Future of Health Informatics for Health Professionals >> Health informatics is an emerging field. However, it is making a significant impact on the healthcare sector. Several techniques, such as Big Data in diagnostics and EHRs for patient information, are commonplace. As technology continues to evolve, healthcare providers are using tech to reduce costs and improve patient care.
Future uses of health informatics:
During the current pandemic, there were several opportunities to use health informatics for innovative solutions. Several providers offered telehealth services to provide an efficient diagnosis without risking exposure to the virus. Health informatics can also improve communications and access to data. Technology can help providers, consumers, and public health bodies. Following are some ways how health informatics is improving healthcare. These technologies are introducing trends within the healthcare sector.
Resolving issues within healthcare:
Healthcare informatics can resolve fundamental issues within the healthcare sector. For example, the American healthcare system is incompatible and archaic. Furthermore, patient data is messy and fragmented. Therefore, it is impossible to answer questions about emerging diseases. But, with a central database, doctors can improve disease diagnosis and treatment. During the pandemic, the American healthcare system struggled to provide actionable data to answer questions about the virus. However, with an open-source database, such as the National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C), professionals could transparently share clinical information. It could not have been possible without open-source data and computer-generated records. Healthcare professionals were able to address public concerns. Furthermore, informatics for health professionals helped public health bodies develop guidelines to stop the spread.
Medical errors cost the American healthcare system $38 billion per annum. Healthcare informatics can identify errors and reduce costs. Informatics subtracts labor-intensive tasks, leaving medical staff free to handle complex issues. Computerized prescriptions can reduce the chance of overmedication and alert prescribers to patient allergies.
Human genome technology, a subgroup of healthcare informatics, changed the future of cancer treatment. With the mapping and sequencing of the genome, doctors can identify successful treatment options. For example, clinicians understand that stem cell technology can help regenerate tissues. Through this technology, there are more options for the prevention and cure of chronic diseases. Informatics can improve prevention and cure terminal diseases.
Resolving emerging issues during the pandemic:
During the pandemic, government bodies relaxed regulations on telehealth to increase accessibility. Hospitals took advantage of this opportunity to provide patient care while following SOPs. Virtual care is not only a reality thanks to health informatics, but it is also a necessity. Furthermore, providers are focusing on providing remotely managed care to patients suffering from chronic conditions. Therefore, the future will have a hybrid care model with fewer in-person visits.
Health technologies also helped speed up the drug development process. With an AI-driven approach, scientists can reduce the duration of drug discovery. According to recent research, scientists can use machine learning to search for targets. They can also predict whether a drug will benefit treatment. This program replaces two steps in the traditional approach.
Perhaps the foremost issue during the pandemic was identifying super spreaders. Governments had to track and monitor the spread of COVID-19, a seemingly impossible task. But, several countries successfully implemented programs to prevent and control outbreaks. These countries, such as Japan and South Korea, used biosurveillance to track and identify COVID-19 patients. This healthcare informatics approach helped South Korea effectively suppress and mitigate the pandemic. The strategy marks an emerging approach towards managing public health crises by using private transactional data. However, states must strike a balance between privacy and public interest.
Increase patient engagement:
Treatment plans are only effective when patients play an active role in treatment. So, not only is quality care necessary but patient education and training are also vital. According to research, patient engagement can improve quality of life and reduce costs. For example, patients with the power to choose their treatment plans or monitor their vitals feel in control of the situation. Therefore, healthcare providers must partner with patients to improve outcomes. But, several challenges make it difficult to achieve the goal. Fortunately, healthcare informatics can help providers encourage patient engagement. For example, health records can help patients understand their medical history and increase trust with their providers. Similarly, wearable devices can help patients track metrics such as blood pressure and heart rate. Healthcare informatics can help to create a patient-centric approach towards healthcare.
Future of a career in healthcare informatics:
We are living in an ever digitizing world. Every industry is harnessing technology to lower costs and improve delivery processes. Healthcare is also changing the concept of patient care with informatics. However, this is an emerging field with a shortage of experienced professionals. Fortunately, several institutions are offering health informatics programs. Healthcare providers are also hiring more informatics experts. Hence, health information has grown by 22% in the past decade. And as the population ages, the sector will expand. Working as a healthcare informatician is also a lucrative opportunity. According to the BLS, health information specialists may earn up to $73,000 per annum.
Healthcare informatics is the future of the industry. In a post-pandemic world, healthcare providers appreciate the significance of technology in healthcare. Not only can technology improve treatment and diagnostics, but it can also reduce costs and time. Blossoming AI and machine learning capabilities have also improved virtual care capabilities. With human genome technology, robotics-assisted surgeries, and nanotechnology, anything is possible. Healthcare providers have to welcome the new era of healthcare.