Technology Trends in the Medical Cannabis Field Tags: technology trends medical cannabis mmj

As more and more states begin to legalize cannabis in some way or another from total recreational legalization, to medical marijuana laws in varying degrees to decriminalization, the industry is ripe for technological advances in terms of how patients receive treatment, how they find their medicine and even in wearables that track a patient’s responses to various strains high in CBDs or through the consumption of oils and edibles.

It is a fledgling industry, not yet available in all 50 states but there are currently 24 states with legalized medical or recreational cannabis on the books, 6 more on the ballots for November and then there is the nation’s capital, the District of Columbia that went legal in recent times. So what then are the technology trends in the medical cannabis field that are having a profound impact on patients? Here are a few.

Digital Connection with Patients

Google, just last year, mandated that everyone with a website should go mobile friendly or be penalized because more people search via mobile devices than via desktop PCs. In fact, walk into any electronics store or even at the computer department of Walmart and you will see maybe one or two ‘all-in- one’ desktops but a wide array of laptops and tablets. You will also find a huge selection of smartphones. This is how cannabis patients search for dispensaries where they can get their medicine and if they are in a new area of their state, it is an invaluable asset to have a mobile friendly site.

However, that is not the only way in which the industry connects with consumers. Almost every dispensary on the face of the earth has a minimum of a Facebook and Twitter account and so the industry uses technology to go social. Information is passed on in this manner for the safe consumption of medical marijuana and specialists in healthcare informatics can track key metrics to gauge where there are high concentrations of patients so as to have a better idea of stocking to supply a need.

Speaking of Metrics – Health Informatics Is a Key Issue

A very large part of getting medical cannabis on the ballot is in providing key metrics to be analyzed by local and state authorities. Being that medical marijuana is a ‘new’ industry, these metrics are critical in measuring a need within society in terms of how people are using the plant and if there is a great enough acceptance within the population to warrant looking into the matter of legalization.

Leading universities offer health informatics graduate degrees and these are the professionals who have the expertise to develop applications that track the success and/or failure of cannabis in treating patients based on a given diagnosis. University of Illinois health informatics is one program that has produced career oriented professionals who have the expertise to design and develop health informatics platforms to assess the needs of cannabis patients in real time.

So then, you could say there are two very distinct ways in which technology trends are impacting the medical cannabis industry. The first is in the dissemination of information to the general public in terms of locating a dispensary and in educational literature as to the pros and cons of medical vs recreational use. However, the biggest impact to the industry is healthcare informatics that provide key metrics in real time that improve patient care as well as provide real and ongoing statistics for analysis by local, state and federal governments. A degree in computer science with a health care focus is without a doubt on the cutting edge of the medical cannabis industry and is one degree in need of concerned healthcare workers and techies alike.

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