Some experts argue that the overuse of technology can lead to negative health outcomes, such as sedentary behaviour, poor sleep habits, and mental health issues. This is just one side of the conversation. It is not always talked about, but technology has had a significant impact on individual health choices and decisions. Yes, there is a definite impact of technology on health choices and decisions.
In recent years, the role of technology in health has grown and changed quickly. Now, technology is an important part of health care. It has helped to improve the quality of care for patients, make it easier for people to get health services, and improve the results of health care. On the individual front, it has given people health knowledge and tools. These things have made it more likely that they will make better health decisions and act on them.
Let’s take a deeper dive into ways technology has affected the health industry and individual health.
6 areas that show the impact of technology on health choices and decisions
Technology and health have many points where they are connected to promote better health, through both preventive and curative measures. Below are 6 ways through which people have been aided with options and opportunities for better health:
Access to information
The internet provides a wealth of health information that people can use to learn about their health conditions and treatment options. Technology has made it easier for people to get information about health and learn about different health topics. This online content has led to better health decisions and improved health outcomes.
The internet has a lot of different health information, from natural cures to drug prescriptions to possible diagnoses. The reliability and accuracy of some health information on the Internet are questionable. This can definitely lead to people making bad decisions based on wrong or misleading information. However, there is also helpful information that helps.
Apps and wearable technology
Some devices and mobile apps can track health data. People can keep track of their activity, heart rate, sleep, and blood glucose levels to make sure they are at their best. They can also record and monitor their diet and manage their medications. With these records and tracking, individuals can monitor their health and take steps to improve it when necessary.
Nigeria hasn’t fully adopted this technology yet, but it lets patients talk to doctors and nurses from afar, and that’s not all. Telemedicine is the use of electronic information and telecommunication technologies to send health-related services and information to people. This is also called “telehealth.” It lets patients and clinicians talk, give care, advice, reminders, educate, intervene, monitor, and even admit patients from far away. This improves access to healthcare services for people who live in remote or underserved areas.
The advancement of technology has also impacted medical research. There is now a higher possibility of understanding disease mechanisms. Because of this knowledge, new drugs and therapies can be made, and possible cures for different diseases can be found. These studies are also posted on the internet, so people can find out new information that can help them make decisions.
Medical research did not stop with the development of drugs and the discovery of cures. It has also led to the development of advanced medical devices. Devices like MRI machines, CT scanners, and robotic surgery systems, have improved patient consultations, diagnoses, and outcomes. They have also reduced the risk of complications during surgery. This means that the fear of surgery is reduced, so it is more embraced as a treatment option as the doctors have a little more understanding of what they are doing.
Electronic health records
This is another area that could be looked into as a way to help people in Nigeria get better health care. Electronic health records (EHRs) have improved patient safety and quality of care. By making it easier and faster for healthcare workers to get information about a patient, fewer unknown situations happen when a new patient comes in. This is especially great for an unconscious, incoherent, or demented patient who can’t share his records. It can also play a huge role in mental health care.
The truth is that the impact of technology on your health choices and decisions is personal. It can be positive or negative, depending on how it is used. People should be careful about how they use technology and look for trustworthy sources of health information and advice. However, technology and its inventions have helped advance the health sector. The above, non-exhaustive list shows how the industry, the players, and individuals have been partakers of the advancement of technology.
Other areas of impact like the engineering of prosthetics and locomotive assistance are not mentioned here. there are many deep ways technology has changed the scenery of health care, and there are still yet more ways to emerge.