The U.S. Centers for Disease Control revealed in January 2014 that Americans are living longer than ever before. With better methods for prevention and early detection, the role that technology has played in long-term health and overall life expectancy cannot be understated. From pacemakers and imaging instruments to implants and dialysis machines, modern technology is helping reshape and redefine modern medicine every day.
Still, while technology has been incredibly beneficial to both big business and humanity itself, all the profits and prosperity does come at a cost.
Impact of New Healthcare Technology
The impact of new healthcare technology can be seen throughout the population every day. Beyond a greater life expectancy and longer lives, technological advances make simple check-ups a much quicker process than it’s been in the past, leading more people to be more proactive about their daily health. Electronic health records have helped slash the red tape that sometimes hindered people from getting the care they need. And with online health encyclopedias now at everyone’s fingertips, people now have a much better understanding of what it takes to be healthy and stay healthy.
The Business of New Healthcare Technology
The medical technology sector of the healthcare industry generates an incredible amount of revenue each year. In 2013, revenues from the medical technology industry surpassed $340-billion. General Electric healthcare, which manufactures a wide range of products for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of illness and disease, had revenues of over $18-billion in ’13 alone.
With an aging population and a newly-enforced emphasis on preventative care, experts believe the outlook for the medical technology industry is as bright as any other industry in the world.
Potential Pitfalls Associated with New Technology
While advancements in technology have done many amazing things for our overall quality of life, as with most innovations, there are potential pitfalls that can pop up along the way. Privacy is a major concern in today’s digital age and rightfully so. However, those in charge of protecting your confidentiality say you are no more at risk than when using a credit or debit card for your daily shopping.
While that may not do much to assuage the fears of many, you can also to take some solace in the fact that there are many other safety nets in place that are designed to dissuade hackers or even insurance companies from gaining unauthorized access to your medical records. Penalties for those that do infiltrate these safeguards can also be swift and severe.