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Exploring the Types of Health Information Technology and Their Uses

Digital technology is helping health professionals streamline processes, but what kinds of health IT are being used and how?

Mical DuBrow profile
By Mical DeBrow
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Edited by Nelsy Mtsweni
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Fact-check by C8 Staff

Published December 24, 2023.

A doctor holding an AI-powered device revolutionizing healthcare onboarding

Health Information Technology makes providing healthcare services more efficient and more cost-effective. That's why the health IT market is growing at such a rapid rate, predicted to rise almost 20% each year.

There are new tools and tech solutions regularly hitting the market and being adopted into hospitals and care facilities. Below, we'll take a look at some of the key types of health IT solutions that can positively impact patients and practitioners alike, and explore examples of their uses in the clinical setting.

Meet the Expert

Mical DeBrow is an accomplished healthcare leader and clinician with extensive expertise spanning pharma, healthcare payers and providers, and healthcare information technology.

What is Healthcare Information Technology?

Healthcare Information Technology (IT) is the use of technology to manage, share, and analyze health information. It harnesses the power of digital information and technology to enhance patient care, improve safety, and streamline healthcare delivery.

4 Types of Healthcare IT Solutions

1. Electronic Health Records

EHRs form the backbone of modern healthcare, providing clinicians with up-to-date patient information. As of 2021, 88% of U.S. office-based physicians use some form of EHR. This technology has significantly improved the efficiency of healthcare delivery. It eliminates the need for clinicians to review literature or patient records manually, so it can potentially reduce and prevent medical errors in manual data capturing and filing.

The global EHR market will reach $38.3 billion by 2025, indicating the growing reliance on this technology in healthcare.

Uses of EHRs

  • Patient history: EHRs provide a comprehensive record of a patient’s medical history, including diagnoses, medications, treatment plans, and test results.
  • Decision support: EHRs can be integrated with clinical decision support systems to provide healthcare providers with evidence-based treatment recommendations.
  • Care coordination: EHRs can facilitate communication and coordination among different healthcare providers involved in a patient’s care. This is particularly useful in managing chronic conditions that require the involvement of multiple specialists.

2. Knowledge Management Systems

Knowledge management in healthcare IT involves creating a central hub of clinical information that healthcare professionals can easily access and share. It ensures that healthcare providers have the latest and most accurate information when and where they need it. This leads to improved patient care and outcomes and reduced cost of care.

Benefits of Knowledge Management Systems

  • Efficient operational work: The purpose of healthcare knowledge management is to improve how healthcare organizations function, through more efficient operational work.
  • Informed decision-making: With a knowledge management system, healthcare providers have instant access to research, best practices, and in-house guidelines, which greatly enhances the ability to make an accurate diagnosis and develop an effective treatment plan.
  • Improving internal communications: Healthcare knowledge platforms allow providers to share information about patient symptoms, treatments, and medical histories, without compromising doctor/patient confidentiality.

C8 Health’s platform centralizes, digitizes, and visualizes all point-of-care guidance, providing easy access to the entire knowledge base of departments and hospitals, available to the entire team, on any device.

It also offers automatic notifications that alert the care team of any changes in guidance. By streamlining access to critical information, C8 Health enhances knowledge dissemination, promotes best practices, and ultimately improves patient care.

» See how C8 Health can make life easier for your medical team.

3. Medical Imaging

Medical imaging technologies, such as X-rays and scans, have become increasingly prevalent in healthcare. These systems can leverage AI and machine learning to interpret images, enhancing diagnostic accuracy by highlighting areas of concern.

For instance, thanks to AI technology, mammogram reviews can now be completed almost 30 times faster than before, with an accuracy rate of nearly 99%, meaning biopsies are less required.

Uses of Medical Imaging

4. Remote Monitoring

Remote monitoring has become an integral part of healthcare, with the global market for wearable healthcare devices expected to reach $46.6 billion by 2025.

These devices such as wearables and sensors, collect and transmit vital signs, activity levels, and other health metrics to a secure cloud platform, allowing clinicians to monitor patients remotely and proactively intervene when necessary.

Uses of Remote Monitoring

  • Chronic and acute condition management: Remote monitoring can be used to treat both chronic and acute conditions, enabling clinicians to monitor patients in-between clinic visits or when in-person care is not possible.
  • Data collection: Devices—like weight scales, pulse oximeters, blood glucose meters, blood pressure monitors, and heart monitors—collect physiological data in real time, providing valuable insights into a patient’s health status.

» Here's how knowledge management systems can reduce healthcare costs.

The Future of Health Information Technology

Health IT has transformed healthcare delivery, improving efficiency, accuracy, and patient engagement. However, it is essential to address the privacy and cybersecurity concerns to ensure this technology's safe and effective use.

The integration of health IT in healthcare workflows will continue to evolve, promising a future where technology and healthcare go hand in hand to deliver the best patient care. This is why companies like C8 Health were created: to bridge the knowledge gap in healthcare and make best practices available to healthcare workers everywhere.

Their user-friendly platform makes it easy for healthcare professionals to access the knowledge they need when they need it, saving valuable time.

» Make your organization's knowledge accessible to everyone on the team with this solution.