Interactive Technology in Healthcare Education

Healthcare professionals are under pressure to remember, utilize and absorb vast amounts of new or changing information in increasing volume. This surge has led to new and improved computer-based tools for many healthcare activities and to an explosion in the marketplace of tools used in instruction and education of healthcare workers. This article explains the use of interactive technology in healthcare and how this benefits instruction and education of healthcare professionals.

Digital systems that capture images from documents, 35-mm slides, physical samples or specimens, or virtually anything that the camera lens can see, is found in interactive technology. In healthcare, transmitting these images to computers with simple devices or software that will allow the display and integration of educational material into the training environment is easily accommodated.

The method for delivering these images or documents, usually via PowerPoint presentations, photography, videotape or audio presentations can turn a standard Windows PC into a dynamic, interactive, teaching tool. Depending on the type of training environment needed, interactive presentations can be found in the use of liquid crystal displays, large plasma displays, rear projection systems or even whiteboards. Educators can now tailor their courses to their audience’s expectations and needs using any number of these presentation forms.

Effectiveness of interactive learning systems is largely dependent upon the type or form of delivery used in combination with software that is easily used by both novice and expert users. Smaller systems will use a pen or stylus vs. a computer and a mouse where larger systems may use elaborate videoconferencing systems where many participants can be in the virtual classroom at the same time. Many healthcare organizations already utilize small and large types of communication systems routinely in the delivery of quality, high-tech healthcare to patients and their community. Adapting this equipment or having it serve dual purposes is an easy and cost-effective transition.

The era of the blackboards and chalk dust is now a memory for most of us. Interactive technology tools permit the educator to draw on, write on, and annotate data right on the screen as part of their dynamic presentation. In addition, the educator can now annotate their presentation and then save, print and even distribute by email, the contents of the class session to all participants.

The mobility that interactive technology gives the educator in the virtual classroom lends itself to unlimited types of uses and methods for delivery of high quality, interactive, sessions. Participants, too, benefit from easy access to the sessions, improved and more accurate note-taking that can be used later for study and reference. This all leads to greater retention of the learning objectives and enhanced or improved application in the field once the participant returns to the office or department.

Healthcare professionals should look for educators and learning systems that combine ergonomics with interactive technologies that integrate use the user of free text, annotation, images and video clips with the traditional printed materials. Transitions between screens or programs, linking to the Internet and class sessions, downloading or printing of the course materials and saving of files or information for future classes or reference use should be easy and simple to use. The presentation and delivery of the educational material should be efficient and easy to use and tailored to use by both healthcare professionals that have varying levels of technological skills.

Regardless of whether healthcare workers are new to the workplace or seasoned professionals, the learning systems used should assist them with learning new skills, procedures, diagnostic techniques and terminology. Communication between healthcare workers in both local and distant communities is on the rise and the use of interactive technology enables the participants to collaborate and share critical data and information.

Interactive technology can also benefit the bottom line and reduce costs formerly associated with travel or staffing and resources to send workers to local, regional or national meetings. Interactive presentations and systems can also attract and hold the participants interest and attention, enhancing their learning and retention gained from the course(s).

It is no wonder, then, that interactive technology has gained such a strong and prominent position in the education of healthcare workers. Healthcare workers looking for either online, distance or local training should evaluate the presentation and delivery systems used in order to maximize their learning experience.

Of Computers And The Medical System

Computers and technology have long played a role in the medical system. In more recent years, however, computers have started to become an increasingly relied upon method for helping to keep patient records straight and for keeping people healthy. In fact, the use of computer sciences combined with the information sciences in the medical field has become so prevalent that a term has been developed to describe this merging of fields: health informatics.

Health informatics, also referred to as medical informatics, focuses primarily on the use of computers and information science to help acquire, store, and retrieve information in both biomedicine and health in general. This may involve communication amongst and between medical facilities and professionals, retrieving current information regarding treatment methods for certain disorders, and even helping medical professionals diagnose a disease. It may also involve the sharing of patient information amongst specialists in order to give the patient the best treatment possible.

With the use of computers in the medical system becoming increasingly common, the United States congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPAA) in 1006. This act set forth certain regulations and guidelines regarding keeping track of medical records with specialized software. The primary goal of the act was to maintain patient privacy while still allowing medical professionals to take advantage of the conveniences technology provides.

Since then, the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) was formed through the United States Department of Health and Human Services. This non-profit organization has developed a set of standards regarding electronic health records and the networks that support them. Those vendors that meet these standards receive certification through the organization. In 2006, the organization certified 22 electronic health record products that have been approved for use.

Computers are playing an increasingly important role within the medical field. With their help, medical professionals are capable of providing more effective and efficient care to their patients. With the many standards, guidelines, and regulations set forth through government bodies and organizations, the practice is likely to become even more widespread while simultaneously protecting the rights of patients.

The Commercialization of Virtual Reality Computers and Technology

The rate or progress for Virtual Reality is indeed stunning. So too is the commercialization of products, services and potential applications. For instance researchers, teachers, politicians and innovators are always stacked with projects that need a Virtual Reality Technicians skill sets to the audience, customer or funding groups better visualize.

Of course as things move forward much faster standardization is also coming to a head. Many VR consultants and leading edge thinkers speak of granularity, verbs and software programming methodologies, but none are completely certain that is how things will work in the future in VR, yet we all see this is the push. It is amazing all the competing VR standards, theories and directions the market place is working with now. It is pretty insightful and although 4 years old now is pretty much on the money.

One of the reasons I make this statement is because someone mentioned in an article about the slicing of food on the kitchen in virtual reality and the sound of the knife in EOX (basically that is surround-a-sound) and the granularity (individual animated pixels) dividing the object and yes all that is good for action sequences, explosions, car crashes in video games, VR Life II type things and such, or simulators for training, but there is an issue with combinations of multiple scenarios, with AI and the size of the program, current bandwidth, storage devices, etc.

We can talk all about the future as the VR Technicians see it and we can discuss all the applications for Government, Military, Business, Healthcare, Earth Sciences, Space, Training, Psychology, Sports, Sex, Politics, Distance Learning, Sales or V-travel and yet in the end a standard is needed so that the theories, methods and philosophies can all be on the same page to move the ball down the field and attract the capital needed to bring the VR World into a blurred reality with the real world and to make a profit in doing so. ROI is what the real world is about.

We must never forget that as we create the future Utopia in Virtual Reality. I certainly hope this article is of interest and that is has propelled thought. The goal is simple; to help you in your quest to be the best in 2007. I thank you for reading my many articles on diverse subjects, which interest you.

Can Cloud Computing Take On The Healthcare Industry?

How Cloud Computing Will Help Healthcare Industry

Implementing and utilizing technology will offer healthcare practices significant benefits, with Cloud computing offering better access to healthcare services and information that would subsequently result in improved outcomes and increased cost savings. Other advantage is that healthcare data has specific requirements such as security, confidentiality, availability to authorized users, traceability of access, reversibility of data, and long-term preservation.

A recent Healthcare IT News survey found 48 percent of respondents planning to incorporate cloud computing into their health IT endeavours; 33 percent had already taken the plunge. But 19 percent answered with a “no”.

Cloud technology in healthcare market has different models; applications, deployment models, service models, pricing models, and components. Applications in healthcare are of two main types, namely,

Clinical Information Systems (CIS)
Non Clinical Information Systems (NCIS)

CIS includes EMR, CPOE, PACS, RIS, LIS, PIS, and others while NCIS includes revenue cycle management, Automatic Patient Billing, cost accounting, payroll management, and claims management.

The healthcare industry is slowly adopting public clouds due to its highly regulated nature whereas the private and hybrid cloud models have a higher affinity.

Cloud computing is a utility based or pay-per-use type of a service and the market can be categorized by two types of pricing models offered by the service vendors, the pay-as-you-go model and the subscription-based or spot pricing model, while keeping operating costs to a minimum, covering only the essentials. Additionally patient data stored in the Cloud, health professionals and hospitals will no longer need to invest in storage systems.

Today, many pharmacology vendors including Eli Lilly, Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer have started embracing cloud computing and major cloud vendors like Amazon, Oracle and IBM have developed pharma-specific clinical research cloud offerings with a goal of lowering the cost and development of new drug.

Cloud based solutions have their own pros and cons. A solution should be selected based on the features and needs of the organization; not based on whether it is cloud based or on-premise. Most of the cloud vendors like Microsoft, Amazon, Dell, etc provide Healthcare Cloud with custom settings and user specified options, which help increase productivity.

Ultimately, Cloud computing helps physicians to provide better patient care at a lower cost without sacrificing their quality of work and productivity.

Following are the Top Cloud Computing Providers which helps your business needs and to reduce your company costing.

Amazon Web Services
Rackspace
CenturyLink/Savvis
Salesforce.com
Verizon
Joyent
Citrix
Vmware
Microsoft
Bluelock

Mary is an experienced writer and covers topics related to Mobile Solutions and Cloud Computing. She is specialized in writing articles on Mobile Device Management, Mobile CRM, Mobile BI, Cloud Solutions.