The ongoing digital revolution is sweeping across all industries and changing how professionals do their jobs. In the medical sphere, the revolution continues to introduce new technological tools that improve patients’ access to healthcare services. The role of medical practitioners in diagnosing and managing diseases is also significantly different now compared to a decade ago. Here’s how medics and their profession is evolving through the digital era:
1. Telehealth solutions make remote healthcare possible
Thanks to the advancement of telehealth technology, medics are now able to offer positive remote healthcare experiences. Remote services delight patients and boost their satisfaction levels, consequently boosting medical practitioners’ bottom line. Some of the telemedicine Oklahoma technologies that make remote healthcare possible include mobile health apps and wearable devices such as smartwatches. By connecting a patient’s smartwatch with a smartphone app, a medic is now able to, for example, monitor a patient’s blood sugar levels or blood pressure remotely. This has made healthcare more convenient and affordable.
Note: Lack of proper legislation and bureaucratic licensing processes are holding back the adoption of telehealth as a mainstream healthcare service in many countries. The good thing is that such teething challenges always iron themselves out eventually.
2. More informed patients
Traditionally, medics had the monopoly of healthcare knowledge and information. Patients knew very little about their medical condition. The landscape has since changed because laymen can now access health information on the internet (online medical journals, chatrooms, and articles) and make crucial decisions without the input of qualified physicians. Only a few patients now visit the hospital without first looking up possible diagnoses and treatment options for their symptoms.
With more knowledgeable patients, medics now have been forced to assume the role of medical consultants. Patients go to the doctor’s office for physical exams, lab services, therapeutic procedures, and for prescription medications. Medics have to package themselves more as partners with whom patients can consult whenever they need to make critical healthcare decisions. Doctors also have to consult the internet regularly to be sufficiently prepared to debunk half-truths and misconceptions that patients may gather from the web.
3. Online learning for medics
Digital learning platforms have completely changed how learners at all levels of education consume content. In the medical sector, the COVID-19 pandemic pushed many medical schools to integrate virtual learning and distance learning into their curriculums. Online learning has since morphed into a crucial part of medical training, complimenting in-person and hands-on learning to provide a holistic learning experience for student medics. Innovative digital platforms such as virtual labs and 3D cadavers are some of the tools that make virtual learning in medical schools possible.
Digital learning for medics is now a necessity than a convenience. A medical online learning platform such as Osmosis provides students with online tutorial meetings with professors, boosting their chances of success in medical school. The platform also offers pre-recorded video lectures and other engaging content that students can review at their own time and pace. And to help students prepare for COMLEX-USA, USMLE, PANCE, PLAB, and other board exams, the platform offers sample exams and online PANCE study materials, USMLE Step 2 resources, and other guides, that are developed by highly-reputed professors. With digital learning, graduating from medical school and getting a medical license has never been easier!
4. Improved efficiency
Digital medical technologies have given birth to electronic health records (EHRs). EHR technologies minimize the time doctors spend doing paperwork and repetitive administrative tasks, freeing up time for longer face-to-face interactions with patients. This means more streamlined, efficient medical practice operations, which minimizes the stresses that sometimes lead to physician burnout. EHRs also make it easier for doctors to share and access a patient’s medical records, which significantly boosts patient safety and enhances a medic’s diagnostic capabilities.
5. More favorable employment models
Digital technologies are also sorting out the mess that has for many years riddled recruitment and staffing exercises in the medical sector. For starters, remote healthcare possibilities have opened up new career paths and income-generation streams for medics. Also, new employment models have emerged, eliminating the need for new graduates to join an existing medical practice to earn a living or help patients. Young medics can, for example, create medical apps and establish their own virtual medical practice without needing a huge starting capital or crippling insurance requirements.
Medics need to continually monitor the digital space in order to find ways of leveraging digital tools to make medical practice better. The digital age is promising more fulfillment, job satisfaction, and revenue streams for physicians. On the part of patients, the digital age promises to keep democratizing their access to healthcare and medical knowledge. The bottom line: The possibilities of digital medicine are endless.