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Technology and Public Health

According to the Health Technology Resolution of the WHO World Health Assembly, health technologies can be defined as the application of well-organized knowledge and skills in the form of machines, devises, vaccines, procedures and system developed to improve life quality and solve health problems.  Technology has improved and completely transformed the medical office in the public health sectors across the world. Health care practiced today cannot be virtually recognized from the one practiced in the past centuries (Oliver T Mytton, Adriana , Reiner , & Kevin , 2011).

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New diagnostic aids have been introduced in the field in a wide range, from rapid tests for common diseases like malaria, to high tech scanning equipment like the MRI. Preventive practices like vaccination and also therapeutic inventions like laparoscopic surgery have greatly advanced. Other sectors in the public health care have advanced as well. New technologies that support the delivery of medical care such as telemedicine have emerged as well. There has also emerged the use of advanced electronic medical records. In addition, the internet has put an immense power and has provided a wide knowledge base, which is open to both the patients and the health care practitioners. Technology has also facilitated and advanced patient safety from the former design of single use auto disable syringes to the new electronic prescribers (Oliver T Mytton, Adriana , Reiner , & Kevin , 2011).

Introduction of Technology in the Medical Office

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The new technology has proved to have the potential to improve the quality of healthcare services, increase the efficiency in delivery, and in guaranteeing safety of health care delivery.  However, introduction of technology has come with challenges as well. New technology introduction is a sensitive process in critical healthcare settings. This implies that its introduction can see the emergence of new risks and the unforeseen danger. New technology can either be contextually new, or conceptually new. The conceptually new technology can be referred to as novel, and also, has only developed recently as the new technology that is genuine and has been recently invented and developed.

The laparoscopic surgery in the 1990s can be termed as a conceptually new technology. Its safety profile was not known and its potential uses were still in development during its introduction into the system. On the other hand contextual new technology is whereby technology is introduced to a totally new environment. In most cases, the technology is new to the staff and the settings. A good example can be the introduction of angiography to a regional hospital in an underdeveloped country with no experience of angiography whatsoever. Adequate training is essential and very necessary in such a case. This will help them learn about how the new technology will function and operate safely in such a particular setting.

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Safety is a vital measure during implementation of new technologies. Any judgment on safety should consider the prevalence and severity of the problem that it is intended to solve. In this context, safety can be defined as the condition of being safe from undergoing or causing hurt, loss or injury. Patient safety is mainly concerned about avoiding and preventing medical errors that might result into adverse conditions or hard the patient. 

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