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How Healthcare IT Has Changed Over the Last Ten Years

Published on 23 February 16
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As the last decade has seen countless technological innovations in the private sector, so too has the medical community benefited. Computers and networking speeds are faster than ever, and new innovations hit the market nearly every day. Let's examine some of the most groundbreaking developments of the last decade.

The Digitization of Health Records

It wasn't very long ago that in order for one medical professional to receive a patient's health records from another doctor or clinician that the process was far lengthier than it should have been. This was a frequent cause of misdiagnosis and patient complications, particularly in situations where every moment counted.

However, the last decade has seen rapid growth in the use of electronic health records (EHRs). To give you an idea of how much growth this technology has seen, consider that in 2009 only sixteen percent of hospitals in the United States used an EHR system. Compare this to statistics from 2013, which indicate that approximately eighty percent of hospitals now utilize an EHR system. This has created a growing need for EMR conversion experts to tackle the problems which can often arise as hospitals attempt to update their records. The EMR conversion process involves taking data from a legacy system and fitting it, as best you can, into a new system. This can present a number of obstacles, so it’s important for providers to have the right tools and assistance during the conversion process.

So-Called "Telemedicine" or "Telehealth"

Telemedicine - the practice of providing healthcare services over a long distance using technology - has revolutionized the way healthcare is provided to both developed and rural areas. Telemedicine may involve the process of simply remotely conferencing with a patient, or it may delve into the realm of science fiction and involve an entire surgery performed remotely be a robot. This has been a boon, especially for rural or underdeveloped areas where professional healthcare providers are not physically located.

Long-distance Monitoring Technology

Millions of people around the globe are benefiting from some kind of remote monitoring system. These kinds of systems are not only excellent preventative measures—as healthcare providers can be instantly alerted if the patient has an urgent medical need—but also have saved a considerable amount of money for both patients and healthcare providers. This is because unnecessary visits to a hospital or clinic are prevented, since doctors can check on the wellbeing of their patients remotely.

Personalized Medicine via Pharmacogenomics

Still in its young phases, pharmacogenomics (genome sequencing) are beginning to offer patients customized medicine. Technology has played a major role in this, because only recently have the data analysis capabilities become available.

Considering that the development of technology is only accelerating, if these are the developments we've experienced in the past decade, one can only imagine the wonderful advances that the next ten years will offer patients and healthcare providers worldwide.



As the last decade has seen countless technological innovations in the private sector, so too has the medical community benefited. Computers and networking speeds are faster than ever, and new innovations hit the market nearly every day. Let's examine some of the most groundbreaking developments of the last decade.

The Digitization of Health Records

It wasn't very long ago that in order for one medical professional to receive a patient's health records from another doctor or clinician that the process was far lengthier than it should have been. This was a frequent cause of misdiagnosis and patient complications, particularly in situations where every moment counted.

However, the last decade has seen rapid growth in the use of electronic health records (EHRs). To give you an idea of how much growth this technology has seen, consider that in 2009 only sixteen percent of hospitals in the United States used an EHR system. Compare this to statistics from 2013, which indicate that approximately eighty percent of hospitals now utilize an EHR system. This has created a growing need for EMR conversion experts to tackle the problems which can often arise as hospitals attempt to update their records. The EMR conversion process involves taking data from a legacy system and fitting it, as best you can, into a new system. This can present a number of obstacles, so it’s important for providers to have the right tools and assistance during the conversion process.

So-Called "Telemedicine" or "Telehealth"

Telemedicine - the practice of providing healthcare services over a long distance using technology - has revolutionized the way healthcare is provided to both developed and rural areas. Telemedicine may involve the process of simply remotely conferencing with a patient, or it may delve into the realm of science fiction and involve an entire surgery performed remotely be a robot. This has been a boon, especially for rural or underdeveloped areas where professional healthcare providers are not physically located.

Long-distance Monitoring Technology

Millions of people around the globe are benefiting from some kind of remote monitoring system. These kinds of systems are not only excellent preventative measures—as healthcare providers can be instantly alerted if the patient has an urgent medical need—but also have saved a considerable amount of money for both patients and healthcare providers. This is because unnecessary visits to a hospital or clinic are prevented, since doctors can check on the wellbeing of their patients remotely.

Personalized Medicine via Pharmacogenomics

Still in its young phases, pharmacogenomics (genome sequencing) are beginning to offer patients customized medicine. Technology has played a major role in this, because only recently have the data analysis capabilities become available.

Considering that the development of technology is only accelerating, if these are the developments we've experienced in the past decade, one can only imagine the wonderful advances that the next ten years will offer patients and healthcare providers worldwide.

This blog is listed under Industry Specific Applications and Data & Information Management Community

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