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Medical ICT Applications: A Renaissance

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ICT supported ‘Medicine’ shall serve in leveraging healthcare standards in present day world

By Dr S C Garg

Through the use of information communication technology (ICT) and interactive intelligent agent support system software,the professionals shall be greatly facilitated world over , to overcome most of the limitations in the way of perfected clinical decision making. Such an option was impossible to achieve in pre-computer era, additionally technology shall constitute regular refresher of disease fundamentals / principles, which otherwise drop out of memory with passage of time or being rare in use.

ICT supported ‘Medicine’ shall serve in leveraging healthcare standards in present day world, ushering in new era of comprehensive and interactive medical knowledge deployment, diagnosis finding, utilizable in clinical teaching & learning methodologies. Future users of this integrated technology shall be professionals, paramedics, patients and and even laypersons. The benefits and outcomes of ICT as may be speculated as astonishing in clinical & educative functionalities of the profession. Comprehensive knowledge management in Digital formats and its interactivity through ICT use shall be instrumental in leveraging healthcare performance in countries for communities, which are the cherished goals of WHO as projected in “WHO Global Knowledge Management Strategy.

International Scenario

Since the dawn of allopathic era there has been exponential growth of vital medical databases,which has resulted in human limitations or even incapacitation in the way of handling of available medical knowledge, for which deployment of’ Programmed Medical Knowledge’ as instrument of Medical Information Communication Technology ( ICT) is utmost essential for ‘perfected professional performance’. Since handling of intricate medical problems involves limitless permutations and combinations which are impossible to achieve through mind and memory applications alone. Accurate and brisk diagnosis is the sheet anchor of clinical performance. Without use of ICT it shall be impossible to root out imperfections or errors, which are global concerns.

WHO is emphatic about promoting excess to comprehensive,high quality ,relevant ,targeted information products of ICT through knowledge management strategy for leveraging eHealth in countries for fostering an enabling environment((WHO, 2004, 2005)) and for bridging know do gaps which are major concerns. The human limitations in diagnosing were expressed by founding father of ‘Medicine’ (Osler , 1919). These limitations are even relevant today when 100,000 had died due to diagnostic errors (Press-pass, 2004) , and 2 billion dollars losses had occurred through clinical errors (Alberti, 2001) with added delays in clearance of bed occupancies. Information and communication technology needs to be component of any plans and strategies for health system reforms as suggested by (WHO, 2008), having large potential for transforming healthcare services in 21 st century.

Tele-education and programmed medical information can reach remotely placed professionals and learners in developing countries through Internet constituting potent medium for “Doctors beyond Borders” for vast exchange of information and knowledge (Orbinski. 2000), contributing to much needed improvement in availability of healthcare around the world .The developing countries are aiming at developing further ICT technology for use in undergraduate curricula or for clinical usage, but for infrastructure limitations (William et al. 2010).

Economic Factors

In times of recession or even otherwise, there is a limit of available resources which can be infused into healthcare services, and all round costs of healthcare are escalating in comparison to economic growth, hence the necessity of using ICT, for minimising loss of resources as achievable through accelerated disposals with accuracy, as integral part of healthcare (Snowball, 2007) 46 Introduction of ICT at institutional or at university levels may be inducted through policy, which can instrumental in constituting renaissance in present or even future healthcare services delivery.

Medical ICT enabled technology for knowledge management and its deployment as clinical support system for practices and its inclusion in educational methodologies shall be of immense utility world over, as savior of lives and resources. The policy makers are the key holders for implementing this wonderful option for added glory to the profession. Times should not leave profession wanting.

DCCMS at SARR Clinic SoftAbout the Author

The author is DCCMS at SARR Clinic Soft.

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