Use of Computer Technology in Medicine
The use of computer technology has greatly enhanced the medical field. This is particularly so in hospital environments where reliability and quality are critical factors. Many computer applications, such as patient information systems, monitoring and control systems and diagnostic systems, have been used to enhance healthcare.
In the hospital, patient information systems allow doctors at different locations to access permanent patient records from a centralized database. This type of computer application enables doctors and or nurses to easily find and send notices to patients who need follow up treatment/ medication. This system also allows for doctors to compare methods of treating illnesses. According to, Information Technology for CXC CSEC, this type of system also “allows fast processing of large quantities of patient data that could be used to produce useful information for management purposes”.
Another usage of computer applications in the hospital is a patient monitoring and control system. According to Longman Information Technology for CXC, these systems “help doctors treat patients by providing 24 hour service and by this reduce the level of false alarms”. For example, some surgery patients must continuously be monitored in the ICU; these patients are fitted with sensors connected to the system which record vital signs. If a patients’ heart rate was to go below or above the programmed range an alarm is sounded. Since the information from these systems can be recorded on a magnetic disk, it allows for doctors to analyze the patient’s process at any later date.
Another application used in the field of medicine is a diagnosis system. This type of system is used to provide technical support to the medical staff during diagnosis and prescribing treatment. In the absence of a doctor, it allows for the identification and possible emergency treatment of life-threatening symptoms.
Gay, Glenda and
References: Gay, Glenda and Ronald Blades. Oxford Information Technology for CXC CSEC. New York: OUP Oxford, 2005 Bribal, Ronald and Joseph Blair. Longman Information Technology for CXC. 2nd Ed. New York: Longman, 2003