Innovation and Technology in Healthcare

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Innovation and Technology in Healthcare

In recent times, healthcare has been revolutionized by technology. Modern healthcare relies heavily on a number of electronic gadgets. These gadgets can take the blood count of a patient to keeping them alive through heart-lung machines. Telemedicine has now come into its own. The delivery of healthcare and exchange of data across vast distances through the transfer of basic patient information such as CT scans, MRI pictures, ultrasound studies and pathology reports have become acceptable everywhere. Marketing professionals in the healthcare sectors adopt novel ways of reaching out to patients by using technology. Internet marketing is also popular, as websites enable patients to locate physicians or sign up for health screening. Another development relates to condition-specific information made available through the Internet. This includes ailments such as arthritis, diabetes and asthma. Marketing strategies in healthcare take different dimensions. Sustained efforts at quality improvement are vital in healthcare sector. Information systems help by providing doctors with laboratory values and by calculating weight-based doses of medicine. Using such tools can reduce possible diagnostic and treatment errors in many clinical settings. Electronic medical records serve to promote internal, external, and interactive marketing efforts by healthcare organizations. Considering innovation, the first indigenous heart valve developed by an institute of national importance based in Trivandrum (Kerala) deserves notice. Ultimately, the aim must be to make medical care affordable to the common man and cost-effective for the healthcare organization. Total Quality Management (TQM) has now assumed importance and this is evident from the efforts made by hospitals to get accredited by reputed agencies. As a result of the technological innovations leading to quality enhancement in the healthcare sector, healthcare marketing has also undergone changes. A close look at the medical scene reveals an array of electronic gadgets and equipment being pressed into service in hospitals in diverse situations. All these instruments are designed to assist physicians and surgeons in their duties, and thus in the alleviation of human suffering. There can be no doubt that electronics plays a crucial role in the design and operation of these equipments. Over the past few decades, the collaboration of engineers and technologists with biologists and medical personnel has been producing an astonishing variety of medical instruments. One of the earliest and widely known is the pacemaker, "a tiny, transistorized, battery powered radio oscillator, permanently implanted in the abdominal walls of patients suffering from heart block and connected by two fine electrodes directly into the heart muscle to keep it beating regularly." Another ingenious device is the radio pill, which, after being swallowed by the patient, transmits a running account of conditions within the gastrointestinal tract to an outside receiver. Biomedical Equipments

A host of instruments are considered indispensable in hospitals, whether large, medium or small. These include diagnostic devices such as equipments for taking x-ray, CT scan, ultrasound scan, magnetic resonance computer profile, Echocardiogram (ECG), etc. Equipments which aid surgical procedures, endoscope, laparoscope, laser devices, blood transfusion, and oxygen supply units also figure in this category. In addition, the following play a vital role in the treatment and care of patients: * Equipments used in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) such as the ventilator, nebulizer, heartbeat, pulse rate, and blood pressure monitors; and * Devices that offer cure or of therapeutic value such as dialysis machines for patients suffering from renal failure and linear accelerator/radio therapy unit for the cancer patients. The above-mentioned is only a sample since there are scores of such biomedical...
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