for effective quality care.
The fundamental use of ICT in Hospital is for electronic storage of medical data. This helps to retrieve the information easily. Through ICT the data can be transferred to the patient or to the Doctors for consultation. The patient can have medical records in hand which can be used anywhere, anytime.
Information & Communication Technology offers various ways to improvise the Healthcare system. The healthcare field has to use ICT more intelligently to bring in more changes and elevate the healthcare to a much higher level which is important for the country’s development.