Technology and Improving Personal Health Insurance
Cutting-edge technology is transforming the healthcare industry, giving patients and doctors a range of advantages from which to choose. At the same time, such technology is also helping the personal health insurance industry by supplying a range of personal health insurance choices.
Whether you want to shop online for the best health insurance quotes, research different insurance packages, or just learn about the insurance industry, technology allows easy and largely free access to such information. Additionally, when used properly technology can facilitate easy communication between patients, healthcare providers, and health insurance companies.
According to Forbes, healthcare IT is an exciting and burgeoning field with enormous potential. Indeed, they found that venture capitalists have tripled their investment in the field over the past three years while the federal government has increased its presence too.
Impact of Innovative Technology on Healthcare
Whether you are looking for phone or tablet apps that will help you eat better and exercise more effectively, or a doctor is marveling at the emerging field of digitized medical reports, technology within the healthcare industry is revolutionizing the way providers and consumers are tackling health issues.
As technology specialists work feverishly to generate the next best thing, their purpose is to streamline healthcare processes, provide better services, and trim costs.
Healthcare IT specialists have developed several impactful software programs that use existing patient data to help doctors better diagnose and treat patients. The idea is to get all medical histories online, which would allow doctors easy access to patient history, thus facilitating better treatment options.
Another major innovation that allows doctors to connect directly to patients comes via online and over-the-phone consultations. All the required information is uploaded and made available to the doctor, allowing diagnosis and prescription for non-life threatening issues.
Additionally, doctors can now connect directly to pharmacies and send across prescriptions to be filled without having to write down an order. This minimizes costly mistakes and allows easy communication.
Health IT also allows doctors to connect with other doctors, making consultations easy and less time-consuming. For instance, Doximity, an online professional network for physicians, allows doctors across the U.S. to collaborate online to solve difficult cases.
There has also been a rise in medical translation tools that allows medical professionals to present their information to a wider non-English speaking audience.
Innovative Technology and Health Insurance
The impact of healthcare technology on the insurance industry has been profound. Health insurance companies are using emerging technologies to help their customers and healthcare providers engage in seamless communication.
Health insurance companies are setting up electronic programs such as e-ICUs that use advanced technology to connect critical patients with trained physicians and nurses, who can monitor them 24/7 from a remote location. In case of any critical changes, the online system can alert on-site medical professionals. Not only does this cut down on costs, it is a more effective way of monitoring patients.
Another innovation being encouraged by health insurance companies is the use of electronic prescriptions. Using a handheld device, doctors can access patient history, potential drug allergies, and current medications. Such programs diminish the possibility of mistakes because of illegible handwriting, and are also faster to process.
As the new health insurance laws come into play, many health insurance companies are using their online presence as platforms of knowledge and explanation of the new terms and conditions. Patients can also use the company websites to track their medical insurance claims, download their statements, view an explanation of their benefits, and pay bills online.
Health insurance companies are also rapidly developing and implementing the use of electronic personal health records. Such records that contain all of the information for a person’s medical history can be used across time and space. These records allow easy coordination if a person needs a range of medical professionals or has to move to a different location.
Allowing doctors to view medical and immunization records facilitates email consultations for non-emergency issues, allows the renewal of prescriptions, and gives access to lab records, among a host of other functions. The use of such records can help improve care quality, lower costs, and increase consumer satisfaction.
Medical Technology, Health Insurance, and Privacy
Even as healthcare IT is being heralded as the avenue for better care at reduced costs, it does raise the specter of invasion of privacy. While a digital medical file will allow easy transfer of information and eliminate filling out reams of paper forms, it is also exposed to security breaches such as hacking.
Patients and medical professionals also raise the issue of confidentiality. WebMD finds that many patients fear that health insurance companies can access electronic medical records and use them against the patient.
Given that general Internet security is far from being unbreakable, many patients are hesitant about electronic medical records. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible for any insurance company or doctor’s office to extend a 100% assurance of privacy to their customers and patients.
However, electronic medical records are here to stay, especially under the new healthcare laws, so patients need to educate themselves about how their files are being used and what barriers are being placed to keep them out of the wrong hands.