COVID-19 cases are on the rise once more and queues at testing facilities, hospitals, and telemedicine sites are building in urban and rural areas alike. But technology is providing some fascinating solutions that are helping COVID-19 patients recover and hospitals keep up with the unending demand of wave after wave of new patients. The following are some tech innovations that are helping hospitals manage surges in COVID cases.
Many regularly scheduled doctor’s visits are going digital.
The first change to the medical industry is in cancer care telemedicine — and telemedicine as a discipline more generally. Workforces have gone remote, and so has the medical industry. These sufferers are at a heightened risk of dangerous complications after contracting COVID-19. Keeping cancer care, Alzheimer’s treatments, and scheduled surgeries to repair bones, ligaments, or cartilage separate from the COVID-19 cases is of the utmost importance.
Many of these treatments can be administered in a secure wing or at home with the help of a nurse or savvy family member. The partition is designed to keep these ailing patients as far away from COVID-19 cases as possible, and thus far it is working all across the country. Much of the consultation work done with an oncologist or surgeon doesn’t require face to face meetings, so telemedicine is seeing a major rise in usage. There is nothing to suggest that this trend will fade away once coronavirus cases begin to subside. This trend, making use of virtual visits, in the United States and elsewhere is going to revolutionize health care by giving patients of all types access to doctor’s advice in real-time and in the palm of their hand.
Information distribution has come on leaps and bounds.
Hospitals are utilizing solutions like Apache Kafka to distribute rapid updates about caseloads and logbooks on testing, tracing, and infectability. Apache Kafka is a data solution that catalogs and distributes updates seamlessly and in real-time. It functions on a publish/subscribe model that allows for texting alerts and other data distribution that reaches patients and those who have been in contact with someone testing positive in rapid time.
The need to structure alerts in this nature has been made abundantly clear in the age of the coronavirus. With a transmission rate so incredibly high, it’s essential to create the ability to contact potential carriers as quickly as possible so that they know to isolate and get tested before reentering the exposed world around them.
The long incubation period of this particular virus means that a sick individual may travel throughout their routine schedule for five or more days before noticing symptoms and getting a test. A whole week of regular travel can bring you into contact with thousands — or even tens of thousands — of other people who may pick up the virus as a result. The chain of spreading is so rampant that immediate notification of those in contact with a positive case must be the standard, and technology has provided that access.
Health care facilities have increased cybersecurity against data breaches.
Hospitals, clinics, and doctor’s offices have always known the importance of data integrity and the confidentiality rights of their patients. But with the sheer volume of data entering the system and an unprecedented level of digital attacks ongoing throughout the world there has never been a more important time to secure patient records and treatment data.
Hospitals and other health care facilities are working overtime to add additional layers of security and even air gapping their servers so that patient records are not accessible from anywhere but within the facility itself. Doctors and their staff are taking patient confidentiality seriously during this time of crisis, and it’s truly a breath of fresh air considering the metaphorical fire that is raging around them at all times during this public health crisis.
Hospitals are working overtime to integrate technology solutions that protect your whole person when it comes to this coronavirus pandemic.