5 Solid Ways Disability Healthcare is Improving

By Adrian Johansen

The last couple of years have thrown emergency after emergency at a public already struggling with accessible healthcare. For individuals with disabilities, this has created a difficult situation for navigating care solutions for physical and mental health.

The upside of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, is that it has inadvertently led to some improvements in care that can make for better outcomes for those living with disabilities. In the meantime, disability benefits, technology and understanding are also improving.

As you navigate the challenges of a difficult healthcare marketplace, understand and take advantage of these improvements in disability healthcare to make the most of your situation.

Disability Healthcare

Improvements in Disability Healthcare

Digital technology and accessibility have been focused on healthcare for the last few years. Advancements in everything from artificial intelligence to the Internet of Things (IoT) have mandated that care providers take more responsibility for patient data and apply it safely to tools that can help patients live more fulfilling lives.

Now, data collection and analysis have produced technological advancements and care facility procedure changes that might impact you. Here are just five of the ways new practices are improving care for individuals with disabilities:

1. Care is becoming more accessible.

There used to be only one option when it came to visiting with your doctor: you could travel to his or her office. Now, technology, data and a global pandemic have come together to produce a viable and popular second option. Many doctor visits can now be handled over telemedicine platforms, making healthcare more accessible than ever.

Telemedicine improvements represent some of the best safety tools and improvements in modern healthcare. For individuals with disabilities, this means you can access your doctor from a tablet, smartphone or assistive device in your own home. Increasingly, telemedicine also includes options for tracking your health metrics and even diagnosing conditions with the help of AI analytics.

But with broader device connectivity comes data safety concerns.

2. Medical data protections are changing.

Fortunately, medical data protections are changing as well, advancing over networks and algorithms that are making patient information safer.

Right now, the healthcare industry represents a broad target for cybercriminals. Patient data is typically more valuable than other forms of private information on the black market, and cyberattacks in the medical field have gone up by as much as 45%.

But technology can change that. With networks decentralized over blockchain or protected by AI endpoint assessment, your private medical information can be made safer. This is instrumental in protecting your financial well-being and access to disability insurance and care assistance.

3. Data communication enhances care solutions.

Additionally, the field of disability healthcare is being improved by advancements in data communication. As medical devices and IoT wearables communicate over 5G wireless networks, these tools are capable of securely passing along vital information so that you receive the best-personalized treatment for you.

Medical ID smartphone apps are the perfect examples of this data communication technology. Medical IDs on your phone or smartwatch can provide first responders with all the information they might need about your condition and medical history so that they can provide you with the proper care, even if you're unconscious.

The ability of wearable and smart devices to communicate data like this means enhanced information transparency and better care.

4. Benefits are being modernized.

But the accessibility of information isn't the only thing being modernized. In fact, the way we award social security disability assistance itself is changing to better match the needs and situations of individuals with disabilities in the modern world.

For example, a new rule has altered the way the ability to speak English is considered when awarding benefits. Previously, an inability to speak English was included in literacy measurements that affected disability insurance. Now, the Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes that not being able to speak English isn't necessarily a measure of literacy or the ability to work a job in an increasingly diverse America.

This change also represents the improvements that may be to come from an SSA that recognizes changing demographics and needs in the country.

5. Stigma is disappearing.

Finally, disability healthcare is improving because of the many ways in which society at large is making headway in eradicating stigma against those living with disabilities.

Right now, an estimated 1 in 4 American adults has a disability. This means just about everyone knows and loves at least one person who lives with some form of physical or mental challenge.

The recognition of how large the population of individuals with disabilities really is has led to institutions like the UN Disability Rights Convention and a macrotrend of acceptance and awareness. As this trend continues, more care providers will specialize in care solutions for folks with disabilities, making for better care.

However, there's still a lot of work to do before we can remove stigma completely as a barrier to care.

These are just a few of the many ways in which technology and policy are joining forces to create better health outcomes. As both tech and societal awareness improve, we can look forward to a future of comprehensive care options for all health challenges.

Finding Better Care

Healthcare options for individuals with disabilities are undoubtedly improving, but navigating healthcare coverage and options while living with a disability still isn't always easy. Use all the resources available to you as you manage a balanced care routine, exploring care gaps and assistance programs for all the help you can get.

Nowadays, healthcare is supplemented by helpful tools like telemedicine and data networks. Use this technology and stay up to date on policy changes to navigate ideal solutions for you.

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