Digital Pills and E-Records: How Technology Is Changing Your Healthcare
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first digital pill. It’s embedded with a sensor that allows doctors to tell whether or not a patient has taken their medicine.
This approval marks a significant advance in the healthcare system, and addresses an immense problem: millions of patients do not take their prescription drugs as prescribed.
Oftentimes, if a patient doesn’t take their medicine as prescribed, their condition worsens and they require additional treatment. This so-called noncompliance to medication is estimated to cost about $100 billion a year.
Patients who agree to take the digital medication, which is a version of the antipsychotic Abilify, are required to sign consent forms which allow their doctors and up to four other people to receive electronic data regarding the date and time the pills are ingested.
Because digital tools require the use of an app or wearing a patch, some experts predict this technology might be most welcomed by older people who want assistance in remembering to take their medications.
Additionally, this technology has the potential to be used to monitor post-surgical patients who are prescribed opioids or clinical trial participants.
While there is some controversy and privacy concerns with this new technology, it is no doubt changing the world of healthcare. Whether it’s at an urgent care clinic, doctor’s office, or hospital, technology has continuously made patient care easier and more efficient for both patients and medical professionals.
The benefits of technology can especially be seen in hospitals and family walk in clinics, where electronic healthcare records and online appointment systems have streamlined and improved patient care. Healthcare technology not only opens up more opportunities for exploration and research, but it also makes patient care safer and more reliable.
Patient records can be stored electronically, which is immensely beneficial in medical institutions like an urgent care clinic that sees numerous patients every day, or emergency rooms, which see 110 million patients every year. Electronic data and other technology allows medical care professionals to keep track of treatment plans for each individual patient and reduces risks of providing incorrect care.
Furthermore, technology has provided the ability to track, retrieve, and utilize data pertaining to specific illnesses. There are multiple databases that contain information regarding illnesses, their causes, and symptoms that are easily accessible to healthcare professionals.
Innovative technology, whether it be electronic medical records or a digital pill, has opened opportunities throughout the healthcare industry. Technology will continue to make caring for patients easier, quicker, and more efficient.