How Does Science And Technology Affect Health – This may seem like the opposite of what you usually hear about technology. But it’s true – online tools make it easier to access healthcare services. This is due to the declining availability of professionals and care in the mental health sector.
Although you wouldn’t be wrong to think that technology can harm our mental health. Only 5% of adults think that this is only positive. While there are benefits, there are also downsides. We need to look at each side to understand how it has both pros and cons.
How Does Science And Technology Affect Health
As technology improves access to mental health services, it also contributes to the increase in mental illness in general. Because people spend so much time on devices, they are more likely to have meaningful social interactions.
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Online interactions tend to be negative. Social comparison, feeling lost, and cyberbullying stem from the content we see online.
Our body also feels the negative effects of technology. Prolonged screen time can disrupt sleep, especially if that screen time is right before bedtime. And the longer people spend using devices, the more inactive they become. But both sleep disorders and inactivity worsen mental health.
Technology is hard to put down because of the motivational properties of dopamine. Because devices are addictive, it’s hard to stop using them, even though we know they’re bad for our mental health.
For example, avoiding screen time for at least 30 minutes before bedtime can reduce its negative impact on sleep. And reducing social media use to 30 minutes a day significantly reduces the most common mental health problems. From diagnosis to disease management, providers and patients are taking advantage of technology in healthcare. There is no aspect of healthcare that has not been affected by technology. Electronic records reduce many of the inefficiencies and errors of paper records. Modern diagnostic tools allow providers to identify diseases earlier than otherwise. Innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence accelerate drug discovery and aid in imaging analysis. Technology is embedded in almost every aspect of healthcare, meeting increased demands for innovation and the technology stack of all the various technology management service providers.
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Technology providers are seizing the opportunity to transform healthcare, spending more than $20 billion annually on research and development alone. And the use of new technologies is encouraged by government agencies and industry organizations that recognize the importance of technology in health care. Not to mention, providers who embrace digital transformation are improving patient outcomes, reducing costs and increasing their capabilities despite staffing challenges.
As providers continue to expand their use of healthcare technology, many healthcare industries are reaping the benefits. Below, we look at three of the most important benefits of technology in healthcare and what you can do to start benefiting from the innovation for your patients.
One of the most common uses of technology in healthcare is the adoption of electronic health records (EHR). EHRs make patient health information instantly available to providers and patients by supporting automated workflows between people and technology.
Patients don’t have to call the doctor’s office to get their test results—they can simply check their EHR in the patient portal. Care teams can coordinate decision-making using the same up-to-date information. And administrative staff spend less time shuffling documents and making phone calls to exchange information. A challenge with EHRs is portability. Many technology providers are beginning to recognize this issue and offer EHR integrations that make it easier to implement new technologies.
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Access to health care is one of the main barriers to quality care. Cost, distance, and physical limitations often prevent patients from receiving the care they need, resulting in delays in treatment. The poor are particularly affected, and providers can offer solutions that help them take advantage of healthcare technology.
Telehealth, for example, has been shown to reduce emergency room visits and lower costs for patients and providers. Portable diagnostic tools, such as hand-held fundus cameras, allow providers to treat patients in their communities instead of going to the office.
Technology has improved diagnostics in every way, from accuracy, speed and accessibility. Diagnostic technology plays an important role in addressing one of the biggest health care challenges – chronic disease. Diseases like heart disease and diabetes are common in the US, but technology can help reduce their severity.
For example, diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of preventable blindness in American adults and is 90% preventable with proper diagnosis and treatment. Teleretinal imaging allows providers to take images of the retina and send them to certified eye care providers who review the images remotely. Because teleretinal imaging is simple and convenient, it increases compliance with diabetic retinal examination and increases the likelihood of early detection. Learn more about diabetes teleretinal screening here.