Technology has come a long way since the days of stone tools. Today, we have the internet, artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, and more. Across the world, people use technology in varied ways to collect information, make routine tasks easier, and communicate. Here are ten reasons why technology matters:
#1 It makes it easier to see a doctor
Known as “telemedicine” or “telehealth,” seeing a doctor or other health professional virtually has become a life-saver for many patients. It’s especially valuable for rural areas where doctors and hospitals are hours away. With telehealth, a patient can see a doctor much faster from their own home. This saves patients money and can save more lives. In a 2016 national multi-center study of ICU patients, researchers learned that adopting ICU telehealth was associated with a “small but statistically significant” relative reduction in 90-day mortality. More research is needed, but it seems like there’s value to telehealth.
#2 It’s easier for patients to monitor their health at home
Technology has made it much easier for people to take responsibility for their health. Take blood pressure monitors as an example. High blood pressure puts billions at risk for heart disease, which is the leading cause of death globally. For people with high blood pressure or who are at risk, tracking the numbers is very important. For some, it’s important to check every day. Home blood pressure monitors make that possible. There are a lot of monitors on the market today, so check with your doctor to see what they recommend.
#3 You can track your fitness
Whether you’re exercising for your health or training for an event, fitness technology is a booming industry. Some technology is simple, like mobile apps that only count your steps. Others are more complicated and present more info, like wearable technologies that track your heart rate, calories burned, distance traveled, and more.
#4 Technology allowed us to sequence the human genome
Sequencing the human genome is of the most significant advancements in medical technology. Genes hold a key to understanding what people call “the human blueprint.” Sequencing helps doctors diagnose diseases faster, among other applications. The Human Genome Project is the best-known sequencing project and the world’s biggest collaborative biological project. It was launched in 1990 and completed in 2003. Another international collaboration filled in the gaps in 2021, uncovering new genes. As technology advances, there’s bound to be more mysteries revealed.
#5 Technology in classrooms can help students engage better
Many young people use technology every day, but when they enter a classroom, they’re faced with textbooks, paper notebooks, and traditional whiteboards. It can be boring. With new technologies, schools can create more engaging, immersive experiences that hold students’ attention. Learning can feel more like a game and help even the shyest students break out of their shells.
#6 Technology can help teachers
The benefits of technology aren’t limited to students. Routine duties like tracking grades, grading papers, and managing attendance can take a lot of time, but with digital systems, it’s much faster and easier. This reduces a teacher’s amount of “busy work,” which takes time away from more important tasks. Tracking all this data also helps teachers identify students who are struggling.
#7 Technology gaps affect low-income countries
If you live in a wealthy country, you’re most likely surrounded by technology. In lower-income countries, however, there’s often a gap in the technology available. As other countries explore more and more technologies, less wealthy areas are left behind. This affects a community’s political and economic standing. Closing the gap involves gaining access to hardware, high-speed internet, and tech skills.
#8 Technology helps businesses increase their productivity
Businesses benefit significantly from good technology. Efficiency is a big example. In the past, businesses needed employees to manage every customer question or concern. Today, many technological advancements take on questions that are easily answered. Chatbots are a good example. Powered by AI, these bots mimic a real conversation with a customer and answer questions typed into the chatbox. While not every question can be answered with a bot, many of them can.
#9 Technology improves computer security
Cybersecurity attacks are a major problem these days. Experts predict that attacks will only get worse. To combat them, individuals, organizations, and countries will need the best technology. Developers are constantly working to design new and better defense systems to protect valuable data.
#10 Technology changes society
The impact of technology on societies is hard to overstate. It touches every area of society, whether it’s our healthcare systems, our entertainment, or our relationships. It changes how we communicate, how we work, and how we live. Imagine the time before the internet, MRI machines, and airplanes. Communication, healthcare, and travel were more limited and challenging. Technology also comes with downsides that are important to acknowledge. Data theft is common. Social media fuels peoples’ worst instincts. Gaps in technology contribute to poverty. For better and worse, technology transforms human society.