Advanced Health Informatics
With technology taking toll in most sectors in the cooperate world, the health sector has been not been an exceptional field. The rise and overwhelming adoption of advanced health informatics, has been the most important
and integral move that should see the health sector advance greatly. However, it has not been so easy fitting technology and making a merge out of it.
Advanced health informatics facilitates sharing of information from one health facility to another. Records are collected from an individual level and stored in a medical database. This information can then be shared from one facility to another which may also integrate to nation to nation. It follows the notion of making it easy for one’s medical history to be available anywhere. This prevents cases of ill diagnostics in case an individual is found to be in a certain country with a medical condition. Even though the medical records are available, there are moves that assert confidentiality of the history by medical insurance.
Biomedical engineers developed this systems in order to eliminate the traditional way of storing patient’s information. The method was crude and data security was not a guarantee in the event that there was any form of destruction that would prevail in the place where it lies. Tragedies such as fire occurrence, floods, theft among others were those risks that had to be taken in the past. The engineers figured that by designing the health information systems was the best way to protect and safeguard such information. Making it available in local, national and global grids further enhanced the security of such medical data.
However, much as we may have solved this security problem, making the information available and keeping track is not an easy accomplishment for any practitioner. It desires that there be a regular routine to facilitate updates from one system to another. There are problems that have arisen in the event of updating these records. The major contribution to this problem is the adoption of different data tools and reporting systems. What makes it even harder is that adoption of these systems normally vary from hospital to hospital. This will desire that the operators at a higher level have different data collection systems that can be used to collect the information from lower levels. Achieving uniformity has therefore been hard to achieve.
It has therefore made it very hard to track individual medical records since the data systems are variant from one region to another. This section is essential in medical research where the cases being researched against becomes hard to produce instantaneously. Therefore, more electronic access media is desirable for the matter. It is funny therefore how one problem culminates into another one.
Security concerns that the engineers thought to be solving has even turned out to be more critical in the real sense. With cybercrimes on the rise, it is hard to properly define the nature of protection that needs adopted. Most of the information stored in form of cyber storage is very volatile and vulnerable. People may use unethical hacking skills to damage the lives of patients without much control of it. It makes it hard to find a permanent solution that will help
oust the problem. This is because programming and computer science is a very dynamic field. Constant research and innovation of more robust means of controlling hackers has to be done continuously. Cases of viral attacks have also caused major setbacks in the technological advancements not only in the health informatics sector but also other fields that deal with data collection and storage.
Much as we have seen major progress in the biomedical informatics sector, most individuals have had a hard time trying to assess the feasibility of the field itself. In their journal, Jack Smith, Elmer Bernstam and Todd Johnson have appreciated the progress made in
the sector but were however critical of the fact that there had been more resources were being allocated to the informatics sector other than focusing on how to improve health care rather than computerizing it. It is my guessing that they must have been afraid that attention of studying flow of information in clinics was being outrun by computerization of information. However, we biomedical engineers need to involve more computer Scientists so that there is a proper ethical solution to the attacks we discussed earlier. After we have made sure that there is enough data security, more focus should now be how to use computers to improve healthcare other than information sharing only.