Technological Advancements in Healthcare

Technological Advancements in Healthcare

Grand Canyon University: HLT-314V

Technological Advancements in Healthcare

Technological advancements in healthcare are considered to be the driving force behind many improvements in the services currently provided by medical professionals and healthcare organizations across the globe. As a result these improvements help to increase not only the overall health and well-being of patients but also play an essential role in extending the life span of many individuals. Most recently, on September 28, 2018 the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved an artificial pancreas device, it is the first hybrid closed system and is intended to help patients with Type 1 diabetes by automatically monitoring blood sugar and adjusting insulin levels. Medical research and development will continue to foster medical advancements such as these, due to the high demand for high quality health care.

The history of healthcare, according to Tilson and Dowd (1996) was originally physician-focused, science driven and particularistic as opposed to holistic. Prior to the 1900s most health care was provided by a general practitioner in the home. However, advancements in science and technology required that patients being treated and diagnosed in a hospital setting. Physicians began to specialize in specific fields of study, which at the time was determined by the latest technology. The authors stated that physicians historically operated as they saw fit and assumed a paternalistic role with their patients and hospital personnel. Tilson and Dowd (1996) also reported that hospitals were structured primarily for the convenience of the physician. They argued that this hierarchical system, placing the physician at the top, led to higher health care costs and portrayed the health care industry as a bureaucratic and monolithic system. Currently, the healthcare costs nationwide are still extremely high and still increasing, but the system has changed and evolved into a culture that encourages patient-centered care with a focus on wellness and prevention.

A reflection on the delivery of healthcare in the past as portrayed by Weisz (2008) reveals a slightly different perspective that suggests the advancements in science and technology has modified our understanding of certain diseases, and changed how physicians diagnose or treat these diseases. This point of view focuses on the positive aspects associated with the changes in health care over time as result of the innovations in medicine. Weisz (2008) discusses patients to receive yearly physicals in order to screen for and treat health related symptoms before they became a more serious medical condition. Furthermore, Weisz (2008) argues that the transformation of the healthcare industry has impacted the overall patient experience and contributed to changes in many cultural attitudes.

Medical research and advancements in clinical diagnostic laboratory and radiography are two areas in which technological advancements have positively impacted health care delivery in the United States. Automation in clinical diagnostic laboratories and health care facilities has become increasingly more important to medical professionals and health care facilities, and is designed to meet the increasing need for clinical testing (Park & Kricka, 2017). The latest technology for laboratory automation utilizes robotic arms, on-board computers, carousels of reaction cuvettes, wheels of reagents in reagent cartridges, automatic dispensers and washers for dispensers and cuvettes (Park & Kricka, 2017). These developments have helped physicians obtain accurate laboratory results more quickly, thereby increasing the overall quality of patient care. Innovations in the department of radiology, similar to those in the laboratory setting were also developed to meet the increasing need for better patient care. Physicians initially used simple radiographs to diagnose patients with trauma, since then the development of the ultrasound, the cat scan and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has revolutionized the way medical professionals are able to treat patients. These advancements will continue to help improve the diagnosis and treatment of patients and will have a positive impact on the delivery of health care because it will increase the effectiveness of care that can be provided by medical professionals and healthcare facilities.

Health care delivery is constantly changing in response to the needs of the public and new technology. Public opinion plays an important role in the changing health care system in the United States and drives the research and development of new innovations in medicine and health care to new heights. Tilson and Dowd (1996) stated that in the 1990s many patients were become increasingly concerned with they considered to be unsatisfactory care and the rising cost of health care. Advancements in health care require extensive research and development which also contributes to the increased spending. Unfortunately, the public outcry for the reduction of cost in health care continues to be a problem.


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