Please research medical technological advances that may be unique to the care of women and children. Discuss how this technology will improve care to women and children. (ideas may be: genetic screening, public health initiatives, mammography, cervical screening, Fetal monitoring, Electronic medical records, telemedicine). Which technological advances have been utilized in your local hospital? How has it impacted the care of women and children?
Genetic screening and Telemedicine – Medical Technological Advances Unique to Care of Women and Children
Recent technological interventions represent renewed progress in child and maternal health with the chief aim of reducing disparities while significantly improving the quality of care provided. The expediency of such innovations has not escaped the notice of governments in different jurisdictions globally. Policymakers are now increasingly making political and financial commitments towards this cause with the intent of expanding access to new technological innovations with the capability of improving health outcomes. Improvements, particularly those introduced by innovations in child and maternal health, endeavor to provide feasible interventions to common problems facing at-risk populations. One such intervention is the dependence on genetic screening, hailed for its usefulness in improving health and wellbeing. It is, thus, fundamental to review its propensity to improving care provided to women and children. Additionally, a discussion of technological innovations utilized in my local hospital will also be provided and its impact on this particular population.
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Genetic screening is a relatively recent innovation in healthcare introduced with the primary aim of identifying developmental anomalies and hereditary disorders in fetuses. It is routinely administered during the first and second trimesters of pregnancy to review the development of the fetus and potential problems. A routine genetic screening test identifies specific predisposing factors such as genetic disorders within a family and the probability of their expression in a fetus. Genetic screening tests have been instrumental in aiding couples in calculating the odds of a fetus being born with debilitating conditions such as cystic fibrosis and Down syndrome. Furthermore, it has also proven effective in the identification of birth defects which are likely to affect 1 in every 34 babies in the United States (R. Aro & Jallinoja, 2017). It is worth noting that birth defects may occur unexpectedly during any given stage during a pregnancy and the primary reason why genetic screening has been steadily gaining traction. Genetic testing is typically offered as an option during formative prenatal visits where specialists weigh in on its importance in reducing risks associated with pregnancies.
Genetic screening tests amalgamate procedures crucial in the identification of the proclivity to developing specific disorders using test samples. Amniocentesis and Chorionic Villus sampling are two of the most common genetic screening tests currently in use. Both are invasive and rely solely on an in-depth analysis of fetus cells. It is through this procedure that a concise determination of the number of chromosomes is made and possible damage. Chorionic Villus sampling is the most common method of genetic screening due to its cost-effectiveness and relative availability. It is conducted during the first trimester using test samples collected from the placenta. Placenta tissue is similar to the fetus’s genetic makeup and, therefore useful when seeking to conduct an evaluation of chromosomal abnormalities (Medicine et al., 2016).
It is conducted after careful extraction of tissue samples to avoid compromising the expectant mother and fetus’s wellbeing. Amniocentesis, on the other hand, is a popular prenatal genetic screening test which relies on samples drawn from the amniotic fluid. Samples are then reviewed to assess genetic material for any anomalies which may be evident during this particular stage. Both tests are optional and only conducted after gaining approval from the expectant mother. Nevertheless, medical practitioners underscore their importance in determining the presence genetic disorders and abnormalities while informing decisions regarding the possible termination of a pregnancy. Positive genetic screening tests can also aid expectant parents in planning for children with special needs while reducing the uncertainty and anxiety commonly associated with pregnancies.
Telemedicine is also a recent technological innovation currently applied at Lenox Hill Hospital, a local healthcare facility in New York City. It involves providing medical care and advice remotely. Telemedicine requires laptops, personal computers (PCs), and tablet devices with a steady internet connection during routine consultations. It creates a system where medical practitioners are accountable for patient outcomes by providing timely interventions which ultimately aid in preventing emergency room (ER) visits (Khandpur, 2017, p. 23).
Patients are also accorded a unique opportunity to lower healthcare costs while providers strive to improve the efficiency of services provided through this system. Telemedicine is convenient since patients enjoy perks of virtual care such as its relative affordability in comparison to in-person visits. Homebound individuals also benefit from this innovation and are now able to consult medical practitioners through video conferencing without having to leave work. Reduced service costs also cut expenses traditionally associated with hospital visits.
Telemedicine also allows specialists to become accessible to patients residing in remote regions, thus reducing the stress associated with long commutes during appointments. Telemedicine is particularly crucial in the promotion of child and maternal health. It increases the engagement of expectant mothers, which ensures that they commit to a specific set of healthcare goals. Engagement initiatives also ensure that they receive crucial healthcare information which goes a long way in improving their overall wellbeing. Telemedicine is also proving useful during this precarious period associated with the spread of the novel COVID-19 virus. Remote consultations and telephonic evaluations now play a major role in reducing the rate of new infections while keeping both expectant mothers and health providers safe within the greater New York City area.