NUR 514 Emerging Technology Brief
NUR 514 Emerging Technology Brief
Healthcare technology is any technology, including IT systems, medical devices, artificial intelligence, algorithms, cloud, and blockchain, developed to support healthcare organizations. Dramatic improvements in healthcare technology have expanded options for medical therapies and transformed how clinicians provide healthcare services. The purpose of this paper is to explore an emerging technology and discuss ethical or legal issues and the nurse’s informatics role with respect to the technology.
Overview of the Emerging Technology
Wearable devices are one of the merging healthcare technologies. These devices are comfortably worn on the body and are designed to allow healthcare providers to monitor a patient’s status during the day remotely. They also enable individuals to monitor their health and activity levels. Wearable devices are typically non-invasive and are developed by incorporating various sensors with wearable accessories like wristbands and smartwatches (Iqbal et al., 2021). They are linked with smartphones with health applications, which aid in monitoring an individual’s health status. Besides, they have attached sensors that collect information about a person’s health and environment and upload to a hospital’s server or databases. Wearable devices can improve healthcare quality by enabling providers to monitor a patient’s vital signs remotely, resulting in improved QoL and reduced healthcare costs.
Ethical or Legal Issues
Ethical and legal issues may arise since wearable devices have the potential risk of data privacy and security breach. Real-time monitoring of individuals’ health information through devices makes it susceptible to cyber-attacks (Pradhan et al., 2021). Health IT legislation requires organizations to maintain the privacy and security of patients’ health information obtained from the devices. The devices are associated with a risk of mishandling patients’ information, which may lead to legal consequences.
Nurse’s Informatics Role In Regard To the Technology
Nurse informatics has a basic understanding of the type of data available from devices and appreciates the value of this data for patients. They assess the data tracked in the devices and work with other providers to determine which data is worth monitoring in the EHR (Bove, 2019). For instance, the informatics nurse can help by adding questions about the wearable device use in the initial visit data, which can help encourage patient data sharing. In addition, nurse informatics has the role of educating patients on how to use wearable devices and clinicians on remotely monitoring patients’ health status through the devices.
Role of Workflow Analysis, Human Factors, and User-Centered Design Concepts
The role of workflow analysis in wearable technology ensures the software operates within existing environments concealing patients’ information behind a workflow transaction server. The server collects information from the user and the health information system to give the user feedback on their current action. Human factors determine the design since it requires considering aspects within physical, cognitive, and emotional ergonomics (Francés-Morcillo et al., 2018). The role of User-Centered Design is to influence the design of wearable devices in terms of comfort, wearability, ease of use, affordability, and reliability.
Wearable technology includes devices worn in the body that enable providers to monitor patients’ status remotely, particularly vital signs and activity levels. This has the potential to improve the quality of healthcare and lower medical costs. Legal issues of data privacy and security breach can arise with respect to wearable technology. Nurse informatics has the role of guiding providers on how to use information data obtained from the devices.
Bove, L. A. (2019). Increasing patient engagement through the use of wearable technology. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 15(8), 535–539. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nurpra.2019.03.018
Francés-Morcillo, L., Morer-Camo, P., Rodríguez-Ferradas, M. I., & Cazón-Martín, A. (2018). The role of user-centered design in smart wearable systems design process. In DS 92: Proceedings of the DESIGN 2018 15th International Design Conference (pp. 2197-2208). https://doi.org/10.21278/idc.2018.0405
Pradhan, B., Bhattacharyya, S., & Pal, K. (2021). IoT-Based applications in healthcare devices. Journal of Healthcare Engineering, 2021, 6632599. https://doi.org/10.1155/2021/6632599
Iqbal, S. M., Mahgoub, I., Du, E., Leavitt, M. A., & Asghar, W. (2021). Advances in healthcare wearable devices. Npj Flexible Electronics, 5(1), 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41528-021-00107-x
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The drastically advancing technology in the evolving world plays a significant role in solving healthcare problems and improving the quality of care provided at a reduced cost. Recent technology has not only been beneficial to the healthcare providers in their line of duty but also improves the well-being of the diverse population. Such advanced technology utilized in healthcare include genomics, robotics, wearable sensors, management system, and telehealth (Wang, & Kricka, 2018). One point of focus is the utilization of three-dimensional (3D) printing as an emerging technology that has displayed significant impact in overcoming current healthcare barriers.
Overview of 3D Printing
The 3D printing technology, previously referred to as rapid prototype technology, enables customized fabrication of three-dimensional constructs based on images obtained from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) or the computer-aided design (CAD) software. The main purpose of this technology in healthcare is the fabrication of anatomical replicas. Models produced by the 3D printing machines are currently utilized by healthcare professionals in enhancing disease diagnosis, treatment clarification, and practice in certain surgical interventions to enhance outcomes. The models also help in promoting patient education as clinicians utilize them in demonstrating certain medical conditions and the available interventions for the treatment of such conditions (Hornick, 2017). 3D printing is also utilized in orthopedics, in manufacturing custom-made prosthetic limbs which help in promoting movement hence improving the quality of life of the patient. The prosthetic ensures that the specifications of the model match the actual anatomical structure of the user.
Despite the benefits associated with 3D printing in the current healthcare system, the technology tends to raise several ethical issues. The main ethical issue is justice and access, as most 3D products are costly, hence only affordable by the rich, such as prosthetic limbs. The other ethical issue is safety. Medical professionals are trained to adopt the evidence-based practice to enhance the safety of the patient and promote well-being (Ripley et al., 2017). However, limited studies have revealed the safety of custom-made prosthetics despite their effectiveness in solving current healthcare problems. As such, more studies need to be conducted to ascertain the safety of 3D products such as prosthetic limbs among patients across all ages, from children to the geriatric population.
Improving Access to Care, Patient Safety and Quality
Several advantages are associated with 3D printing in the current healthcare system. However, with maximum utilization of this technology, patient safety and access to quality and effective care can be attained. For instance, enhancing pre-surgical practice using 3D models can help hasten the surgical procedure with increased accuracy and safety of the patient (Wang & Kricka, 2018). Additionally, the technology will help shorten theatre time per patient hence increasing the accessibility for more patients undergoing similar procedures. Lastly, 3D printing can help enhance the patient outcome, as demonstrations using actual models that are similar to the patient’s anatomical structure can help boost their understanding.
The incorporation of technology in the current healthcare system has played a significant role in solving healthcare problems. Different forms of technology have been utilized in promoting the safety and quality of care provided at a reduced cost. For instance, the utilization of 3D printing has helped enhance diagnostic procedures, surgical interventions, and the use of prosthetic limbs for those who have undergone amputation. Further advancements are expected in the future to attain safe and readily accessible healthcare services.
Hornick, J. (2017). 3D printing in Healthcare. Journal of 3D printing in medicine, 1(1), 13-17. https://doi.org/10.2217/3dp-2016-0001
Liaw, C. Y., & Guvendiren, M. (2017). Current and emerging applications of 3D printing in medicine. Biofabrication, 9(2), 024102. DOI: 10.1088/1758-5090/aa7279.
Ripley, B., Levin, D., Kelil, T., Hermsen, J. L., Kim, S., Maki, J. H., & Wilson, G. J. (2017). 3D printing from MRI data: harnessing strengths and minimizing weaknesses. Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 45(3), 635-645. https://doi.org/10.1002/jmri.25526
Wang, P., & Kricka, L. J. (2018). Current and emerging trends in point-of-care technology and strategies for clinical validation and implementation. Clinical chemistry, 64(10), 1439-1452. https://doi.org/10.1373/clinchem.2018.287052