Thanks to technology, almost every industry has seen an evolution on a mass scale. Never before have we seen such rapid expansion throughout our history. We are becoming more and more dependent on technology with each passing day. We use it in our work lives, personal and social lives, and more. One of the emerging industries going through a rapid evolution is undoubtedly the healthcare industry.
Gone are the days when healthcare professionals would spend hours collecting, analyzing, and recording patients’ information. There was a significant chance of error in those days due to data being held back, wrong information provided, or incomplete information. Now, thanks to the latest technologies, physicians are handling patient information in a better and more secure way. They now have efficient ways of managing patient information.
One of the ways technology is helping the healthcare industry is through health informatics. Health informatics helps healthcare professionals track diseases, evaluate hospital quality, analyze patient data and trends. It also provides real-time insights to physicians to adjust treatment plans, ensure effective protocols, and do their clinical research. The demand for health informatics is increasing day by day. The doctors are witnessing an influx of patients. They cannot spend so much time collecting and analyzing information. Also, as baby boomers are aging and more and more people need assistance. Various colleges and universities are already anticipating the need for health informatics in the healthcare industry. They have started offering multiple health informatics degree programs as well as courses. With a Masters in health informatics under your belt, there is nothing that you cannot do. Here’s a look at what the career prospects are in health informatics.
What is Health Informatics
Health Informatics is all about the collection, transmission, and use of electronic information. It involves informatics principles, information systems, and the real-world application of Information Technology in the healthcare industry. Health Informatics has various subfields that include:
- Health care delivery
- Health care safety
- Information science
- Management engineering
- Public health
As time passes, more technology is being adopted by various industries. The same is the case with the healthcare industry. They are fast-moving from a traditional system to a paperless system. The demand that healthcare professionals have cannot be met otherwise. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that health informatics jobs are expected to grow 15% by 2024. This growth is much more rapid than many other industries in the US.
The three main focuses of health informatics are data, technology, and science. All of them comfortably fit under the umbrella of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). These ensure that the gap between healthcare professionals and Information Technology reduces rapidly, creating more employment opportunities in the field.
Here we have created a list of technologies that are going to dominate the future of health informatics.
1. Voice Dictation
More and more healthcare organizations are opting to move their records to a digital system. It is driving health informaticists to make a move towards Artificial Intelligence and voice recognition. It will allow healthcare professionals to dictate and digitally transcribe all their notes and comments in real-time. No more paper notes to take care of, no more information loss, and no more hindrance in moving information from one place to another. This, in turn, gives the doctors the ability to spend more quality time with their patients instead of wasting it on data entry.
2. Electronic Health Records
Just like digital notes, Electronic Health Records (EHR) allow doctors to maintain an extensive log about their patients, their diseases, current and previous treatments, and more. This technology now also includes the ability to send instantaneous alerts. They can notify a doctor about various issues like:
- Drug interactions
- Chronic disease management
- Lab tests
- Prescription management and recommendations
- Admission and discharge, and more
3. Predictive Analytics
Predictive analysis is one of the most critical aspects of healthcare. It is how healthcare professionals study diseases, symptoms and diagnose patients. Although it is still in its early stages, predictive analysis based on artificial intelligence shows many promises. It will be a massive trend in the future.
4. Clinical Image Capture
We have been using digital cameras for quite a while now. They can capture moments rapidly and save them digitally so we can access them whenever we want. The same thing is true in the healthcare industry. Clinical image capturing has improved a lot since we started using technology. Not only are the images more precise and more pronounced, but their sizes are also decreasing day by day. Patients go through a multitude of tests during their hospital visits. They might have to go for an MRI, X-ray, CAT scan, or more. All these images are from different machines. They are stored and retrieved differently, and they are saved in various file formats. Thanks to health informatics, all these factors are being balanced in a new image system.
The healthcare industry is one of the most revolutionized industries worldwide, but especially in advanced countries. These are merely examples of how health informatics helps patients and physicians alike while increasing employment opportunities in the market.