Importance of Computers in Medicine

Computers play a key role in almost every sphere of life. They facilitate storage of huge amounts of data, they enable speedy processing of information and they possess an inbuilt intelligence, which if supplemented with human intellect, can work wonders. Owing to their intelligence and speed, computers function on a level close to that of the human brain. They can hence be employed in different fields like engineering, data processing and storage, planning and scheduling, networking, education as well as health and medicine. You might want to take a look at the various uses of computers, before looking at the importance of computers in medicine.
Computers in the Medical Field
Right from efficient data storage and easy access and sharing of information, to conducting medical tests and simulating complex surgical procedures, computers have an important role to play in the medical field. It can be put under four main categories that include:
– Data Storage
– Surgical Procedures
– Diagnostic Tests
– Knowledge Sharing
As in any other field, the importance of computer technology in medicine cannot be ignored.
Storage of Patient Data and Health Information
▸ Computers are an excellent means for storage of patient-related data. Hospitals employ computer systems to maintain patient records.
▸ It is often necessary to maintain detailed records of the medical history of patients. Doctors often require information about a patient’s family history, physical ailments in the family (if any), already diagnosed diseases and prescribed medicines. This information can be stored in a computer database.
▸ Computers can keep track of prescriptions and billing information. They can be used to store information about the medicines prescribed to a patient as well as those, which cannot be prescribed to him/her (ones which the patient is allergic to).
▸ Computers enable an efficient storage of huge amounts of medical data. Medicine comprises a vast information base. Computer storage can serve as the best means of housing this information.
▸ Medical journals, research and diagnosis papers, important medical documents and reference books can best be stored in an electronic format.
Computers in Surgical Procedures
▸ Computer software is used for diagnosis of diseases. It can be used for the examination of internal organs of the body. Advanced computer-based systems are used to examine organs of the body.
▸ Some of the complex surgeries can be performed with the help of computers. Computer-assisted Surgery (CAS) is a fast-advancing field in medicine, which combines medical expertise with computer intelligence to give faster and more accurate results in surgical procedures. In CAS, a model of the patient is created, then analyzed prior to surgery. The surgical procedure is simulated on the virtual image of the patient.
▸ The surgery can then be performed by a surgical robot, as programmed by a medical professional or the robot may only assist doctors while they do the actual surgery.
▸ In both cases, computer intelligence is at work, thus underlining the uses of computers in medicine.
Computer Technology in Diagnostic Tests
▸ The different types of monitoring equipment in hospitals are often based on computer programming.
▸ Medical imaging deals with techniques to create images of the human body for medical purposes. Many of the modern methods of scanning and imaging are largely based on computer technology. We have been able to implement many of the advanced medical imaging techniques, thanks to developments in computer science.
▸ Magnetic resonance imaging employs computer software. Computed tomography makes use of digital geometry processing techniques to obtain 3-D images. Sophisticated computers and infrared cameras are used for obtaining high-resolution images. Computers are widely used for the generation of 3-D images.
▸ Many of the modern-day medical equipment have small, programmed computers. Many of the medical appliances of today work on pre-programmed instructions. The circuitry and logic in most of the medical equipment is basically a computer.
▸ The functioning of hospital-bed beeping systems, emergency alarm systems, X-ray machines and several such medical appliances is based on computer logic.
Communication and Knowledge Sharing
▸Computer technology eases the communication between medical practitioners and patients. Sharing of knowledge pertaining to research and updates in the medical field, can happen with greater efficiency, owing to computer technology.
▸ Computer networking enables quicker communication. Computers and the Internet have proven to be a boon in all spheres of life. In the field of medicine, computers allow faster communication between a patient and a doctor.
▸ Doctors can collaborate better over the Internet. Today, it is possible to obtain experts’ opinions within seconds by means of the Internet. Medical professionals sitting on opposite sides of the globe can communicate within minutes with the help of the Internet. It is due to computer networking technology that network communication has become easy.
▸ Medical practitioners can discuss medical issues in medical forums, they can blog, write articles, and contribute to medical journals available online.
▸ Updates in the medical field, advancements in medicine, information about new methods of treatment, etc. can reach the common man within minutes, thanks to the Internet and easy access to computers.
▸ Doctors can exchange images and messages in seconds and derive conclusions speedily. They can seek advice and share knowledge in a convenient manner over the Internet.
The importance of computers cannot be stressed enough. Computers have given a new dimension to every field, and medicine is no exception.

Advantages of the Internet in Education

benefits of Internet
The fast and relatively low-cost access is one of the major benefits of Internet to people and students all over the world, as getting an Internet connection is easy. Communication and information are the two basic uses of the Internet. Information available on websites can be updated or modified at any time and for any number of times, which helps in learning and better understanding.

Using Multimedia
Arguably, it is believed that visual data has a greater impact on learning and memorizing than plain text. Therefore, images, graphics, animation, pictures, slides, documentaries, etc., have a greater appeal than a plain textbook. Using multimedia and Internet provides an opportunity for children to gain knowledge about a particular subject in depth. Students can now see actual photographs of rare bird species, or see animated graphics of a volcanic eruption to understand the concept in detail.

Online Learning
Another positive effect of Internet in education is the onset of distance education or online education (internet-based training (IBT) or web-based training (WBT). With this facility, you can take up short-term courses with the course material available online, attend virtual classes, learn, and appear for exams. One of the benefits of online learning is that people from any part of the world can gain knowledge on different subjects, complete courses, etc.

Easy Contact
Students can contact other students or their teachers via the e-mail if they have queries about any information. Sharing of information, discussions on a particular subject, etc., can be easily carried out using the Internet. At the same time, teachers can also contact parents and guardians easily using Internet.

School/College Projects
Using the Internet can be very useful for completing projects in schools and colleges. As the Internet is an ocean of information, covering nearly all subjects known to man, one can find information, research work, etc., required for one’s projects. Going through the information on the Internet is definitely faster than reading an entire book on the subject. Completing homework is also easier with the help of the Internet.

Encyclopedia
Sometimes, an encyclopedia may not always be available to students and they may have difficulty in gaining access to the books in the library. In that case, the encyclopedia of various subjects available on the Internet can be helpful. This is more useful for students who belong to communities not having English as their mother tongue.

News
All the latest news are constantly updated on the Internet on news websites. Students learning politics, can have an access to all the current affairs through the Internet. Historical accounts like speeches, biographies, archive videos and photographs, etc., are also easily available on the Internet in detailed and accurate versions.

Affordable Knowledge
Investing in research material may be tedious and unaffordable for some. But, now, thanks to the Internet, we have content websites, web encyclopedias, and dictionaries whenever we want them. Today, able as well as less-able students can benefit from the sea of knowledge on the Internet. University courses and learning is now easy for people belonging to all strata of the society with the help of online courses.

Easy Education System
Not only gaining knowledge, but, every part of the education system is simplified because of the Internet. You can now view your prospective educational institute, look up courses, enroll for online courses, take classes, research, see your results, and even look for job prospects on the Internet. Therefore, the scope of Internet in education is very wide and equal to all.

No Age Bracket for Education
Online courses provide an opportunity for people of all age groups to take up education of their choice, according to their liking and wish. Be it a student, a housewife, or a professional, they can just start up their computers, connect to the Internet, and take virtual classes. Therefore, people can now gain knowledge according to their need and time available. You are, now, never too old or too busy to learn something new.

With these points, we find that the importance of Internet in education cannot be denied, and hence, every student should be given access to the Internet for deeper understanding and knowledge of a subject. However, lots and lots of information can be termed as both, advantages and disadvantages of the Internet as students can also have an access to unwanted or unethical information and sites. Therefore, it is only wise for parents to make students understand what is good and what not for them, or keep a watch on their surfing (web browsing).

Lastly, although the Internet cannot replace books or classroom education, it is one of the best substitute for those who wish to gain deeper knowledge on literally every subject under the sun.