Innovative technology brings changes to healthcare


Throughout our lives, healthcare has seen many changes. It is a fluid industry that is constantly changing as knowledge grows about the human body and medical conditions. This occurs through innovations in technology that make new procedures possible, allowing for faster communication and even for health records to be more widely available from place to place.

Just as technological advancements impact our cars, smartphones and computers, these same advancements are impacting healthcare. There was a time, not long ago, where the patient had to wait for their next appointment or someone to call to be able to get results after labs. Now, the patient can view most things in the palm of their hand on their phone and some even before their doctor has the chance to see them.

The rapid progress of technology

There are too many ways that technology has impacted healthcare to discuss them all in one article, but highlighting a few will help to demonstrate the overall impact. This information is also rapidly changing as technology is constantly advancing, both within the healthcare field and in general.

This rapid evolution of technology has meant that patients are more informed about things and can view their results and then be prepared for their appointment with any questions they may have. Patients can also use the same apps to message their doctor directly about anything they want to know, so they could ask about their lab results before the appointment even happens.

While this is convenient, it is also important. The online access to health records means that if the patient goes to a hospital for any reason, in most cases, their records can be accessed by these new doctors. This allows for a more complete vision of the patient’s medical history, and helps to avoid any errors in care, such as a medicine that would interact with something the patient is already taking.

Access to the patient’s records also means that if the patient is brought into an emergency department and unable to answer questions, their family does not have to bear the burden of not knowing the patient’s full medical history because the healthcare professionals can access it. This can remove stress from the healthcare professionals and the family members so they can concentrate on the patient.

While all the information would be gathered through testing and lab work as well as family members if the records were not as easily accessible, this speeds up care for the patient. Healthcare professionals can quickly make decisions to help the patient instead of waiting for results.

An article published in the National Library of Medicine dives deeper into the impact of innovative technology on healthcare: “Technology automates and extends things that previously had to be done by people. Before infusion pumps, nurses had to give injections every so often; the infusion pump technology automated that. Now the nurse’s time is freed up for other activities, and if the manufacturer has used technology in the production of the infusion pump – as they surely will have – they can reduce the cost of production for exactly the same reasons.”

The impact of technology on healthcare

We can see two impacts in the above example, the obvious one being cost savings, which is important, but also the technological innovation that provided the infusion pump. This is helpful for the nurse’s time but has a bigger impact on the patient who can live their life with fewer disruptions and return to life as usual with minimal impact. This important advancement can make accepting a diagnosis easier on a patient as well and reduce the mental health impact that might have come with it before.

Technology has had great impact on patient treatment as well. In addition to the infusions mentioned above, technology has brought about things like CT scans and MRIs to better diagnose patients. These great tools that are used by healthcare professionals every day are available thanks to innovations that were made in technology.

While this impacts treatment options because healthcare professionals have more knowledge, the knowledge piece here is crucial as it has shown healthcare professionals more than they could ever see before and they had to learn how to interpret it. Things we take for granted as they exist now, and have for a while, did not exist before, and decisions were made without the added insight.

Robots perform delicate surgeries now, guided by surgeons to aid in precision. This is an example of an unintended benefit of technological advancements. Robots were not created for this purpose, but when the technology is used, it aids in patient care.

The impact of technology on the patient

Technology may also impact healthcare outside of the medical setting. Access to the internet can impact healthcare both positively and negatively. Patients can do a search to see if they should go to the emergency room for something they may be experiencing and could realize that their symptoms require them to simply see their provider instead. On the other hand, patients may misinterpret their symptoms and come to the wrong conclusion, which would impact the healthcare professional who is providing treatment.

While access to the internet is overall a good thing, the impact on healthcare was not its main goal. Many advancements in technology are not directly for healthcare but have the added bonus of providing a benefit to it. This also includes things like privacy. There is less risk to a patient’s privacy with electronic medical records and communicating electronically with insurance companies because nothing is going out in the mail. There is still a risk of someone hacking into the system, but overall that risk is low. When something goes out in the mail, it has a higher risk of not making it to the receiver, or of someone else seeing it.

Even with lab results, there is an added privacy because, with online records and communication, there is no need for a phone call which would mean potentially leaving a voice message on an answering machine for the whole house to hear. Instead, today this can be communicated with an email or even with a phone call, but people generally have their own phone with a personal voicemail box.

Remote learning

Remote learning and information sharing has had one of the biggest overall impacts on healthcare. With remote learning, many students can attend college that may not have had the time or money to do so previously. It also allows them to have many more options when it comes to finding a school that meets their needs. Students can research for the best programs and then apply online without ever needing to step foot on campus.

Schools such as Spring Arbor University allow nurses to expand their careers while still gaining experience working as a nurse at the same time. Online nursing programs offered by Spring Arbor University will enable the student to graduate with skills that will help them contribute to the wider community of qualified healthcare professionals. Students can earn their Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Post-Master’s Certificate in Nursing in a flexible way, without it interrupting their work schedule. In fact, these online programs are specially designed for busy nurses who want to expand their knowledge base, further their careers and improve patient care.

Information sharing

Information sharing means that healthcare professionals can quickly communicate with each other about a patient or even just on recent experiences. Considering the recent pandemic — the importance of quick and effective information sharing cannot be undervalued. Without that information, many healthcare professionals would have had no idea how to help patients or prevent the spread of the pandemic. It was a vital resource not only to healthcare workers, but also to the world, as everyone worked to find the right answers for treatment, care and prevention.

This has also led to an incredible number of specialty fields within healthcare. The more the world learns about different areas of the body, diseases and infections, the more opportunity there is for healthcare professionals to focus on one thing instead of needing to know everything about it all. Even emergency room healthcare professionals no longer need to know about everything in depth as they have access to information to aid them when needed.

Further, doctors and nurses can choose their path while in school and learn about that field specifically, so they are ready to enter the workforce as soon as they complete their education. One such example of specialty focused coursework is the Post-Master’s Certificate — Adult-Gerontology at Spring Arbor University. Adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioners (AGPCNPs) can provide the full spectrum of primary care services, just as primary care physicians do. They prescribe medication, perform examinations, diagnose illnesses and provide treatment for patients ranging from adolescents to older adults. This program has all the benefits mentioned above pertaining to remote learning while also providing a more in-depth focus into adult patient care with a good career outlook for the graduating student.

While the above focus is slightly broader than others may be, it is important to note that this is still a focused area. The treating healthcare worker in this area may refer patients to other specialists for more detailed care of a particular ailment — but is no less a specialist in their field.

These specialists are also more widely accessible due to advancements in travel. Patients can now travel across the country to see a top healthcare provider or just to get a second opinion. This trip can be made in less than a day on a plane, versus a century or more ago when it would not be possible for a sick person to make the strenuous journey as the trip would not have been possible within a quick timeframe. This is another unintended side effect of technology that has provided a great impact.

Physical access is not the only change that technology has brought to the healthcare field. Patients are also able to choose their providers through research. They can see the different specialists or general providers that are in the area they choose. This also provides the patient’s ability to gather second opinions as they desire or to find a new provider if the patient is relocating. This, generally, has provided expanded access to care for patients.


In recognizing the impact of advancements in technology, healthcare providers can be ready and looking for the next change in patient care. Being aware to look for advancement is an important step for providers and patients to get the best healthcare possible. Advances in treatment and diagnosis have a global impact and provide a better standard of care and even a longer life for some patients.

While most technological advancements were initially meant to help advance healthcare, there is no denying the overall impact that technology has had. Further advancements are inevitable and only serve to help patients and healthcare professionals meet treatment and diagnosis needs. Healthcare will forever be changed by technology in the best way.