MedTech: A Look At Both The Positives & Negatives

MedTech: A Look At Both The Positives & Negatives 

Technology and medicine seem like two things that would go together easily. However, there is still much debate about introducing technology-focused practices into hospitals, clinics, and doctors surgeries. 

We spoke to two professionals within the medical field about their thoughts on the advantages and disadvantages of MedTech. 

Dr. Thato Thale

Dr. Thato Thale

A Doctor’s Opinion…

Dr. Thato Thale is a Medical doctor with extensive healthcare industry experience in both the public and private sectors. She has worked in medicine in Africa and Europe, leveraging technology to catalyze healthcare reform. Dr. Thale is extremely passionate about the Medtech world and introducing technology into the healthcare industry. 

Some of Dr. Thato Thale’s Advantages of Medtech:

  • Legibility - as we all know Doctors handwriting can sometimes be hard to read. This can lead to errors in interpretation and is not 100% safe for delivering healthcare to patients.

  • It will save a lot of time because patient records will be easier to locate digitally rather than looking for paper files.

  • Patients won’t have to answer the same questions multiple times during their visit as admin and doctors can easily share patient information.

Some of Dr. Thato Thale’s Disadvantages of Medtech:

Converting to digital and going fully paperless can have its disadvantages, Dr. Thale notes:

  • Security can be an issue. Companies must be fully GDPR compliant and prepared to safe and secure data for their patients. 

  • Certain technical difficulties such as power outages, network outages or hacking could put a system in jeopardy.

A Medical Admin Opinion… 

Leanne Mulligan has previously worked as an administrator in a Radiology department. Leanne has experienced both advantages and disadvantages with online digital systems and paper trail.

Leanne Mulligan

Leanne Mulligan

Some of Leanne’s Advantages of Medtech:

  • Security - All computers require a log-in with username and password. This means the patient’s demographics and clinical history is protected.  All patient accounts can be auditable and traceable to staff members log-ins.

  • Confidentiality - No patient information is available to view in the waiting area.

  • Environmental- Less paper, ink and manual labour.

  • Efficiency - Less time photocopying, printing and having more time to assist with patients.

  • Electronic files – Scanning onto the patients file, less patient information in the public eye.

  • Referral letters – Referral letters will no longer get mislaid within the department.

Some of Leanne’s Disadvantages of Medtech:

  • Paper-based referrals - Loss of a patient referral/chart.

  • A patient’s file could get mixed in with another patient file causing a breach of patient information which will have to be rectified and reported to management.

  • Power outages on the computer system – no paper referrals to back up system downtime issue.

  • No IT support to assist out of hours.

  • Sharing passwords with other co-workers and disclosing information.

There is a lot to consider when it comes to introducing a more tech-based model to medicine in both practice and administration. Whilst there are positives and negatives, it is important to note that people are becoming more and more technology-based on how they live their everyday lives. By embracing technology in the medical field you are adapting to your patients’ lifestyle, as well as allowing them to be more proactive in managing their health. This means both medical professionals and patients will have a much more efficient experience.