Healthcare technology – What it is, definition and concept

That is, if a technology has a direct impact on our own health, either totally or partially, it is considered health technology.

It is worth mentioning that a certain type of technology can be sanitary and, in turn, belong to another branch.

Characteristics of health technologies

This type of technology mainly seeks to prevent, cure or, in the most extreme case, transplant or rebuild a part of the human body. In general, the ultimate motivation of health technologies is to be, above all, effective in the face of a health problem or threat.

If we refer to the prevention part, vaccines are the main reference. If, on the other hand, we refer to the cure (in a vulgar way), drugs are the main banner. In another order are transplants and reconstructions, the result of a problem that has not been able to be avoided or cured in a normal way.

Examples are the malformations that a person may have before birth or injuries that require surgery, if applicable.

Types of health technologies

According to the objective or the function they may have, we can classify them as follows:

  1. Preventive: They try to prevent and reinforce against a possible infection or discomfort via immunization and vaccines. This type of health technology can be related to environmental factors.
  2. Diagnostic: In this case, this technology focuses on the patient’s own diagnosis and monitoring. In addition, it also includes non-invasive treatments.
  3. Therapeutics: It consists of research and development of surgeries, transplants, reconstruction and robotics, with regard to the surgical part. Regarding the non-surgical part, advances in stem cells and alternative or psychosocial therapies are also part of therapeutic health technologies.
  4. Diagnosticotherapeutics: They are based, as their name suggests, on a combination of diagnostic and therapeutic technologies. Some of these are radiology, molecular biology or radiopharmaceuticals, among others.
  5. Organizational: Technologies of this type are usually multidisciplinary, and the health sector was not going to be an exception. This technology treats information systems, as well as their transmission, clinical history or other administrative processes within the health sector.
  6. Knowledge and quality management: Oriented to the educational field and general knowledge, in this section health guides or proposals are developed.
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As can be seen, although they are different technologies, each one with its specific approach, if applicable, they can be combined to face a common problem, or they can be different solutions to the same problem.

Examples of applications of healthcare technology

To expose the use of health technology, two cases will be presented below:

Case 1. Given a patient who has completely fractured his femur, what technologies can be useful for his recovery?

The answer would mainly consist of surgery and reconstruction, which are encompassed by therapeutic health technologies. Later, in the recovery phase, preventive and diagnostic technologies can help in the monitoring and recovery of muscle strength in the affected leg.

Case 2. In a certain hospital, the management of information in general is not well computerized, nor is there an order or protocol in certain situations. What technologies can participate to solve this problem?

In this case, those of an organizational and quality management type can help create processes and manage information efficiently and effectively.

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