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Application Of Computer Techniques In Medicine

 

Computers are increasingly being used in the medical profession. There are various levels of interaction between medicine and computer technology. This article was written to raise computer awareness among medical professionals and to instill in them the importance and value of various computer techniques in medicine, health, and hospital services.


What Is Computer?



A machine that accepts  data(raw facts like numbers and symbols), processes it into information, and saves it  defines what is a computer. Computer was created to solve human problems, easily, accurately, and with speed. These two sentences are the definition of computer, and depends on what you want to understand about it.

To use a computer, you boot it. Booting a compute means, turning it ON. To OFF the computer, you Shutdown the computer safely using the some keyboard functional keys. Shut down the computer also means, log off computer.

For a computer to function like it does, it requires some computer programming which is usually done with the help of the machine language and codes. Every function in any organization a computer performs is what it was actually programmed to do, just like in the medical organizations.


Computers are becoming increasingly popular among a diverse range of people daily. With the introduction of microcomputers in the late 1970s and subsequent performance enhancements in the 1980s, computers have made their way into our homes. Computers have unquestionably revolutionized our entire way of life. Computer techniques have enormous applications in the medical field, where they have the greatest social impact. Computers play an important role in the operation of large hospitals.


Computer capabilities are now considered to be an essential component of most diagnostic equipment. Data analysis in medicine, computer-assisted medical decision making, Hospital information systems, computer-assisted therapy, medical imaging laboratory computing, care of critically ill patients, and other applications are among the most common uses of computers in medicine.


Computer Techniques in Medicine

The following sections provide a brief overview of the use of computer techniques in various fields of medicine:

Hospital information system

Medical informatics is a rapidly expanding field. It aims to use computers and information networks to organize and manage information in support of patient care, biomedical research, and education.

A computerized hospital information system can establish consistent standards for data transmission and storage while also monitoring all transactions in real-time. It makes valuable patient care information easily accessible.

Through the use of a computer, physicians can gain direct access to all of their patients' information. Registration, admission/transfer/discharge, billing, medical record, index, wards, operation theater scheduling, stores/inventory, pharmacy, diet, CSSD, bio-medical maintenance, payroll, accounts, and so on are all covered by a hospital information system.

Several software vendors have developed hospital systems for hospital management to date. Generally, hospital administrators prefer to purchase a ready-made package and customize it to their specific needs.


Data Analysis in Medicine

A large amount of data is collected in medical research. This information must be compiled, analyzed, and interpreted. Certain statistical methods must be used for this purpose, including the calculation of standard deviation and standard error, as well as the use of statistical significance tests such as the Z test, unpaired and paired t-tests, and the chi-square test. Statistical methods require a significant amount of time. A large number of statistical calculations can be performed in a very short period using a computer.


There are several high-quality statistical packages available that enable the use of far more methods than is possible with traditional paper calculations. Among these statistical packages are the following:

  • The biomedical computer package (BMD) was the first to be developed, and it includes a standard set of advanced statistical programs.
  • SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences): It is used to treat a wide range of medical issues. SPSS provides a wide range of statistical options, from simple statistics to multivariate analysis.
  • Genstat is a powerful package that focuses on the analysis of variance.
  • Epi-Info: The World Health Organization created this package for epidemiological research. This software includes word processing, data analysis, and graphical capabilities. The text editor can be used to create a questionnaire. Data analysis is very simple and meets the needs of the vast majority of investigators. The program is provided by WHO and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and is not copyrighted. It is permissible and encouraged to make copies for others.
  • Laboratory Computing: A clinical laboratory's primary goal is to provide accurate results promptly. Blood chemistry, photometry, microbiology, and other laboratory analyses are examples of laboratory analysis. The results must match the patient's identification details and be valid. Quick access to laboratory systems can help to improve the efficiency of the patient care system.
  • Computer-Assisted Decision making (CMD): It is a computer system that interacts with doctors to help them make clinical decisions. The system is designed to assist doctors by supplementing their natural ability to make decisions with the computer's vast memory, dependability, and processing capabilities. A general model of computer-assisted medical decision-making has been created.
  • Care For Critically Ill Patients: To improve their chances of survival, critically ill patients require a large number of therapeutic interventions. The variables must be collected regularly, and the data derived from them must be made available to clinicians and nursing staff. This generates a large amount of data, which may lose significance unless the data recorded is presented clearly. It is now possible to computerize the total management of data recorded on patients in the intensive care unit. The entry, integration, and reporting of all vital signs, medications, intake and output volumes, and laboratory values are all part of data management.
  • A closed-loop system for direct computer control of vasodilator infusions has been developed. The computer receives the input signal via an intraarterial cannula connected to a suitable cardiovascular monitor. A computer-controlled pump infuses the vasodilator drug into the patient to keep the arterial pressure within predetermined units.
  • Computer-assisted therapy: Methods have been developed for planning, monitoring, and adjusting dosage regimens of powerful and potentially toxic drugs such as digitalis and antibiotics such as gentamicin. By selecting a target peak total body concentration of a drug, the physician can plan dosage regimens.
  • Medical imaging: During the previous decade, computers were commonly used to generate high-resolution images. Such images in CT scan, MRI, ultrasound, and gamma cameras require specialized hardware and software. These workstations can be linked to the main hospital information system. In health and disease, three-dimensional images of living human anatomy, regional physiology, and biochemistry are used.


Other applications of computer

Furthermore, computers are used in primary health care, psychiatry, physiological measurements, medical education, literature search, and as a handicapping aid.

Limitations

Although computers can store and retrieve large amounts of data and perform complex analyses in a short amount of time, their main limitation is that they lack decision-making power and are not as sensitive as the human brain. Data entry is a major impediment to medical professionals using computers.

A computer virus is a broad term that refers to any of a class of malicious computer programs. Viruses can multiply when a program is used repeatedly and can be transmitted via executable programs. They can delete program files, data files, or erase all data from a hard disk. Joshi, Michael Angelo, DirII, India, and other viruses are commonly found in our country. To remove a virus from a file, antivirus software is available. It is difficult to completely eradicate viruses due to their newer introduction. Scan, CPAV (Central Point Anti Virus), and Norton antivirus are examples of antivirus programs


Computer courses are being organized at the station level in many garrisons. Although computers have enormous potential in various fields of medicine, the disparity between the obvious need for clinical computing systems and their slow implementation is well known. It is also widely acknowledged that such systems are capable of resolving some of the issues associated with traditional medical records. Despite nearly 30 years of effort and the development of numerous systems, the number in daily use is relatively small. There is an emergency.

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