For week one of our PIO studies we began looking at both information technology and communication technology. This required us to look into the society’s interactions with technology and how technology was being accepted in society.
What is Information and communication technology?
Information technology is “the development, implementation and maintenance of computer hardware and software systems to organize and communicate information electronically.” In turn ‘Information communication technology encompasses areas such as telephony, broadcast, media and all types of audio and video processing and transmission.” http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/information+and+communication+technology
In other words information and communication technology can be defined in many ways due to it being a very broad topic. It can include all forms of computer and internet technologies and also incorporate the use of cell phones, radios, iPods, television and all the social networking site that many of us use on a daily basis.
The reading “mainstream Technology as an occupational therapy tool: Technophobe of technogeek?” written by M.C, Vendonck and S, Ryan focuses on the introduction of mainstream technology can be useful to improve both functional independence and occupational performance in everyday interventions.
Information and communication technology are both growing aspects in today’s society. We spend more than half our lives engaged in occupations related to the internet, including study, research, shopping, socialising (e.g facebook, blogs, skype, etc.) and business. All these occupations involve the basic state of communication where there is a sender and a receiver. This loop of sending and receiving creates a sense of purpose and has been greatly enhanced through the use of information and communication technologies.
Technology is an aspect of society that is constantly changing. We learn to use one form of technology then the next new latest and greatest technology is released. Currently I feel comfortable using a range of technologies for example my laptop. My laptop is an Acer laptop. I have had it for a year and know most of the ins and outs of how to use it. These are skills I have learnt through using it ever day to increase my knowledge on the occupational therapy course. However if I have to use an apple computer such as my sisters laptop, I have not got a clue on where to start. Personally I believe that whether you are a technophobe or a technogeek, everybody has limitations with technology use; it’s just a matter of practise and sticking with what works for you because no matter how hard you try to keep up with the new technology being released there will always be the next big thing coming out.
Within occupational therapy it is important to have an understanding of the technology out there as we live in a techno world so there is going to be forms of technology out there that will suit a range of different clients. For example on one of my field work placement I worked with a child with dyspraxia. To try helping the child with speech therapy we used a talking story book. This let me record a story for individual pictures a in a story board so that as the child worked through a story they pressed the picture which would play a sentence that they could repeat back to help gain an understanding of how to pronounce words correctly. Another example is in a case where a young boy had extreme high tone in his left arm. He refused to allow anyone to touch his arm making it very difficult to exercise the arm. By introducing him to Nintendo Wii we were able to increase the movement/ function in his arm while making him think he was only playing games. In turn this decreased the high tone so that his hand has now uncoiled and he has increased from having 15% function to having 85% function.
In the case of the boy with high tone we had a small technical issue the sensor not registering to the Wii remote due to the way the boy had to hold the remote. To redeem this we had to adjust where the sensors were.
In the future I believe that technology is going to become a massive impact on the tools of practice. We are already seeing this being adopted through the use of online communications. By having online communications the lines of communication between those in multi disciplinary teams and other physicians involved with an individual client can communicate a lot faster allowing the treatment plan to go ahead in minimal amounts of time.
Another reason that technology will impact is because society is becoming much more technologically structured, meaning that the amount of technology available and relied upon is only going to increase.
Having a understanding of technology is becoming important in the position as occupational therapist. This is due to the increase in the availability to technology in society. There is no longer a choice in whether you use it or not. If you want a job you need to have a basic understanding of the technology in the work place. Due to this fact occupational therapists need to have the ability to work alongside clients that are required to use technology and help them to adapt the required technology to suit their personal function, both physical and mental to help them achieve goals of participating in meaningful occupations (including employment.)
Yes technology is a growing aspect of society; however there are growing concerns for the ethical issues arising around using it in health fields. Without the correct protection on mobile phones and computer files there is a risk of client’s personal information being released into the wrong hands. This is why it is very important to gain consent when taking images and also having the correct knowledge about the technology you are using to transfer, save and report any information about a client’s case.