Connected Health and How Digital Is Transforming Health

Want to know a secret? Your patients are getting most of their medical information from the Internet.

Not really a secret anymore, is it?

But there’s an inherent risk with patients heading online to do research, gaining access to information, then using it to treat their own conditions. The advice is more than likely wrong. And depending on how they use it, it could even be harmful or deadly.

It’s no longer about having access to information; it’s about controlling the information a person uses to make healthy decisions. And as healthcare providers merge technology with what is available to their patients, better decisions can be made by all.

The healthcare playing field is changing rapidly.

  • Smartphone penetration is well above 70 percent of the population and increasing rapidly
  • Top pharma companies increased their production of unique apps by 63 percent last year
  • The number of health apps has more than doubled over the past two years
  • Chronic conditions are on the rise

And with even small amounts of change in the way healthcare operates, we see significant changes in the day to day practice of medicine.

Health care providers can significantly reduce the amount of time spent on paperwork by being connected and using mobile as they move through their days. Which means they have more time to spend with a patient, and on average can see more patients per day.

Patients are turning to mobile for one very important reason: information. They want trustworthy, accurate data. They want something that’s easy to use. And they want security. They aren’t afraid to use mobile, but it better help them make the right decisions and do so in the most secure way.

There is increasing potential to support the shift from “hands on” and “face to face” contacts with digital communication, such as e-visits, e-prescriptions and remote monitoring. Home telehealth can be used effectively across many practices and fields. Ripe for discovery and change are long-term care treatments and therapies, from mental health, to residential and nursing homes, to chronic illnesses.

Yet both sides of the equation – providers and patients – have to be prepared for the outcomes. That means as providers; it’s our job to think and build from the ground up, structuring the most efficient path possible for both internal and external communications. Ask yourself these questions.

  • Why would my patients want or need digital health solutions?
  • Today’s wearables produce a lot of data, how can I harness that for my patients?
  • Are the apps and wearables used today really secure?
  • With tens of thousands of apps available, how do I know which to choose?
  • Who’s liable if anything goes wrong?
  • Who must pay for this technology?
  • How do I know I can trust the data?
  • How do I use this technology to the best of my ability?

The future is coming at us full speed. By staying ahead of the game and finding the very best solutions available today, you’ll be ready for all that is coming tomorrow.