Practicing Medicine in the COVID Era: Trends and Technology You Need to Be Aware Of
The past year has been tough on physicians, with COVID overwhelming healthcare systems across the world. In the US, reports by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security found that many emergency departments struggled to maintain standards of care during the pandemic. Physicians in New York reported poor patient load-balancing, and surges of infection rates exposed many failures in the crisis response practices of healthcare institutions.
However, with vaccines successfully being rolled out and infection rates steadily declining, a sense of normalcy is beginning to return. Many states across the US have begun to open up, and healthcare operations have begun to restabilize. We may not be quite in the clear yet, but it is the perfect opportunity to look back at the technology that has empowered us in the fight against COVID:
Although telehealth is usually praised for how it allows patients to use apps to schedule appointments and consult with their physicians off-site, it involves a number of other services, too, like remote patient monitoring and store-and-forward services. In the time of the pandemic, these telehealth services have reduced the need for people to visit hospitals for a check-up, therefore lessening their chances of catching the virus. Moreover, moving consultations to virtual platforms has eased patient congestion in hospitals, allowing physicians to attend to more urgent cases while on duty. Telehealth apps and software have also allowed physicians to accommodate more patients in a day, allowing them to perform their jobs more efficiently.
Plus, telehealth is granting physicians access to help as well. Whether they need a doctor to talk to for personal needs, a second opinion, or a referral, telehealth apps can help physicians get in touch with the right people without leaving their offices.
While commonly used for creating models and figurines, 3D printing software providers played an important role in the battle against COVID. With new developments in 3D design communication, manufacturing and design teams have been able to collaborate for increasingly complex circuitry and avoid mistakes in the final assembly. This has made creating 3D printing electrical designs, such as medical tools, much easier, ensuring that all components are functional and standardized when it comes to their quality.
A great example of this is the University of Minnesota’s (UM) efforts to produce affordable ventilators using 3D printed parts. Due to a traditional ventilator's delicate nature, a lot of its parts are expensive, making the machine itself equally pricey. Fortunately, since 3D printed components are cheaper to produce, UM’s ventilators are more accessible. They are now used in low-resource medical facilities.
Moreover, 3D printers are also being used globally to supply hospitals with PPE, nasal swabs, oxygen valves, and other COVID tools that are high in demand.
The only thing worse than the spread of COVID is the spread of false information. Many of these fake news sites and guides, such as from conspiracy theorists, have penetrated the US over the past few months. In these uncertain times, it is best to get the facts from reliable sources like actual doctors. And since people are spending more time on the internet, the best way to reach them is through online platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
Of course, digital media is not just used for fact-checking. It can also be used to share helpful information, like proper handwashing techniques and health protocols, to inform your followers about the best practices to beat the virus. Remember, you have the credentials. Your medical opinion holds weight online.
The fight against COVID may seem long and hard, but thanks to modern technology and the resilience of physicians and healthcare practitioners, the US seems to finally be approaching the tail end of the pandemic. From providing more accessible equipment to giving doctors a new platform through which they can address their patients and share their medical expertise, technology has played key roles in allowing us to succeed.
With MedTrio’s help, you can provide the best care and service your patients deserve through revolutionary healthcare software geared towards efficiency and excellence in accordance with your specific needs. So, go ahead, send us a message, and together, we can win this war against COVID
Photo Credit: Cisco Australia-NewZealand under Creative Common License
Author: Rachel GriffinShare