assorted-color phone lot - Can Digital Patient Engagement Improve Health?

Can Digital Patient Engagement Improve Health?

We are all aware of the many ways in which technology plays a crucial role in our day-to-day lives.

From sending WhatsApp messages to our closest friends and family to buying clothes online or having food delivered to our homes, the digital sphere has transformed the way we live and work.

When it comes to healthcare, the use of digital technologies is becoming increasingly prevalent.

Here are just a few ways in which technology is improving the health and wellness of human beings worldwide:

Remote Patients Monitoring

Thanks to companies like TeleDICOM (formerly Teledasicom), we are able to follow the health and wellbeing of our loved ones from the comfort of our homes.

This has several advantages. Not only do we not have to leave our homes to visit a physician or healthcare provider, but we also avoid the risk of infection and feel more comfortable being near our children or the elders in our care. (This is particularly useful for those who are worried about COVID-19 spreading rapidly in their communities.)

While this technology has undoubtedly saved countless lives, the fact remains that the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions are most at risk of suffering serious complications from the coronavirus.

We should also remember that the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions rely heavily on face-to-face interaction with their physician to check on their wellbeing. There is no substitute for a personal visit when it comes to an in-person medical assessment, and even after the pandemic, many physicians will not hesitate to visit a regular patient in their home.

Virtual Visits

Healthcare providers are now able to see patients virtually instead of only in person. While this is undoubtedly convenient for both parties, it does come with its limitations. (Keep in mind that healthcare providers are already overburdened, and this trend will only make things worse.)

Thanks to smartphones and other mobile devices, healthcare providers are able to access a patient’s electronic chart on the spot. This enables the physician to assess the patient’s condition virtually and makes follow-up visits much less likely to be missed.

These are just a few examples of how technology is improving the health and wellness of human beings worldwide. With the spread of COVID-19 now moderated, we can rest assured that healthcare providers will have the opportunity to focus on other pressing issues.

E-Prescribing

A good portion of the population relies on prescription drugs to treat their various ailments. (Think antibiotics, hormone replacement therapy, and anti-inflammatory pain relievers.)

While e-prescribing has certainly had its advantages in curtailing healthcare errors and improving patient safety, it has also introduced a digital sphere into the prescribing process. (Think of all the potential mistakes that could be made if a physician were to prescribe a medication based solely on the appearance of the icon designed to represent that drug on a smartphone’s screen.)

This is why it is essential that prescribers are highly trained in pharmaceutical care and handle only those medications that they are absolutely certain will not cause any harm to their patients. (Even then, there is always the chance that an error could still happen and that a medication could be accidentally or deliberately administered.)

Mobile Phones And Other Digital Technologies

The above examples all relate to the use of digital technologies within the healthcare sphere, but the role of mobile phones and other devices in healthcare cannot be overstated. (If you thought that the role of smartphones in healthcare was important, just wait until you hear what other devices are capable of doing for medicine and health.)

First, let’s discuss mobile phones. As we have established, smartphones play a crucial role in our day-to-day lives, and it is not difficult to see why. Aside from being able to access information at the touch of a button, many mobile phones now have a variety of sensors and technology built into the device itself that can be used for medical purposes. (Think of the Covid-19 tests that are now possible to perform from the comfort of your home.)

In fact, in some countries, people with chronic diseases such as diabetes are encouraged to use mobile phones to monitor their health and take care of their conditions. In these cases, the mobile phone often becomes the digital patient’s best friend, providing all the medicine and information necessary for treatment. (In other cases, the phones can be used to take live readings from patients or to provide doctors with the patients’ vitals, allowing for remote patient monitoring and virtual visits.)

Apart from mobile phones, many other devices that we use every day, such as MP3 players, can also be used for healthcare purposes. (Think of how much more convenient and enjoyable it is to listen to your favorite music while taking your blood pressure medicine!)

The Future Of Healthcare

So what does the future of healthcare look like?

In 2021, we will see more remote patient monitoring and virtual visits, as healthcare providers are learning to value the time that they spend with their patients. (Thanks to improvements in technology and the flexibility of work hours, as well as the pandemic, more and more professionals are able to work remotely, providing convenient healthcare for those who need it most.)

Mobile phones and other digital technologies are also changing the way healthcare is delivered. Healthcare providers can now prescribe medications and monitor their patients remotely, which reduces the need for as many face-to-face visits as before. (Think of how much more convenient it is to have your hormone therapy delivered to you without having to go to the pharmacy.)

Thanks to new devices and platforms specifically designed for healthcare, such as EchoHealth, patients can now track the progress and outcomes of their treatment sessions (and receive alerts when they need to take their medication). (EchoHealth is a leading provider of digital health products, including mHealth apps and wearables for the management of chronic diseases and health outcomes. These new products make it easier for patients to track and manage their health information, and provide them with better healthcare and a better understanding of how treatments are working.)

So, as we can see, healthcare is evolving and changing to meet the new challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ever-evolving world of medicine. Digital technologies, particularly those used for healthcare, are undoubtedly here to stay. (And remember, as with all technologies, there are always options and alternatives available when needed.)

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