Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Future of Biomedical Computing Shortliffe and Cimino (2006) suggests that medicine or healthcare has always been dependent upon development in health technology. There are various technologies that are used by physicians in diagnosis, treatment and assessment of care for patients. Just like other sectors cannot work without computer software to facilitate their operations, it is becoming increasingly difficult in the modern biomedicine to operate effectively without the use of biomedical computers. Scientists are producing data that cannot be effectively managed without the use of computer applications and new medical procedures are emerging that can only be applied where there are advanced computer programs. The desire to provide superior health care to patients has continued to render computers an important part of the medical practice (Middleton, 2002). This paper examines the role of biomedical computing in future healthcare service provision. It is evident that health care service providers are going into computerization. Although the use of computers in healthcare is a relatively new field, the research and clinical impact of biomedical computing programs as well as information management systems are currently available in almost all health care settings. According to Shortliffe and Cimino (2006) it is only the beginning of implementation of computers in medicine, as the future holds even more possibilities. Middleton (2002) looks at a future where computers will be an inevitable part of medicine. Computers in biomedicine will continue to play an important role in future. There are various ways through which technology is applied, and research has shown that the opportunities will continue to increase in future. One of the areas that computers will be used in future is in the examination of the possible side effects of drugs before administration to the patient. Drug indexes are available on computer systems and this will increase in the near future. Such information will play a major role in anticipating detrimental side effects of drugs and also drug interactions (Shortliffe and Cimino, 2006). Scientists in biomedicine are researching on the ways of using computers in prescribing drugs. Fagan and Shortliffe (2006) argue that doctors suggest that some drugs can be dangerous is given to a person with some gene that is not capable of absorbing the drug. In the past, it was not possible for doctors to identify such implications before administering a drug. Pharmacogenomics is a promise in this area as it enables compiling all kinds of genes with their related toxic drugs. Soon, it will be possible for doctors to swipe a sample of DNA into a chip with genetic information to prevent such problems. Shortliffe and Cimino (2006) suggest that in critical care settings, computer devices will be used in monitoring patients as well as providing warnings. Such devices will also find their way in the operating rooms to give warning to surgeons in case of any anomalies. Computer programs for diagnosis of diseases will continue to develop. The future expects to have advanced programs that will see more factual diagnostic programs. It will thus be possible for doctors to make fewer errors in diagnosis. According to Fagan and Shortliffe (2006) examination of internal body organs will be more possible in the future with the use of biomedical computers. Many complex surgeries will be easier in the future as computers continue to develop. The concept of computer-assisted Surgery (CAS) will have better meaning in future as it will be a reality to combine medical expertise with computer intelligence in performing such surgical procedures. Use of robots in surgery, a field that is currently being researched on, will help saves more lives as performance of complex surgeries will be possible. There is evident that examination tools will continue to develop with the application of computers in biomedicine. In the near future, similar methods as electrocardiograms will be utilized in interpreting pulmonary-function examinations as well as radiologic abnormalities. Computers in research will increase in the near future, while computers are already being used in research, there is anticipated increase in the near future. Biomedical researchers as well as clinicians will continue to use computerized programs in researching on new treatment methods as well as in searching the literature already compiled in computer systems. Computer-based analysis tools will be used in the analysis before storage of research results. With the use of advanced programs, patients will be able to be more in control over their treatment. Information available for the patients will also make it possible for them to choose treatment and physicians, even from far off locations. Computers will ensure that there is no space and cost limitation for patients to receive the kind of treatment and care they desire (Fagan and Shortliffe, 2006). Support for medical decision is another important role that computers will continue to play in biomedicine. Advanced decision-support programs are coming up from research labs. Such are being incorporated into patient-care programs and have started to have major impact on the medicine practice. Information management with the use of computers has always played a significant role in the provision of patient care. Many more possibilities will continue to develop in patient information management. The future of health care provision will continue to see more and more innovative programs developed for management of patient information. Both patients and service providers will continue to use these applications in making decisions on treatment of he patients. The future holds even more advanced decision making capabilities as computers will continue to store even larger amounts of data and patient information (Fagan and Shortliffe, 2006). In summary, it is evident from research that there is growing use of biomedical computers. This development will persist into the future with more and more tools and applications being developed and used in biomedicine. In the future, it will be possible for doctors to diagnose and treat patients more accurately. It will also be possible for the doctors to cater for the needs of more patients at the time of diagnosis and treatment will be greatly reduced. As a result, there will be need for more research into the use of biomedical computing for the emerging tools and applications to be effectively implemented in the practice. It is also important for more research to be made to address the challenges of computer-based biomedicine such as technical failure. References: Fagan, L. M. & Shortliffe, E. H. (2006). The Future of Computer Applications in Biomedicine, Health Informatics, UNIT III, 829-847, Middleton B. (2002). The future of medical computing. Stud Health Technol Inform. 80: 85 98. Shortliffe, E. H. & Cimino, J.J. (2006). Biomedical Informatics: Computer Applications in Health Care and Biomedicine, Springer