Although some statistics show the healthcare industry is lagging when it comes to embracing few technology, that situation is not universal. After all, given the HIPPA law, it can take a while for health clinics and practices to transition to cloud-supported e-documents instead of solely retaining hard copies.
On the other hand, there are many other areas where healthcare is setting the bar high with innovation. For example, the ability to “see” a physician virtually has made huge strides in removing geographic and mobility barriers. Patients in rural areas or who are homebound no longer have a barrier between themselves and seeing their preferred, skilled practitioner in an easy, accessible way.
An although big changes in the healthcare industry mean big changes for female patients in particular, not all changes are necessarily positive for women. Shifting insurance coverage may leave some women with gaps in their care and concerns about how to access services they want or need.
For instance, physicians saw a surge in women requesting IUDs at the tail end of 2016 in response to fears that birth control might no longer be readily affordable and/or accessible if their coverage were to change.
For better or worse, the healthcare industry will continue to evolve, and women should keep a close eye on what this will mean for their health and wellness. Here are three items to watch, and how women’s health might be impacted:
- Diagnostics are getting much more accessible. Gone are the days when you “had” to go to a specific practitioner for routine diagnostics, panel screenings, and labs. Now, there are expansive national networks, intertwined online, so your practitioner(s) can easily access your records – which can be obtained from numerous diagnostic labs around the nation. This saves everyone time, headaches, and money.
- At-home tests are easier and more reliable than ever. Testing kits for at-home use are not new, but they are certainly more high-tech, more user-friendly, and more accurate than ever before. Testing for everything from pregnancy to ovulation cycles, HIV status to blood sugar levels, and everything in between has been overhauled in recent years.
- Medicine is moving toward being integrative and personalized. It’s increasingly common for a woman to have a “medical team” rather than a single healthcare provider. Complementing mainstream medicine in the U.S. with practices including acupuncture, massage therapy, natural supplements, and treating the whole body (not just the physical) has re-imagined how we view medicine and health.
There is also a trend toward prevention and not just treatment. The earlier a health issue can be identified, the easier and more affordable it will be to treat, and the higher will be the likelihood of a full recovery. This is true for both mental and physical health. For women, healthcare changes are ongoing and fluid.
Keeping an eye on the news and issues from coverage to available offerings, will help assure that you can access the best care and advice for your own health concerns.
Written by: Emily Walters
Emily is an experienced content writer. She has written about an array of topics, from business, healthcare, and technology to travel, culinary, education and even fashion and lifestyle. In her free time, Emily enjoys traveling, training for half marathons, and cooking for her family.
The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.