Importance of Information Technology (IT) in Healthcare Industry

As forecasted by the U.S. Association of Medical Colleges, there will be shortage of 130,000 physicians in the U.S. by 2025. This prediction gives a hint on how medical care has to rely on various other domains like technology to cope up with this shortage in upcoming years.


Blending of IT in healthcare domain has already resulted in various improvements like data management and self-sufficiency of patients in recent years.

Just like the humongous range of IT and healthcare sector themselves, their merger too has vast possibilities dedicated to improvement of human life.

Let's look at various facets which put a light on the role of IT sector in healthcare.

Tracking systems

Use of tracking systems is not limited only to check the position of automobiles. Hospitals too are exploiting its potential by implementing this technology in various methods of healthcare related processes.

Tracking software and even radio frequency identification (RFID) systems are used by doctors in hospitals to identify the exact position of the patient. Also, patients can track their medical records effectively through this technology.

Other than being a source of process automation, tracking system software has also supported the industry in minimizing the errors in multiple processes.

Healthcare apps

The great wave of mobile application development has also resulted in creation of apps which help in searching suitable doctors and booking an appointment with them. More robust apps like DoctorOnDemand even allow you to visit the doctor through video consultation using that magical device in your hand. Some other important apps (not free though) include LiveHealth Online, Vida Health Coach and HealthTap.

Success of these apps not only inspires developers to put their focus on healthcare department but it has also increased the reach of the doctors to cover patients across the globe.

Interactive voice response

This revolutionary technology utilizes DMTF tones or voice recognition ability to generate effective response from the software. IVR is also implemented for delivering pre-recorded message to target audience on phone calls.

IVR has been successfully used by medical service providers to generate daily report of individuals suffering from medical conditions like diabetes, alcohol dependency and psychological disorders.

Clinical trials, which are an integral portion of healthcare industry, also utilize IVR to gather and distribute data.

That's not all! Hospitals can now immediately drop time-sensitive information to patients without employing manual procedures by implementing IVR.

Self-service kiosks

A modern day patient prefers being self-sufficient by limiting its dependency on hospital staff. Self-service kiosks have appeared as breakthrough technology which can be used by customers for registration process in hospital. Also, connecting with the doctor or other medical personnel becomes easy for patients through these kiosks.

Hospitals, on the hand, also are able to decrease their dependency on hospital staff for these clerical processes. Though, various experts from medical field believe that patients should also have choice of taking support of human staff for completion of these processes.


Advancements in bioinformatics field have resulted in prodigious improvements in the healthcare industry.

Bioinformatics is basically implementation of computer programs for studying, management and analyzing of biological information (mainly proteins and genetic material). This segment is mainly dedicated to research and innovations for healthcare department.

Some major applications of bioinformatics include drug discovery and development, genetic treatment, molecular medicine and personalized medicine.

Programming languages which are inevitable part of bioinformatics include Python, Perl, PyScripter and BioPython. Bioinformatics tools which have become a milestone for developments in healthcare include:

  • European Molecular Biology Open Software Suite (EMBOSS)
  • RasMol
  • Clustalw
  • Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST)

Virtual reality

I doubt there can be more useful application of gaming technology then its implementation associated with healthcare. Virtual reality is no more a part of sci-fi movies or novels as it has actually started to change the scenario of human health. Its best application comes when medical students are being trained for surgeries as practice can be done without any harm to the patients.

Another vital implementation of virtual reality can be training people with autism to enhance their social skills. Distraction of pain by creating virtual world is also an application of this technology on which various doctors from University of Washington were already performing research.

Social networking for doctors

Social media which connects an individual with someone sitting 12421 miles (maximum distance between two places on Earth) away has transformed us personally and professionally. This form of networking has also casted its spell on the species of medical world as there are social media websites exclusively for medical personnel.

Top social media websites which are popular among people from medical world include:

These websites have brought doctors closer to each other which ultimately resulted in easy exchange of precious medical knowledge for the betterment of the society.

Job Opportunities with merger of IT and healthcare

Along with modifying the scenario of healthcare domain, integration of information technology has also resulted in creation of various new job profiles for individuals having a blend of skills from both these domains. Some important job profiles include clinical application trainers, meaningful use business analyst, and clinical informatics.


This productive blend of information technology and healthcare will continue to prove a blessing for mankind with creation of futuristic technologies and computer programs in upcoming years.

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