Health care has been around for centuries, but recent technological advances have created exciting new medical technologies. It can be a challenge to know what is available in the medical field, but you should be aware of many new advances. Here are three advances in health care technology that you should know.
MRI scans for finding prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in American men, and one in nine men will be diagnosed with it. Men diagnosed with prostate cancer have a good prognosis for survival, but it’s important that the cancer be detected as early as possible. You can now get an MRI for prostate cancer detection. In the past, this cancer was detected through a blood test and then a biopsy if the blood test showed elevated PSA (prostate-specific antigen) levels. This blood test is not always accurate, which means men are forced to get unnecessary biopsies, and these biopsies can cause bleeding, infection, and erectile dysfunction.
Now, men can avoid this invasive procedure by getting an MRI to determine whether they have prostate cancer. The MRI is non-invasive, fast, and painless, and the studies have found that 18 percent more cases of cancer can be detected with the MRI than are detected with the biopsies. This medical technology has helped in the detection of cancer and created a safer and easier way to find prostate cancer. If you find yourself in need of a prostate cancer screening, go for the MRI.
Health care apps
77 percent of Americans own a smartphone, which means most of you don’t have an excuse for not downloading a health care app. 93 percent of doctors say they believe health care apps will improve their patients’ health, so they’re even recommended by physicians. Depending on what you need, a health care app could get you in touch with a doctor, help you receive a medication, or diagnose your child with autism.
Telemedicine can be life-changing for some people. If you live in a rural area and don’t have easy access to a doctor, download a telemedicine app such as Doctor on Demand. This app will help you connect with a doctor at a time when you might normally visit urgent care. The doctor will video chat with you and make a diagnosis. The digital doctor can even order prescriptions for you. This app can also assist with mental health needs from the comfort of your home. Digital medicine and health care apps can help you keep yourself healthy and access whatever you need.
Electronic health records
Most health records have moved from paper to electronic. This is great for patients for many reasons. It gives providers quick and easy access to your records, which makes care more efficient and decreases the likelihood of physicians making errors. Digital records are also more secure than paper records, which benefits your privacy, and they are more detailed than paper records. Your doctors can see your entire medical history and understand the big picture of your health. This creates better care for you and is a better system for your providers.
In addition to electronic records, patients now have access to patient portals in most medical offices. A patient portal gives you the ability to log into your account and see your recent doctor visits, medications, immunizations, and lab results. You can also use the portal to securely message your doctor or make a payment. Prescription refills can often be done online now as well. Electronic health records and patient portals make health care more accessible to users and help them feel in charge of their health.
Advances in health care technology have made it easier for patients to receive the best care possible. Be sure to utilize these advances in the future to help yourself be healthier and happier.