Technological advances have changed how often we communicate with one another and the way in which we communicate with one another — but does that apply to the relationship between doctors and patients?
Yes, technology in the medical field is changing how patients find doctors, how health care is delivered, and how doctors and patients consult each other. Here are three specific technologies that have changed the doctor-patient relationship.
New Technology In The Medical Field
When the iPad was released in a store in San Diego, it was estimated that one in 10 of the purchasers were health care providers hoping to use the technology for the benefit of their patients — but how? The iPad’s portability lends itself to being a great relationship-building tool because it enables health care providers to easily transport patient information so they can access all of it in a matter of seconds.
Also, specially designed iPad software applications enable health care providers to view MRI and CT images, as well as other applications to assist providers with viewing other patient information. In the future, iPad applications may also help optometrists view and manage patient eye exams, though this technology has not yet been released.
ZocDoc is a convenient, free online tool that enables patients to search for a doctor and book appointments online. There is no login needed. Patients simply go to ZocDoc.com, select the type of doctor or dentist by specialty (e.g. plastic surgeon, dermatologist, ophthalmologist, etc.), enter their zip code and choose the appropriate insurance carrier. If the patient does not have insurance, is unsure which carrier they have, or would simply like to conduct the search without taking insurance into account, that is a search option as well.
After the search has been conducted, ZocDoc lists the matches along with the next available scheduling dates. Patients are then able to select their doctor based on availability or scroll through until a convenient available appointment arises with the doctor of their choice. ZocDoc aids busy health care providers because patients are given the power to search for doctors and schedule their own appointments, which essentially eliminates the middle man.
While e-mail may not seem like the greatest technological advance of the last few years, it is still an underutilized technology in the health care profession. Health care providers with patients between the ages of 18 and 26 should especially use e-mail to connect with patients, as this is the preferred method of communication for people in this age group. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, 68 percent of patients are likely to communicate with their health care provider through e-mail. If establishments allow for it, communication through e-mail could also be a convenient way to schedule appointments as well.
This article was written by Social Media Outreach Coordinator Erica Moss, on behalf of CAREEREALISM-Approved Partner, 2tor — an education technology company that partners with institutions of higher education such as Georgetown University to deliver their Masters in Nursing degree online.
Technology doctors image from Shutterstock