New technology and healthcare

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Shanzay Naveed, a first year medical student from Pakistan. The writer is affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writers and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

Dramatic improvements in information technology have the potential to transform healthcare delivery. Healthcare delivery revolves around information gathering, inference, and communication across providers and with patients. As a result, health information and communication technology (HICT) holds enormous potential to improve productivity. Several countries have embraced this idea and spent billions of dollars on promoting HICT adoption.

The electronic health record is a digitized medical chart. Ideally, information gathering begins before a patient encounter: retrieving records from other providers or past patient encounters. This, and other information, is then updated at the beginning of the patient’s interaction with the physician or nursing staff; additional data—like lab values, images, and progress notes—are added as the encounter progresses. This data can be made portable so that it may be shared with other providers or accessed via patient portals. Improvements in HICT have led to novel applications over the last few years: clinical decision support (which helps doctors avoid mistakes by sending alerts of drug interactions and allergies), telemedicine, and healthcare analytics are just a few examples.

“Big data” in healthcare allows the entire field to benefit from comprehensive research studies. They can access larger and more diverse population groups than ever before. They can also draw from existing studies for comprehensive meta-analyses.
This innovation allows medical professionals to stay on top of healthcare trends, techniques and technologies. This can be used to automatically identify risk factors and recommend the right preventative treatment by comparing patient data with data from thousands of other patients, while also reducing costs and improving quality of life in general.
• Improved communication
Technological innovations in healthcare have facilitated much smoother communication within healthcare organizations. Medical professionals can now use media such as video, online discussion platforms and real-time meeting capacities to communicate and advance the spread of knowledge in the field.
• Integrated medical records
Electronic medical records allow all patient histories, test results, diagnoses and relevant information to be stored centrally in an online location.
Medical billing systems allow hospitals, clinics and medical practices to run much more smoothly.
• Accessibility of healthcare advice
It is particularly beneficial to those living in rural, regional and remote communities and requiring regular access to medical specialists who live several kms away.
• Increased mobility
Enabling Healthcare workers to access the intranet from their mobile device or a shared tablet ensures they can quickly access information relating to diseases and drugs, images for clinical matters, continued education activities and so other resources that support their daily work.
• Centralized knowledge repository
Online document storage and information retrieval ensures staff don’t need to rifle through filing cabinets and drawers to find what they need. The latest version of a resource can be uploaded and easily searched.
• Automated processes
Introducing improved workflows for daily processes can save significant time in having staff find or perform what they need to, as well as administration staff who need to maintain and action these.


About the author

Shanzay Naveed is a first year medical student from Pakistan.


  1. The author is from Pakistan … not India

  2. Please update my information.. I am from Pakistan ..Not india


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