Top-notch medical technology and the latest equipment help healthcare move forward, and it looks like medical technological developments won’t slow down too soon. According to the latest statistics, global healthcare spending could reach $10 trillion by 2022, with the US having the most significant expenditure.
The Hastings Group has revealed that even if the medical technology market creates more jobs, boosts the global economy, and improves medical outcomes, many are apprehensive because technology advancements come at a high price. However, no matter what some think about the increased healthcare costs, as the latest medical technology makes its way into emergency medicine, it impacts the ways facilities run their emergency departments. First responders, nurses, and physicians develop new skills to keep up with the recent developments.
- Telemedicine increases access to professional care
- Barcodes tie patients to procedures
- Tech equipment saves lives
- What should we expect from the future?
Telemedicine increases access to professional care
Telemedicine continues to expand, especially since the Coronavirus outbreak because people need medical assistance, but they cannot leave their homes to go for a consult. Physicians and doctors use sophisticated software and high-tech cameras to get in touch with patients from rural or remote areas. The benefit of telemedicine is that healthcare specialists can provide their services to people across the state or even outside the state who need expert advice. Healthcare facilities use tele neurology and telepsychiatry for consults with healthcare experts who aren’t available on site.
Access to professionals who aren’t present on-site means that even smaller healthcare centers can evaluate patients’ health conditions, make diagnoses, and create treatment plans. Telemedicine can even help people virtually check-in with ER specialists before they arrive at the hospital to inform them of their symptoms and prepare to provide them with the best care. Artificial intelligence and algorithms can improve the triaging process to get the right care at the correct location.
Barcodes tie patients to procedures
When you think about barcodes, you don’t consider them a tech advancement that can improve emergency medicine, but barcode scanning influences medical outcomes. Patients receive wristbands with barcodes when they arrive in the ED, and the scanner captures the unique code and connects it with all procedures, lab results, and tests they get at the healthcare facility.
If hospitals use barcode technology, they improve many processes and change the way they practice emergency medicine. The facilities that already use the technology state that their patients are more satisfied with the service quality and medical outcomes. And as the technology evolves, its potential increases and can improve various operations. The American Medical Informatics Association states that barcode technology can lower manual errors, a common issue that impacts medical outcomes and diagnosis. Healthcare facilities can hasten results delivery when they reduce the number of labeling errors. Quick test results and turnaround time trigger effective treatment for patients who are connected with the right specialists.
The Journal of Patient Safety published a report that suggested that barcode technology, also called RFID, can help surgical teams track tools because the program reads barcodes associated with medical equipment through the patients’ skin and reduces the number of retained surgical item errors.
Research states that the sooner patients get in the emergency room and get the needed care and treatment, the quicker their recovery is. And the sooner the medical facilities discharge them, the more satisfied the patients are and the lower expenses the healthcare centers experience.
When the patients provide urine or blood samples, the healthcare specialists collecting them scan their specimen identification code and connect the individual results. The barcode technology can be used as a tracking system that prevents medical errors. The system automatically updates the medical record, decreasing the incidence of issues and increasing performance and efficiency.
The same technology can be used to prevent prescription mishaps, as giving the wrong medicine. The nurse scans the patients’ barcode and then the pills barcode, and the system warns them if they administer the unfair treatment.
Tech equipment saves lives
As advanced medical equipment makes its way into emergency rooms and ambulances, they change outcomes and save lives. For example, stop the bleed kits (high-tech tools that accelerate blood clotting) save lives daily because they function better than any other practice medical experts used before. Products that integrate this technology slow blood loss when the patients experience hemorrhage. Each kit includes a gauze dressing containing anti-coagulants and a tourniquet to stop blood loss when pressed to wounds. First responders use these tools to treat traumatic trauma like gunshots and stabbings that can easily trigger life-threatening hemorrhage. In the last ten years, students enrolled in EMT training were thought to use these kits because healthcare facilities use them in emergency medicine to improve medical outcomes. The technology first appeared in the military field and was slowly refined to be brought into hospitals and treat everyone.
The kits are designed in the military-style, and therefore the dressings include a coagulation agent that prevents clotting and stops hemorrhaging and bleeding. The EMT specialists apply a tourniquet over the sauce to boost the effects of the procedure. The kits buy medical specialists time to transport the patient to the surgery room and fit the trauma.
What should we expect from the future?
AI will find a new home in the emergency room because healthcare facilities can use it for capacity allocation and logistics. Given how emergency rooms generate a vast amount of data, healthcare units can use smart algorithms to mine data for predictions.
Apps allow paramedics to alert the emergency department before bringing a patient to the hospital to prepare beforehand. These systems include GPS features, so they calculate the estimated time of arrival and transmit essential data like images from the field of ECG.
Patients can also benefit from using pocket-sized, user-friendly diagnostic devices that can treat conditions on the spot. First responders and doctors can use handheld ultrasound devices to assess patients on the field. They can also use a tablet or smartphone to make an ECG.
Finally, medical drones deliver medical care from the air—Drones transport medical aid, vaccines, and drugs faster than other means.