3D printing and EMRs: Will they connect soon?
The day cosmetic surgeons can print molds directly from their EHR software may not be too far ahead of us. Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, has already launched a master’s program teaching the core principals of bioprinting; they’re focusing on using 3D printers to grow human tissue. In the same study, Healthcare IT News also mentions the increased savings resulting from the use of 3D printers in healthcare practices.
The ways 3D printers may offer medical advantages
The increasing technological capabilities remind us that we are living in an era where the seemingly impossible becomes just the opposite in relatively short periods of time. As the use of 3D printing becomes more prevalent in common situations over the coming years, the uses for such technology will encompass more than we can imagine. Not only will we be able to grow human tissue from such devices, but we may be able to use 3D printing for the construction of molds, vaccines, and possibly even medications. While it may seem far fetched, cell phones were barely a reality in the late 1980s and now we often see people with more than one.
Other uses for this technology can be printing actual medical devices such as endoscopes, tubing, adhesives, and more. It’s quite possible that this technology will be used for printing creams, gels, and other healthcare related substances. The image above showing a human heart in the process of printing may not be too far off the grid either.
Printing from your EMR
Although it’s not quite there yet, let’s not rule out the option of printing directly from your EHR in the near future. With the click-of-a-button, everything mentioned in this article and more may eventually become a reality as the printing is done right in front of our eyes.
Across the health care industry, providers are already preparing for a massive shift in medical coverage, as the baby boomer generation is heading into retirement age. In the next few decades, geriatric care will become a major focus for care providers due to various factors.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, modern medicine has extended the life spans of many Americans – which means that the population of seniors is expected to double in the next 25 years to 72 million individuals. In fact, according to the CDC, 20 percent of the U.S. population will be comprised of seniors by 2030. Clearly, physicians need to take steps now to come up with care strategies for treating this demographic, which includes the adoption of intelligent medical software.
Senior health care needs require EHRs.
Many seniors move from acute care settings and often face chronic illness at the same time, which means that health IT infrastructure should not fall short. Some of the biggest health crises in the U.S., including diabetes, heart disease and obesity, will become quite challenging for the elderly in the next few years.
There are several IMS benefits that can assist providers with optimal senior care, including:
- Chronic care management EHR features
- Scalable solutions that adapt to practices large and small
- ICD-10 compliant software
- A single database for EHR and practice management
- Specialty templates that adjust to the myriad challenges of senior care, including osteoporosis, arthritis, emphysema, hypertension, COPD, diabetes and other chronic illnesses
- E-prescribing options that allow providers to keep better track of medications
- Referral management capabilities for specialists
Senior care will become one of the key challenges facing the U.S. medical system in the next few decades. As such, physicians need to be prepared to treat this growing population with the best possible health IT advancements, including IMS.