Question by Nicole S: what has your personal exposure been to technology in health care?
Answer by Gumdrop Girl
Well, I work in public health, so I see parts of health care many people take for granted.
At my job, I work on a database that collects information about people who have been diagnosed with reportable communicable diseases. We need to collect that information so we can find out how many people are getting sick, how they are getting sick, and extrapolate ways to prevent future illnesses using that data.
We have a public health laboratory that runs our tests to find things like HIV, bioterrorism diseases, food pathogens like Salmonella, etc. They have very sophisticated equipment in the lab. We use pulse-field gel electrophoresis to determine the DNA sequence of various bacteria we study. HIV tests are run using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and ELISA.
Coordinating our disaster preparedness plan requires some spiffy technology, too. We rely heavily on telecommunications technology (landlines, mobile phones, pagers, walkie-talkies, Internet, etc) to make our plans and touch base with various branches on an operation.
Yeah, without technology, public health (YOUR health) would suffer.
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