Nana Technology

Any sufficiently advanced technology is equivalent to magic

The Impact of Technology on Healthcare

Medical-TabletTechnology today affects every single aspect of modern society. In fact, there isn’t an industry out there that hasn’t been affected by the hi-tech revolution.

Whether we are talking about transportation,communication, security, banking or healthcare, they all rely on technology in one way or another.

But nowhere is this immense impact more apparent than in the field of medicine and healthcare.

Technological breakthroughs are revolutionizing the way healthcare is being delivered.Modern technology has changed the structure and organization of the entire medical field.

From widespread adoption of electronic medical records, to advances in bio-medical engineering and technology, modern healthcare and its delivery methods are changing at an ever increasing rate. But what impact will these changes have on medicine and overall care delivery?

The Advantages of Technological Innovation

Without doubt, medical technology is indispensable to people’s health and improved quality of life. It also contributes billions of dollars to the economy. There are many benefits that innovative technology brings to the table when it comes to healthcare.

For example, the widespread adoption of electronic health records has resulted in significant savings in health care costs as well as improved patient health and safety. In more and more healthcare facilities, patient files are being kept in databases that can be accessed from anywhere in the facility.

This is not only a time saver but it also results in better data coordination and management.It is also technological innovation that has opened the door to more non-invasive procedures.

Diagnostics have never been easier and more accurate, especially due to advancements in areas like nuclear medicine. Nowadays, numerous methods of imaging allow for technicians and physicians to examine a patient’s anatomy without needing invasive procedures to form a diagnosis. The demand for MRI technologists and radiologists has also increased as a result of rapid advances in imaging technology.

Minimally invasive surgeries, especially within the disciplines of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery, have also become more common in recent years. The development of better instruments and more advanced technology have allowed surgeons to perform procedures in minimally invasive ways that just wasn’t possible a few years ago.

The Dark Side of Technology

Technology can also bring hidden dangers if you aren’t careful. The internet in particular is known for this. Though some would disagree, the infinite stream of medical knowledge available online is not necessarily a good thing.

Websites like WebMD can be a great resource for living a healthy lifestyle, but they should never be used to replace your physician. Far too often a simple ache can be misconstrued as something far more serious.

Self diagnosis is a dangerous road to go down. At best you’ll scare yourself into thinking something is seriously wrong when it isn’t.

At worst you’ll misdiagnose yourself and cause serious damage to your health and well being. There’s a reason it takes nearly a decade to become a doctor.

Unfortunately the internet provides a cheap and “easy” way to avoid going to the doctor. In the long term, however, it may wind up costing you much more than you ever expected.

Risks and Benefits of Technology in Health Care

uyThe integration of technology into health care has created both advantages and disadvantages for patients, providers, and healthcare systems alike. This chapter examines the risks and benefits of technology in health care, with particular focus on electronic health records (EHRs), the availability of health information online, and how technology affects relationships within the healthcare setting. Overall, it seems the benefits of technology in health care outweigh the risks; however, it is imperative that proper measures are taken to ensure successful implementation and integration. Accuracy, validity, confidentiality, and privacy of health data and health information are key issues that must be addressed for successful implementation of technology.

Electronic Health Records

Technological advances in information and communication technologies (ICT) and computing have made way for the implementation of electronic health records (EHRs), the comprehensive compilation of health care provided to an individual over their lifetime —an exciting and impressive accomplishment. Despite the vast possibilities and efficiencies that EHRs can potentially offer, their implementation into existing healthcare systems poses some potentially deterring and serious risks, such as confidentiality breaches, identity theft, and technological breakdowns and incompatibilities. Therefore, electronic records should be not hastily integrated into healthcare systems without proper precautions.


Electronic records offer many advantages over conventional paper-based methods of recording patient data. The comprehensiveness of EHRs can help to bridge the geographic and temporal gaps that exist when several clinicians who are geographically dispersed treat the same patient. It is extremely important that all clinicians are aware of past and current medical histories when one patient is treated by several healthcare providers (Mandl, Szolovits, & Kohane, 2001). Since paper-based records are location specific, information contained in one record may differ substantially from records kept in another area or by another provider. When various specialists treat the same patient, patient communication is often hindered, as it can be extremely difficult and time consuming to share patient records between providers using conventional methods (for example, by phone, fax or mail, or physically transporting the record from location to location). Electronic health records, however, enable comprehensive databases of information to be viewed and used by authorized users when they need it and where they need it.

Greater efficiency in accessibility of patient information is thus made possible by the use of electronic records. Accessibility allows for a faster transfer of medical history in a medical emergency or when visiting a new doctor, and also allows researchers and public health authorities—with the permission and consent of the patient—to efficiently collect and analyze updated patient data. Such access is imperative in emergency situations, and also allows public health officials to easily conduct outbreak and incident investigations that may help control epidemics and pandemics, such as SARS, Listeriosis, or new strains of influenza. Accessibility also enables health care providers to reduce costs associated with duplicating tests, since providers have access to already performed test results (Myers, Frieden, Bherwani, & Henning, 2008). Additionally, clerical activities such as appointment reminders and notification of laboratory results can be handled electronically, resulting in greater efficiency and reduced human error.

EHRs can also be equipped with authentication systems, a major guard against security breaches. Patients may be especially wary of having their personal health information part of a comprehensive database because they are unsure as to who will have access to their medical records. Authentication systems allow for the imposition of various security levels, providing greater control over access to personal information such as immunization records and diagnostic test results. Conversely, paper-based medical records allow healthcare staff to access any part of a patient’s medical records. By applying authentication and role-based access to EHRs, personnel such as secretaries and clerical staff will only have access to necessary information (such as that needed for scheduling appointments or providing reminders of scheduled visits) (Myers et al., 2008). In case of an emergency, however, it is possible to develop policies that allow medical professionals to override the protection barriers and gain immediate access to all medical information (Mandl et al., 2001). An additional security feature is accountability, which enables the system to track input sources and record changes. Accountability systems provide an audit trail that can help to eliminate security breaches and, at the very least, track user activities to ensure their appropriateness, authorization, and ethicality (Myers et al., 2008).

Despite the impressive advantages EHRs offer, one must recognize the trade off that exists between accessibility and confidentiality. As noted by Rind et al. (1997, p. 138) “It is not always possible to achieve both perfect confidentiality as well as perfect access to patient information, whether information is computerized or handwritten.” Confidentiality, among other issues, must be considered in order to utilize the EHR system to its fullest potential.

Tools for Teaching Cyber Ethics

koEveryone knows someone who has commited a cyber crime. Perhaps you downloaded a song you shouldn’t have or maybe somebody else’s research was a little more helpful than it should have been. Students are no different and the temptation to commit cyber crimes exists in every school.

Are our schools filled with budding cyber criminals unaware of the consequences of their online activities? Should educators scramble to institute a formal cyber ethics curriculum? Or should schools ban the use of the Internet? Read what one expert says! Included: Ten guidelines of computer ethics, online resources for teaching ethics and Internet safety, and eight tips for establishing a “culture of proper use” of technology in the classroom.

Read all about it …

High School Student Arrested for Online Investment Fraud
A 14-year-old recently purchased inexpensive stocks, lied about their potential value in an investment chat room, and reaped hundreds of thousands of dollars when other investors bought his lies — and the stocks!

Poll Reveals Kids Think Hacking Is OK!
Nearly half the elementary and middle school students who responded to a recent poll conducted by Scholastic, Inc., said they don’t believe hacking is a crime.

Cyber Ethics Conference Convened in Maryland!
In 2000, the Cyber Citizen Partnership, a joint effort of the U.S. Department of Justice and the Technology Association of America, sponsored the first-ever national conference on cyber ethics.

FBI Calls for Cyber Ethics Curriculum!
At the conclusion of the recent cyber ethics conference, the FBI called on educators to institute programs to teach cyber ethics in schools.

Is cyber crime an epidemic? Are our schools filled with budding cyber criminals unaware of, or unconcerned with, the consequences of their online activities? Should educators scramble to institute a formal cyber ethics curriculum? Or should schools simply ban the use of the Internet?

– See more at:

The answer to all those questions is no, according to Jerry Crystal, technology coordinator at Carmen Arace Middle School in Bloomfield, Connecticut. Educators do need to address cyber ethics, Crystal told Education World, but they can address it in the context of their current curriculum and incorporate the lessons into ongoing programs.

Crystal should know. At Carmen Arace, a school with a minority population of nearly 90 percent, every one of the school’s students is provided with a laptop with Internet access at the beginning of the school year — and every teacher is expected to integrate technology into the curriculum.

“Every teacher at the school teaches technology,” Crystal told Education World, “and every instructional team at the school has a regular tech time each week. During that time, teachers learn to deal with all sorts of technology issues, including cyber ethics.”

For more information about the Carmen Arace laptop program, see the Education World story Laptops Change Curriculum — and Students.


What are the cyber ethics issues Carmen Arace teachers must deal with?

According to Crystal, the most common problem isn’t hacking (illegally accessing Web sites) or cracking (vandalizing Web sites); It’s the unauthorized downloading of games and software.

“We deal with those cases by making students aware that how technology is used is as much an ethical issue as hacking or cracking,” Crystal said. “If everyone does whatever they want on a network, it uses up a ton of space and interferes with other users. … If they download a virus along with the software, they risk destroying the entire system — incurring a tremendous financial loss.”

Another ethical issue that educators at Carmen Arace, and most other schools, deal with is the misuse of intellectual property, or copyright violations.

“In those cases, we make the issue personally relevant,” Crystal said. “We put student work on our Web site to help get across the point that they are creators of online intellectual property. Then we discuss how they would feel if their work was copied by someone else without their permission.”

The use of inappropriate Web sites is a problem that has received a great deal of press. At Carmen Arace, where students frequently use the Internet as textbooks, most research involves directed searches at sites provided by the teacher.

Students also surf the Web, but that’s much less of a problem than you might expect. The school uses a filtering program, but “for the most part, our kids don’t want to go to porno places,” Crystal noted. “They’re more interested in sports, music, and game sites. We’ve found that a better protector against inappropriate Web sites is establishing a culture of proper use of the technology.”


The best time to begin establishing a culture of proper use is the first day you introduce your students to technology, Crystal said, pointing out that teaching good practices is much easier than eliminating bad ones. If technology is already an established part of your students’ educational experience, however, he recommends starting over with a clean slate.

“Develop a detailed universal plan for technology use and lay it out for everyone at once,” said Crystal. “Hold training sessions for parents and kids together. Show videos and discuss the issues. Make it clear to everyone that the ethical rules they live by also apply to technology.”

“Above all,” Crystal said, “don’t separate the online world and the offline world. Try to blend them together. It’s the same world online and off. Just because there’s a sense of anonymity online doesn’t mean the rules change.”

The middle school is the ideal place to focus on cyber ethics, Crystal believes, because that is where kids begin to develop their awareness of ethical behavior. “If we provide positive images and effectively communicate ethical values in all areas of their lives, those values will be reflected in the technological environment as well. How we teach kids to view themselves and their use of technology at this level is what they will carry with them into adulthood,” he said.


Crystal offers these suggestions for incorporating cyber ethics into the classroom culture:

  • Draw parallels between the real world and the electronic world. Make direct comparisons between what students do on the Internet and how they behave in their daily lives.
  • Involve students in constructive activities. Ask them to develop ten rules for a classroom acceptable use policy, for example.
  • Post a written acceptable use policy in your classroom, and include the consequences for violating it.
  • Reinforce proper behavior. Treat offenses as mistakes rather than “crimes,” especially in the beginning.
  • Assign students to work with technology buddies, other students who have already worked with technology and will set a good example. Peers can help sell a point that students might not accept from adults. In addition, kids who are working together are less likely to get off task.
  • Take advantage of every teachable moment. You can’t overstate the issue.
  • Don’t model inappropriate behavior.
  • Instill a sense of responsibility, point out the real costs of misusing technology, and express a belief in students’ ability to handle technology properly. Students will live up to or down to your expectations.


Wouldn’t it be easier to simply ban Internet use in the classroom, or at least limit its use to areas where strict supervision can be provided? Crystal doesn’t think so.

“Since we’ve begun providing students with laptops, the school has seen a dramatic decrease in discipline problems,” he told Education World. “In- and out-of-school suspensions are way down, as are student and teacher absenteeism. Connecticut Mastery Test scores — especially reading scores — have risen, and our media center director says that more books are checked out every year. Kids are more actively involved in research through project-based activities, teachers are more active, and students are less bored. Intelligent use of technology gives kids groundwork and framework — and provides the opportunity to reinforce the value of ethical behavior in all areas of their lives.

“The Internet,” Crystal said, “has often been compared to Pandora’s box, which when opened released a multitude of evils — and only a single good quality — into the world. The difference between Pandora’s box and the Internet is that the Internet provides kids with an overwhelming amount of good information and opportunities for positive use. We can protect kids against the few evils that emerge by teaching them how to use technology in positive and ethical ways.”


The following Web sites provide information and activities you can use to teach kids about the ethical use of technology.

  • Surf Like a Hero, Not a Zero This Cybercitizen Partnership site provides information and a quiz about cyber ethics.
  • The Internet: Know Before You Go Into Cyberspace This U.S. Department of Justice site offers activities to teach kids how to be good citizens of the Internet.

Study reveals working of motor with revolution motion in bacteria killing virus Advances nanotechnology

Scientists have cracked a 35-year-old mystery about the workings of the natural motors that are serving as models for development of a futuristic genre of synthetic nanomotors that pump therapeutic DNA, RNA or drugs into individual diseased cells. Their report revealing the innermost mechanisms of these nanomotors in a bacteria-killing virus — and a new way to move DNA through cells — is being published online today in the journal ACS Nano.

Peixuan Guo and colleagues explain that two motors have been found in nature: A linear motor and a rotating motor. Now they report discovery of a third type, a revolving molecular motor. Guo pointed out that nanomotors will open the door to practical machines and other nanotechnology devices so small that 100,000 would fit across the width of a human hair.

One major natural prototype for those development efforts has been the motor that packages DNA into the shell of bacteriophage phi29, a virus that infects and kills bacteria. Guo’s own research team wants to embed a synthetic version of that motor into nanomedical devices that are injected into the body, travel to diseased cells and pump in medication. A major barrier in doing so has been uncertainty and controversy about exactly how the phi29 motor moves. Scientists thought that it worked by rotating or spinning in the same motion as Earth turning on its axis.

In their ACS Nano paper, Guo, with his team Zhengyi Zhao, Emil Khisamutdinov and Chad Schwartz, challenges that idea. Indeed, they discovered that the phi29 motor moves DNA without any rotational motion. The motor moves DNA with a revolving in the same motion as revolving around the sun. “The revolution without rotation model could resolve a big conundrum troubling the past 35 years of painstaking investigation of the mechanism of these viral DNA packaging motors,” the report states.

The authors acknowledge funding from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, National Institutes of Health.

DNA motor programmed to navigate a network of tracks

Expanding on previous work with engines traveling on straight tracks, a team of researchers at Kyoto University and the University of Oxford have successfully used DNA building blocks to construct a motor capable of navigating a programmable network of tracks with multiple switches. The findings, published in the January 22 online edition of the journal Nature Nanotechnology, are expected to lead to further developments in the field of nanoengineering.

The research utilizes the technology of DNA origami, where strands of DNA molecules are sequenced in a way that will cause them to self-assemble into desired 2D and even 3D structures. In this latest effort, the scientists built a network of tracks and switches atop DNA origami tiles, which made it possible for motor molecules to travel along these rail systems.

“We have demonstrated that it is not only possible to build nanoscale devices that function autonomously,” explained Dr. Masayuki Endo of Kyoto University’s Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS), “but that we can cause such devices to produce predictable outputs based on different, controllable starting conditions.”

The team, including lead author Dr. Shelley Wickham at Oxford, expects that the work may lead to the development of even more complex systems, such as programmable molecular assembly lines and sophisticated sensors.

“We are really still at an early stage in designing DNA origami-based engineering systems,” elaborated iCeMS Prof. Hiroshi Sugiyama. “The promise is great, but at the same time there are still many technical hurdles to overcome in order to improve the quality of the output. This is just the beginning for this new and exciting field.”

Using DNA origami to build nanodevices of the future

Scientists have developed a method, using a double layer of lipids, which facilitates the assembly of DNA origami units, bringing us one-step closer to DNA nanomachines.

Scientists have been studying ways to use synthetic DNA as a building block for smaller and faster devices. DNA has the advantage of being inherently “coded.” Each DNA strand is formed of one of four “codes” that can link to only one complementary code each, thus binding two DNA strands together. Scientists are using this inherent coding to manipulate and “fold” DNA to form “origami nanostructures”: extremely small two- and three-dimensional shapes that can then be used as construction material to build nanodevices such as nanomotors for use in targeted drug delivery inside the body.

Despite progress that has been made in this field, assembling DNA origami units into larger structures remains challenging.

A team of scientists at Kyoto University’s Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS) has developed an approach that could bring us one step closer to the nanomachines of the future.

They used a double layer of lipids (fats) containing both a positive and a negative charge. DNA origami structures were weakly absorbed onto the lipid layer through an electrostatic interaction. The weak bond between the origami structures and the lipid layer allowed them to move more freely than in other approaches developed by scientists, facilitating their interaction with one another to assemble and form larger structures.

“We anticipate that our approach will further expand the potential applications of DNA origami structures and their assemblies in the fields of nanotechnology, biophysics and synthetic biology,” says chemical biologist Professor Hiroshi Sugiyama from iCeMS.

Tiny origami-inspired devices opening up new possibilities for minimally-invasive surgery

BYU mechanical engineering professors Larry Howell and Spencer Magleby have made a name for themselves by applying the principles of origami to engineering. Now they’re applying their origami skills to a new realm: the human body.

The duo, along with professor Brian Jensen and their students, are working toward surgical technology that will allow for the manufacturing of instruments so small that the size of incisions necessary to accommodate the tools can heal on their own — without sutures.

“The whole concept is to make smaller and smaller incisions,” Howell said. “To that end, we’re creating devices that can be inserted into a tiny incision and then deployed inside the body to carry out a specific surgical function.”

As a part of their work, BYU just licensed a series of compliant mechanism technologies to Intuitive Surgical, the world leader in robotic surgery and the maker of the popular da Vinci Surgical System. The deal is the latest in a number of collaborations with Intuitive Surgical, which connected with BYU on advice from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

The researchers say their work is inspired by a need for increasingly smaller surgical tools; the industry has reached the limit to where they can’t go any smaller with traditional designs. BYU’s team has engineered new design concepts that eliminate the need for pin joints and other parts, instead relying on the deflection inherent in origami to create motion.

“These small instruments will allow for a whole new range of surgeries to be performed — hopefully one day manipulating things as small as nerves,” Magleby said. “The origami-inspired ideas really help us to see how to make things smaller and smaller and to make them simpler and simpler.”

One such instrument is a robotically-controlled forceps so small it can pass through a hole about 3 millimeters in size — roughly the thickness of two pennies held together.

Outside their work with Intuitive Surgical, BYU’s team is developing concepts such as the D-Core, a device that starts out flat (to be inserted into an incision) then expands to become two rounded surfaces that roll on each other, mimicking the movement made by spinal discs.

Magleby says the work they are doing on medical devices is not much different in principle than the work they’ve done for NASA to create compact space equipment.

“Those who design spacecraft want their products to be small and compact because space is at a premium on a spacecraft, but once you get in space, they want those same products to be large, such as solar arrays or antennas,” Magleby said. “There’s a similar idea here: We’d like something to get quite small to go through the incision, but once it’s inside, we’d like it to get much larger.”

BYU’s latest research on origami-inspired engineering appears in the February issue of academic journal Mechanism and Machine Theory.

Information Technology in Health Care The Next Consumer Revolution

Over the past 20 years, our nation has undergone a major transformation due to information technology (IT). Today, we have at our fingertips access to a variety of information and services to help us manage our relationships with the organizations that are part of our lives: banks, utilities, Government offices — even entertainment companies.

Until now, relatively few Americans have had the opportunity to use this kind of technology to enhance some of the most important relationships: those related to your health. Relationships with your doctors, your pharmacy, your hospital, and other organizations that make up your circle of care are now about to benefit from the next transformation in information technology: health IT.

For patients and consumers, this transformation will enhance both relationships with providers and providers’ relationships with each other. This change will place you at the center of your care – in effect, helping to put the “I” in health IT.

Although it will take years for health care to realize all these improvements and fully address any pitfalls, the first changes in this transformation are already underway. At the same time, numerous technology tools are becoming available to improve health for you, your family, and your community.

Most consumers will first encounter the benefits of health IT through an electronic health record, or EHR, at their doctor’s office or at a hospital.

Benefits of health IT for you and your family

On a basic level, an EHR provides a digitized version of the “paper chart” you often see doctors, nurses, and others using. But when an EHR is connected to all of your health care providers (and often, to you as a patient), it can offer so much more:

  • EHRs reduce your paperwork. The clipboard and new patient questionnaire may remain a feature of your doctor’s office for some time to come. But as more information gets added to your EHR, your doctor and hospital will have more of that data available as soon as you arrive. This means fewer and shorter forms for you to complete, reducing the health care “hassle factor.”
  • EHRs get your information accurately into the hands of people who need it. Even if you have relatively simple health care needs, coordinating information among care providers can be a daunting task, and one that can lead to medical mistakes if done incorrectly. When all of your providers can share your health information via EHRs, each of them has access to more accurate and up-to-date information about your care. That enables your providers to make the best possible decisions, particularly in a crisis.
  • EHRs help your doctors coordinate your care and protect your safety. Suppose you see three specialists in addition to your primary care physician. Each of them may prescribe different drugs, and sometimes, these drugs may interact in harmful ways. EHRs can warn your care providers if they try to prescribe a drug that could cause that kind of interaction. An EHR may also alert one of your doctors if another doctor has already prescribed a drug that did not work out for you, saving you from the risks and costs of taking ineffective medication.
  • EHRs reduce unnecessary tests and procedures. Have you ever had to repeat medical tests ordered by one doctor because the results weren’t readily available to another doctor? Those tests may have been uncomfortable and inconvenient or have posed some risk, and they also cost money. Repeating tests—whether a $20 blood test or a $2,000 MRI–results in higher costs to you in the form of bigger bills and increased insurance premiums. With EHRs, all of your care providers can have access to all your test results and records at once, reducing the potential for unnecessary repeat tests.
  • EHRs give you direct access to your health records. In the United States, you already have a Federally guaranteed right to see your health records, identify wrong and missing information, and make additions or corrections as needed. Some health care providers with EHR systems give their patients direct access to their health information online in ways that help preserve privacy and security. This access enables you to keep better track of your care, and in some cases, answer your questions immediately rather than waiting hours or days for a returned phone call. This access may also allow you to communicate directly and securely with your health care provider.

10 Biggest Technological Advancements for Healthcare in the Last Decade

The reach of technological innovation continues to grow, changing all industries as it evolves. In healthcare, technology is increasingly playing a role in almost all processes, from patient registration to data monitoring, from lab tests to self-care tools.

Devices like smartphones and tablets are starting to replace conventional monitoring and recording systems, and people are now given the option of undergoing a full consultation in the privacy of their own homes. Technological advancements in healthcare have contributed to services being taken out of the confines of hospital walls and integrating them with user-friendly, accessible devices.

The following are ten technological advancements in healthcare that have emerged over the last ten years.

1. The electronic health record. In 2009, only 16 percent of U.S. hospitals were using an EHR. By 2013, about 80 percent of hospitals eligible for CMS’ meaningful use incentives program had incorporated an EHR into their organizations. “For such a long time we had such disparate systems, meaning you had one system that did pharmacy, one did orders, one that did documentation,” says Jeff Sturman, partner at Franklin, Tenn.-based Cumberland Consulting Group. “Integrating these systems into a single platform, or at least a more structured platform, has allowed more integrated and efficient care for patients,” he says.

While the EHR has already created big strides in the centralization and efficiency of patient information, it can also be used as a data and population health tool for the future. “There’s going to be a big cultural shift over the next several years of data-driven medicine,” says Waco Hoover, CEO of the Institute for Health Technology Transformation in New York. “Historically, that hasn’t been a big part of how medicine is practiced. Physicians go to medical school and residencies, but each organization has its own unique ways they do things. That’s one of the reasons we see varied care all over the country. When data is what we’re making decisions off of, that’s going to change and improve outcomes of the consistency of medicine delivered.”

2. mHealth. Mobile health is freeing healthcare devices of wires and cords and enabling physicians and patients alike to check on healthcare processes on-the-go. An R&R Market Research report estimates the global mHealth market will reach $20.7 billion by 2019, indicating it is only becoming bigger and more prevalent. Smartphones and tablets allow healthcare providers to more freely access and send information. Physicians and service providers can use mHealth tools for orders, documentation and simply to reach more information when with patients, Mr. Sturman says.

However, mHealth is not only about wireless connectivity. It has also become a tool that allows patients to become active players in their treatment by connecting communication with biometrics, says Gopal Chopra, MD, CEO of PINGMD, and associate professor at Duke University Fuqua School of Business in Durham, N.C. “Now I can make my bathroom scale wireless. I can make my blood pressure mount wireless. I can take an EKG and put it to my smartphone and transfer that wirelessly,” he says. “mHealth has the opportunity to take healthcare monitoring out of the office, out of the lab and basically as a part of your life.”

3. Telemedicine/telehealth. Studies consistently show the benefit of telehealth, especially in rural settings that do not have access to the same resources metropolitan areas may have. A large-scale study published in CHEST Journal shows patients in an intensive care unit equipped with telehealth services were discharged from the ICU 20 percent more quickly and saw a 26 percent lower mortality rate than patients in a regular ICU. Adam Higman, vice president of Soyring Consulting in St. Petersburg, Fla., says while telemedicine is not necessarily a new development, it is a growing field, and its scope of possibility is expanding.

The cost benefits of telehealth can’t be ignored either, Mr. Hoover says. For example, Indianapolis-based health insurer WellPoint rolled out a video consultation program in February 2013 where patients can receive a full assessment through a video chat with a physician. Claims are automatically generated, but the fees are reduced to factor out traditional office costs. Setting the actual healthcare cost aside, Mr. Hoover says these telemedicine clinics will also reduce time out of office costs for employees and employers by eliminating the need to leave work to go to a primary care office.

4. Portal technology. Patients are increasingly becoming active players in their own healthcare, and portal technology is one tool helping them to do so. Portal technology allows physicians and patients to access medical records and interact online. Mr. Sturman says this type of technology allows patients to become more closely involved and better educated about their care. In addition to increasing access and availability of medical information, Mr. Hoover adds that portal technology can be a source of empowerment and responsibility for patients. “It’s powerful because a patient can be an extraordinary ally in their care. They catch errors,” he says. “It empowers the patient and adds a degree of power in care where they can become an active participant.”

5. Self-service kiosks. Similar to portal technology, self-service kiosks can help expedite processes like hospital registration. “Patients can increasingly do everything related to registration without having to talk to anyone,” Mr. Higman says. “This can help with staffing savings, and some patients are more comfortable with it.” Automated kiosks can assist patients with paying co-pays, checking identification, signing paperwork and other registration requirements. Mr. Higman says there are also tablet variations that allow the same technology to be used in outpatient and bedside settings. However, hospitals need to be cautious when integrating it to ensure human to human communication is not entirely eliminated. “If a person wants to speak to a person, they should be able to speak with a person,” he says.

6. Remote monitoring tools. At the end of 2012, 2.8 million patients worldwide were using a home monitoring system, according to a Research and Markets report. Monitoring patients’ health at home can reduce costs and unnecessary visits to a physician’s office. Mr. Higman offers the example of a cardiac cast with a pacemaker automatically transmitting data to a remote center. “If there’s something wrong for a patient, they can be contacted,” he says. “It’s basically allowing other people to monitor your health for you. It may sound invasive but is great for patients with serious and chronic illnesses.”

An article by Kaiser Health News, National Public Radio and Minnesota Public Radio discussed the effects a home monitoring system had on readmission rates for heart disease patients at Duluth, Minn.-based Essentia Health. The national average rate of readmissions for patients with heart disease is 25 percent, but after Essentia Health implemented a home monitoring system, the rates of readmission for their heart disease patients fell to a mere two percent. And now that hospitals are being financially penalized for readmissions, home monitoring systems may offer a solution to avoid those penalties.

7. Sensors and wearable technology. The wearable medical device market is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 16.4 percent a year, according to a Transparency Market Research report. Wearable medical devices and sensors are simply another way to collect data, which Dr. Chopra says is one of the aims and purposes of healthcare. He says sensors and wearable technology could be as simple as an alert sent to a care provider when a patient falls down or a bandage that can detect skin pH levels to tell if a cut is getting infected. “Anything we are currently using where a smart sensor could be is part of that solution,” Dr. Chopra says. “We’re able to take a lot of these data points to see if something abnormal is happening.”

8. Wireless communication. While instant messaging and walkie-talkies aren’t new technologies themselves, they have only recently been introduced into the hospital setting, replacing devices like beepers and overhead pagers. “Hospitals are catching up to the 21st century with staff communicating to one another,” Mr. Higman says, adding that internal communication advancements in hospitals followed a slower development timeline since they had to account for security and HIPAA concerns.

Systems like Vocera Messaging offer platforms for users to send secure messages like lab tests and alerts to one another using smartphones, web-based consoles or third-party clinical systems. These messaging systems can expedite the communication process while still tracking and logging sent and received information in a secure manner.

9. Real-time locating services. Another growing data monitoring tool, real-time locating services, are helping hospitals focus on efficiency and instantly identify problem areas. Hospitals can implement tracking systems for instruments, devices and even clinical staff. Mr. Higman says these services gather data on areas and departments that previously were difficult to track. “Retrospective analysis can only go so far, particularly in places constantly changing like emergency departments,” he says, but tracking movement with a real-time locating service can highlight potential issues in efficiency and utilization.

These tools also allow flexibility for last minute changes. “If [a physician has] an add-on case today, do they have instruments on hand, and where are [the instruments]?” he asks. At the most basic level, these services can ensure equipment and supplies aren’t leaving the building, and for high-cost equipment and supplies of which hospitals may only have one or a few, being able to track their location can help verify its utilization, he says.

10. Pharmacogenomics/genome sequencing. Personalized medicine continues to edge closer to the forefront of the healthcare industry. Tailoring treatment plans to individuals and anticipating the onset of certain diseases offers promising benefits for healthcare efficiency and diagnostic accuracy. Pharmacogenomics in particular could help reduce the billions of dollars in excess healthcare spending due to adverse drug events, misdiagnoses, readmissions and other unnecessary costs.

Before a full-fledged system of pharmacogenomics comes to fruition, the healthcare industry needs a tool that can aggregate and analyze all the big data and digital health information, Mr. Hoover says. “When we really start to have the ability to study a lot of that data, it’s going to transfer how we match up that information at the population, individual and macro levels,” he says. “The ability to actually compare that information is going to be valuable as we move forward, making sure medications we are taking are going to work for us.”

Tools for big data analysis for pharmacogenomics are still being developed, but data analytics and data aggregation for the purpose of population health may be the next big advancement on the horizon. “Understanding and connecting all these variables is going to be profound as it relates to moving forward in healthcare and designing interventions and analyzing patient populations and ultimately improving the lives and health of the American population

Modern Technology Advantages And Disadvantages

Modern technology is simply an advancement of old technology, the impact of technology in modern life is unmeasurable, we use technology in different ways and sometimes the way we implement various technologies ends up harming our lives or the society we leave in. What we call modern technology is technically not so new in most cases. For example, mobile phone technology has evolved with years, nowadays we use smartphones which have been an advancement of an ordinary mobile phone.

Technology is applied to the roles each individual fulfills during life. We use technology on a daily basis to accomplish specific tasks or interests. Modern Technology increases human capabilities and this technology has evolved with years. What used to work before, might not be working now, it must have got old or got replaced by modern technology. Let’s look at a simple example in Transportation technology, this technology has evolved with years, we used to use steam powered trains now those have been replaced by electronic trains which move faster than steam trains.

Modern technology simplifies life in so many ways and everyone defines technology in their own way. To some people, it means complicated electronic devices. To others, it means the source of the radical changes that are happening in all phases of life. Others define technology as science applied to practical purposes. Some people fear to use technology while others see it as the source of longer and more complete lives.  Below I have listed detailed points on Advantages and Disadvantages of Modern Technology:



  • Easy Access to information: It has become very easy to get access to relevant information at any time anywhere. This has been possible because of modern technologies like broadband internet.  Lots of data is being published and indexed online, sites like Wikipedia and Youtube have great original content which can be used in research or entertainment.  Information is power and those who find information and use it well always succeed.  With smart gadgets like the iPad, iPhone, galaxy tablet, users can easily have access to information through these smart gadgets because they use the internet. So a user on a train can easily read breaking news while traveling, they can also buy and sell stocks while in the bedroom using the internet. These smart gadgets make it easy to access the internet and this simplifies the way we get information.

  • Encourages innovation and creativity – Since technology is challenging, it sparks the brain to work to its full potential.  In the past, it used to be very difficult to start a business, one had to have lots of capital and they even had limited access to business information. Today, it is very easy to start a business while at home. Let’s look at companies like which enable creative people to sell their works online, this encourages creativity. Another good example is which helps creative people get funds for their projects through crowdfunding. On this platform, creative developers post projects seeking funding from the community, this helps them generate lots of cash for their good ideas which latter leads to the creation of new Jobs.  The other creative works which have been facilitated by modern technology include  Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon,  etc

  • Improved communication:   Communication is like water to life. We can not develop without communication.  Modern technology has blessed us with advanced communication technology tools. These can include e-fax machines, electronic mail, mobile phones, video conferencing, instant text messaging applications, social networking applications. All these modern communication technology tools have simplified the way humans and businesses communicate.  I can easily talk to my relative overseas using a mobile phone or video chatting services like Skype.

  • The convenience of Traveling:  Modern transportation technology makes it very easy to travel long distances.  Transport is a very important both in our lives and in the business world.  Transportation technology has evolved with years. In the past, it used to be slow and expensive to move long distances. Nowadays, I can cover a 10 miles distance within a few minutes or hours  using electric trains or airplanes.

  • Improved housing and lifestyle: This is another great way how modern technology has simplified our lives. If you compare the type of housing we used to have in 1900 and the architecture of houses today, the difference is very big. New architectural technology has improved the types of housed we build nowadays.   People with money can afford town floating housed   and glass homes. Most of the items in our house are now automated, for example, doors use fingerprints which guarantee security.  Remote webcams which you can use to monitor what goes on at your home.

  • Improved Entertainment: Modern technology has played a big role in changing the entertainment industry.  Home entertainment has improved with the invention of video games and advance music and visual systems like smart televisions which can connect live to the internet so that a user can share what they’re watching with friends. Easy access and storage of music, services like iTunes allow users to purchase and download music on their iPods at a small cost, this is a win – win situation for both musicians and the users. Because musicians can easily sell their music via iTunes and the user can also have a wide selection of which music to buy without having troubles of going to a physical music store.

  • Efficiency and Productivity: Modern technology has helped businesses increase production. Humans are slow and sometimes they fail to deliver on time. So many businesses have integrated modern technology in their production line, most of the hard work has become so simple and the results are better than those of humans. Let’s look at a farmer who uses modern technology right from the day of preparing the farmland to the day of harvesting. They save a lot of time and money during this process.

  • Convenience in Education:  Learning is a process and it is part of our daily lives. Modern technology has made it simple for students to learn from anywhere through online education and mobile education.  Also, students now use modern technology in classrooms to learn better. For example, students use iPads to share visual lessons and examples with peers in the classroom. This has made learning more convenient and fan. Also new modern educational technologies support individual learning which gives a chance to students to learn on their own with no need of tutors.

  • Social Networking:   Modern technology has made it simple to discover our old friends and also discover new people to network with. This is a benefit to both individuals and businesses. Many businesses have embraced the social networking technology to interact with their customers.  Users of social networks can share information with friends, live chat with them and interact in all sorts of ways.

  • Changed the health industry: Nowadays most hospitals have implemented modern technology in surgical rooms, this has reduced on mistakes made by doctors. Humans can easily make mistakes because of work overload and stress factors. Also, the business community has developed health applications which can enable us to monitor our health and weight. These applications can be used on mobile phones, so users can have them at any time of the day.


  • Increased loneliness – Social Isolation is on the increase, people are spending more time playing video games, learning how to use new modern technologies, using social networks and they neglect their real life. Technology has replaced our old way of interacting. If a user can easily interact with 100 friends online, they will feel no need to going out to make real friends which at a later stage leads to loneliness.
  • Job Loss: Modern technology has replaced many humans; robots are doing the jobs which used to be done by humans. Many packing firms have employed robots on production lines to increase production and efficiency, this is good news for businesses because it helps them make more money and serve customers in time, but it is bad news to employees because they get replaced by a robot.
  • Competency – Increased dependency on modern tools like calculators has reduced on our creativity. You can find a student when they can solve a very simple mathematical equation without using a calculator. This affects the way this student uses their brains and reduces the level of creativity.
  • World destruction weapons: Modern technology has been the main aid in the increasing and endless wars. It aids the manufacturing of modern war weapons which will require testing. So when these weapons get into the hands of criminals, they will use them for their selfish reasons.

Great Benefits of Technology in Education

It can be defined as the use of different types of technologies in the learning experience which can result in the positive changes of pedagogy and teaching methods all over the world. Everyone can see the benefits that educational technology , and here are some of those mentioned below:

Access to information

Many years ago we couldn’t imagine that we can get to know new information without going out of the house. Mothers examined new recipes from the book that they borrow in the libraries. Fathers bought newspapers to learn the updated information from business, economy and society. Students all evenings spent in the libraries to write the report, project or academic paper. Today information is easily accessed thanks to the internet . Meanwhile, online courses are accessible to the students who are unable to attend traditional educational buildings because of health or other complications. It is a convenient way to study.

Help in protecting the environment

There are thousands of schools in every country. And it is a compulsory institution in every distant village. Now could you imagine how billions of paper we use to publish new books and copybooks. Due to technology in education, we are not to buy all these books. Actually, there now schools that were switched to the use designing computers for their lessons and libraries. It saves money and time when used thoughtfully.

Increase the popularity of distance learning

With development of such inventions like the internet, the popularity with educational technology is growing every day. Nowadays it is one of the most preferred methods of learning. Traditional lessons have been supplemented by virtual ones. Online classes include transferring files, chat rooms and even board of progress to follow the students’ success. Another benefit is that students can maintain a flexible schedule that is convenient for them (anytime, anywhere learning). It helps to combine distance education and work.

Easiness in teaching

There are various ways of improving teaching efficiency with technology in education. Thanks to the technology they have more than one way to keep an eye on the student’s progress. Moreover audio-visual presentation, wide-screen televisions, projectors can be used for improving the delivery of instruction to actually improve learning and increasing the comprehension level among the students.

Technology makes education enjoyable

We all know how difficult to engage the children in learning. However they enjoy the process when the instructor uses white board or touch screen technology in order to make classes more interactive and interesting. In that way it’s easy to attract the kid’s attention. By the way, the involving technology in the educational process makes education more enjoyable both for the instructors and the learners.

We shouldn’t underestimate the possibilities of educational technology in our modern society. Nowadays virtual classes are preferred by people all over the world. This form of education is really enjoyed by children, and many students have recently graduated from virtual High Schools.

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