How does technology improve patient care?

It’s quite impressive to think about how technology has impacted the way we deliver medicine. Not only have advancements improved our diagnostic and therapeutic modalities, it has changed the way information is collected, synthesized and delivered. Hospital administrators are harnessing this power to increase efficiency, optimize cost savings, and improve patient safety. Take for example, mobile applications; with the large majority of clinicians owning a smartphone, mobile applications have become a popular resource as a decision-support tool. Antibiotic prescribing in particular, has become a growing focus in light of rising antimicrobial resistance and limited therapeutic options.

Reflecting on my time in high school, I was fascinated by computers. I enjoyed learning about how they worked, and how applications could be created with lines of programming code. Although I ultimately pursued a career in healthcare, I imagine I would have entered the realm of computer sciences had I chosen the other fork in the road. However, it’s exciting to see the integration of technology with medicine, and the plentiful opportunities for synergism between the two sciences.

At the beginning of residency, an infectious diseases physician brief spoke about the utility of having a mobile application which could provide timely recommendations to clinicians on choosing an appropriate antibiotic for the treatment of a suspected infection. At that moment, I realized my unique skill set in programming and medicine could be combined to improve the delivery of healthcare.

Shortly thereafter, I had the privilege of meeting with the antimicrobial stewardship committee at our hospital and learning about their interventions, and exciting accomplishments. Using their existing content, I developed a web-based mobile application to deliver stewardship-based clinical summaries, targeted for trainees completing residency.

It’s not often that a personal hobby can be combined with one’s career, but when it happens it’s a wonderful feeling. Hearing from trainees about how useful they found the application, and the impact it has made on improving their knowledge motivates me to think about others way in which informatics can improve medicine. I look forward to seeing what technology has in store for us in the future.