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August 24, 2018

Six ways technology is making healthcare easier than ever

Innovation Health Stories

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Technology is advancing at an increasingly fast rate, affecting nearly every aspect of our daily lives. This is especially true when it comes to our ability to access healthcare. From patient registration to lab test results, technological advancements are allowing people to receive care in ways they never have before. Improvements in modern medicine help to increase efficiency, enhance quality of care, and reduce healthcare costs, all of which benefit patients seeking treatment in an increasingly technological world.

Here are some of the ways technology is having a real-time impact on our health and well-being:

1. Telemedicine

Work, school, and other daily obligations can make it difficult for many to see a doctor when they feel unwell, but thanks to advancements in industries such as telemedicine, patients are now able to consult with their clinician over the phone or online. When their primary care doctor is unavailable, like at night or on the weekend, patients can access the care they need via telemedicine, which reduces wait times as well as overall costs.

2. Online Apps

In our current technological age, it seems like there’s an app for everything. Mobile applications help us hitch rides, order food, and manage our finances. Health care entities like Independence Blue Cross are getting on board by offering apps on both iPhone and Android devices that enhance people’s lives in meaningful ways. Apps like these help alleviate confusion after a doctor’s visit, and allow patients access to things they need, like new ID cards and claims information.

3. Wearable Technology

Fitness trackers act as personal, electronic companions that follow and record wearers’ movements and activity levels. Wearable technology helps users access data that can improve fitness outcomes, and many fitness trackers can even sync with well-being apps that provide a complete picture of the user’s health.

4. Well-being Programs

If you’re looking for a more personalized experience, there are online programs available that integrate with the technology you may already be using (like apps and wearable fitness trackers) to create a well-being journey custom tailored for you. Independence Blue Cross’ Achieve Well-being program offers a suite of tools that can help users eat healthier, become more active, manage stress better, and even get more sleep.

5. Online Patient Portals

Many healthcare providers are empowering patients by allowing them to easily view information, including medical records and test results, through online portals. Research shows that these tools generally succeed in enhancing patient engagement by allowing quick access to key health information. Independence Blue Cross provides its members with access to ibxpress, a patient portal that can be used to conveniently find a doctor, keep track of claims and spending, and provide answers to many common questions.

6. Procedural Breakthroughs

Every year, technology brings hope to those suffering from chronic conditions and debilitating illnesses. In 2017 alone, doctors successfully grew organs in a petri dish to help treat cystic fibrosis, used gene therapy to advance the treatment of HIV and even performed robot-assisted microsurgery. Biomedical research continues to advance at a rapid pace, which is good news for patients and doctors alike. As technologists and clinicians continue to work together, we can expect to see vast improvements in everything from medical procedures to treatment and pharmaceutical drugs.