Tracking Technology in Hospitals
Table of Contents
Tracking Technology in Hospitals
Tracking is the close identification and following of events, people, objects or animals in their locations and movements at any given time. The technique originated from ancient days when people applied it during hunting and gathering, wars, scientists, and investigators (Liebenberg, Louw, & Elbroch, 2010, p. v.). Tracking and trailing are interlaced with several elements like being alert and finding the right information about desired movements. While tracking, there are specific parts, maybe of the body or specific identification, of concern that trackers use. In healthcare, tracking reveals the whereabouts of patients. Numerous concerns arise on the effectiveness of tracking in health care services. As some argue on the benefits, others disagree with the use of the same technology. To show clear information on the issue, this paper identifies the different uses of tracking technology in health, the benefits improvements it brings to public health and safety and issues on individual health.
This paper identifies the different concerns in tracking technology. It identifies the origin of tracking, current uses of tracking, benefits of tracking and the future of tracking technology. All these gear towards healthcare systems with a leaf borrowed from other sectors that apply the technology to manage their activities.
Tracking technology received a boost when countries implemented tracking to identify animal locations. An integration of the same followed in health care. In almost all the fields and disciplines in the economy, tracking uses similar technologies, whose choice varies from an individual to another (Bonsor, 2017). Bonsor (2017) added that the most common techniques used in tracking include Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS), Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), and Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) among others. One important aspect to note is the pricing for these different technologies. Scholarly Editions (2013, p. 67) confirmed that WLAN had become increasingly used due to the development of internets and related devices. It then wins as the most common methods most people use in tracking. The efficiency of the technology in other industries convinced healthcare providers that it could have a similar impact in health services. This sparked its increasing use in the recent days.
Most health services are sophisticated and demand follow-ups of patients. WLAN architecture is straightforward and cheap while tracking. Both outpatient and inpatient monitoring is real-time and increase the access to patients. In tracking, data transmission passes through several media, from the patient, then the transmission line and system for the users (healthcare professionals). Health officers receive information through wireless communication. Information fed into these systems includes names and the situation of a patient, which distinguishes each patient and their conditions. This tracking uses real-time localization to locate and provide the needed information.
Finding the individual location is not the final step when tracking technology. O’Hara et al. (2016, p. 56) identified advanced explorations in tracking using advanced systems to determine pains and the status of patients. Most patients react differently to pains in their bodies and inform the healthcare choices. When an individual is unwell, information is transmitted to different healthcare sectors and indicates the needs of persons. By using such transmitted information, it becomes easy to identify the type of problem an individual has. Identifying the problems is easy using systems like computer vision methods, which O’Hara et al. (2016, p. 57) identify as having the ability to translate information about the body conditions and into the various healthcare complications of an individual. However, the differential analysis is necessary for accuracy in problems.
The differential analysis is important, as transmitted information do not reveal all the sufferings of an individual. Most patients have complex and similar situations that only a one-on-one health care intervention solves. Doctors identify the right intervention, which precedes a call and guidance from the remote. If a physician or nurse knows the condition at hand and has some history of the patient, foreign intervention and care become dull. The remote response allows the passing of information to the patient by informing him or her on the steps to take to solve their problem. At times, remote solutions fail, and a patient may need to travel to the clinics to have accurate care.
Patients who understand their conditions have an advantage of treat themselves. Under such circumstances, individual care can only come up when the patients have full knowledge of their conditions and understand what to do (Creswell, 2016). Creswell (2016) mentioned that individuals who have the confidence of offering themselves adequate care could take on tracking methods and carry on with their frequent care every time they notice changes. It adopts a personal convincement to use the technology if it improves the conditions of the people. Proper use of this technology is necessary and allows individuals to make changes to the investments and other things in their systems and all that they need.
Biosecurity is an important source of information to individuals and other health care providers. Using the information to identify the geography of risk areas of a disease. People who move from place to place are easy to track and warn when one notices their changes of locations towards dangerous places (Creswell 2016). Just like in the Tianjin case, people remain safe by avoiding such spots in their homes and other places.
Tracking is beneficial if information transmitted is credible, transparent and properly interpreted. It increases the care most patients of most patients irrespective of their locations and tie. Real-time detection is more helpful than timed tracking. The case of Tianjin chemical warehouse explosion listed by Creswell (2016). Creswell (2016) is an example of the benefits of safety badges used to detect problems. Incorporating the same techniques on patients guides in case of dangers and changes in health conditions. Such early and remote warnings are proper information to healthcare specialists to intervene and correct at the right time.
Amidst the benefits, most interventions face criticisms over privacy and misuse of patent information. Tracking reveals a lot of information about people who have the devices. An example is the location of an individual in every place he goes. GPS enabled connections to show the location of different people at any time (Creswell, 2017). The problem with this kind of relationship is the loss of privacy of individuals and the constant information they need. At times, it is possible to infer the identity of individuals and use it against them anytime when one needs. Without preserving the people’s security, it becomes simple to remain safe.
A concern in tracking is the incredibility of information passed to the professionals. Health conditions vary from one patient to the other. Doctors love the one-on-one diagnosis of a patient, for a genuine care. Without the physician seeing the patient, it becomes difficult to differentiate offer care. Some diseases like Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes have similar symptoms. Two patients from different locations and having tracking technologies can be confusing to the doctors are subject to risks of errors, which limit the use of tracking technologies. Patients may make errors in self-care and lead to complications. To avoid subsequent problems arising from carelessness, most of the patients are under strict guidance to see nurses in the hospitals.
The medical field will develop more in the use of tracking technology to identify the location and care for patients. Most innovators are coming up with different systems to take care of the privacy issues. In other developments, tracking the location becomes a choice by altering the settings in a device. Individuals can only choose to have their locations identified if they wish or hide it whenever they feel their privacy is under threat. As time passes, developing advanced artificial care is possible by differential analysis. The differential analysis provides detailed information on the different problems people have to the finer ones until a professional understands the kind of care they need to have for a patient. These concerns will improve the health care information to individuals.
Tracking technology is an old time technique used to follow in the footsteps of different animals, militaries. Later it was integrated into the healthcare system and confirmed to be effective in the follow-up of patients. One of the common methods used is WLAN, which uses a wireless system over the internet. Health care professionals use these devices implanted on individuals to find information depending on the detection settings in them. Transmitted information reveals the location and other details needed for medical interventions. Nurses can provide remote care or give advice to patients to visit nearest hospitals. One advantage of tracking is the increased care irrespective of locations. A disadvantage if the infringement on privacy, which changes periodically. Innovators are coming up with security measures to handle privacy and differential care. One sure thing is the improvement that most healthcare institutions are looking forward to implementing in the use of this technology.
Bonsor, K. (2017). How Location Tracking Works. Retrieved from http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/everyday-tech/location-tracking.htm
Creswell, S. (2016, February 21). Imagine what we could learn if we put a tracker on everyone and everything. Retrieved from http://theconversation.com/imagine- what-we-could-learn-if-we-put-a-tracker-on-everyone-and-everything-50123
Liebenberg, L., Louw, A., & Elbroch, M. (2010). Practical tracking: A guide to following footprints and finding animals.
Scholarly Editions. (2013). Issues in healthcare technology and design: 2013 edition. Atlanta: Author.
O’Hara, K., Morrison, C., Sellen, A., Berthouze, N. B., & Craig, C. (2016). Body tracking in healthcare. San Rafel: Morgan & Claypo