healthcare technology

How Healthcare Technology Has Changed In 2020

2020 has been an impactful year for healthcare technology, especially with the effect COVID-19 has had on the world. While in previous years, healthcare providers may have been hesitant to jump right into all of the modern healthcare technology available. We will go through some of those reasons further down into the blog. The COVID-19 pandemic started to change the way people interact with each other, work, go to school, and do their daily tasks. This pushed the healthcare industry into adopting a lot of new technology. 

New Healthcare Technology

1. Telemedicine

Virtual healthcare technology allows patients to have the option to stay home for check-ups and status updates, where a physical visit to their healthcare provider is not necessary. Telemedicine also allows patients the ability to consult out-of-town specialists without having to travel.

 Reasons Healthcare Providers Were Hesitant Before COVID-19 Pandemic

Telemedicine healthcare technology can have problems, including integration issues and security and privacy issues. Electronic Health Records (EHR) need to coordinate with the platform you’re using to provide telemedicine services. If not, your workflow records will be complicated. Integration can be difficult because there are 1000s of EHR implementations, and not all of them follow recognized standards. Because of this, customization is at most times required. 

Security issues within telemedicine that can lead to cybercriminals accessing private data lag in security updates, insecure connections, and a lack of visibility into public networks. Once any of these occur, cybercriminals can infiltrate the core enterprise network. 

HIPAA Laws and What Has Been Adjusted Since COVID-19 Pandemic 

HIPAA guidelines for telemedicine require that authorized users are the only individuals who should access ePHI. Also, preventing malicious or accidental breaches requires implementing a system to monitor ePHI communications and protecting the integrity of ePHI requires implementing a system of secure communication. 

Many HIPAA regulations are adjusted for the COVID-19 state of emergency. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced in March of 2020 that widely accessible services like FaceTime and Skype are now communication options for telemedicine purposes. For the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency, DEA-registered providers can use telemedicine to issue prescriptions for controlled substances to patients without an in-person evaluation if they meet certain conditions.

2. Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual Reality began as more of an entertainment product. Now, VR healthcare technology has benefits for the healthcare industry. It is expected that the VR healthcare services market will grow from $8.9 million in 2017 to $285 million in 2022. 

The healthcare industry has found that VR can be valuable in healthcare worker training. Surgeons can train in a realistic yet low-risk environment with VR tools. Medstar Health is already using VR technology to simulate emergency room scenarios.

One study showed that 93% of radiologists who viewed 3D images of arteries through VR healthcare technology felt more confident when diagnosing splenic artery aneurysms.

3. Communication Tools

Communication between teams and document sharing has become essential for healthcare providers. Good healthcare technology can streamline administrative workflows for all staff. Healthcare organizations can better secure their data and their patient’s private information by implementing new technology into their workflow. Microsoft Teams enables HIPAA compliance and also complies with standards like Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST), Service Organization Controls (SOC) 1 and 2, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and more. 

Microsoft Teams is a great communication tool for small to medium-sized businesses to even large enterprises. This tool allows for messaging that meets enhanced security and compliance for healthcare organizations. Microsoft Teams now has a VOIP product, Microsoft 365 Business Voice, too, that integrates easily into their other tools.

4. 3D Printing

3D Printing is a fantastic healthcare technology that should be taken advantage of in 2020! New 3D printers can create medical tools using any buildable material, such as plastic or even stem cells. Some uses of a 3D Printer for healthcare providers includes making artificial bones for surgical reconstruction or custom-tailored prosthetics. Organoids, or tiny organs, can be made of layered stem cells that can grow inside a patient’s body and take over when an old organ fails. 3D printers have made a large amount of progress in the healthcare industry.

Next Steps for Your Healthcare Technology

Having efficient and secure healthcare IT services is critical for your healthcare organization to be productive, safe, and effective in your market.

Thankfully, you don’t have to fight this battle or war alone!

Having a managed IT service and support team on your side makes all the difference.  You no longer need to worry about your IT weak spots or issues; instead, you have peace of mind knowing IT experts are taking care of your needs for you.

If your practice is located in the San Antonio or Corpus Christi areas, then contact the team at Straight Edge Technology today. We offer IT support in San Antonio, Corpus Christi, and the surrounding areas.  Our dedicated support team gives you the software, technology, and 24/7 customer service you need to successfully run your firm and focus on your clients and business. We offer a full line of healthcare technology support, and we look forward to talking with you and seeing how we can help you be secure and grow in your IT!

REFERENCES: (Visual Capitalist, KFF, Health Tech Magazine, Health Tech Magazine, EHR Guide, PrognoCIS , Microsoft)