Smartphones has taken society by storm. In Sweden, 73 percent of the population has access to a smartphone according to the report “Svenskarna och internet”. The percentage differs between the ages and is over 90 percent in the age group 12-45 years.
Smartphones are provided with many technical functions which creates a lot of opportunities. It is a powerful tool with a lot of potential in different areas, especially within healthcare.
Today, the majority of the Swedish population has access to a smartphone. Thus, has experience in using the device. Using this kind of technology for medical purposes would not be too strange for a lot of people, since they already are familiar with the device. At Cenvigo, we made use of its potential to develop PANDA, Parkinson’s Digital Assessment, for people with Parkinson’s disease.
Recently, Managed HealthCare Executive published a list of ways physicians should use mobile devices:
1. Continuous dialogue
By providing patients with tools that engages them in their treatment, physicians and patients can use mobile devices for a more secure, continuous dialogue that is in line with the modern communication of today.
The ability to engage in continuous discussion can break down current barriers, thus make patients more comfortable with their physicians. Establishing continuous communication can lead to earlier identification of potential adverse health events.
2. Sharing, tailored content
The parts of the care information that is relevant for the patieent should be deliviered to the patient and be accessible anywhere, anytime. The information should be concise and easy digestible in order to create knowledge and understanding.
Do you have a patient with high blood sugar levels? Supply them with one low glycemic recipe a day. By engaging patients like this, physicians can proactively prevent readmissions.
3. Remote monitoring
Digital tools that engage the patient in their treatment leads to an increased efficiency for the physician and the healthcare staff. By implementing methods for both active and passive remote monitoring, physicians can monitor heart rate, blood glucose and other metrics continuously. In doing so, healthcare staff can spot early health events and address them which can decrease the amount of costly hospital visits.
4. Access to real-time data
Both patients and clinicians can be provided with real-time data through mobile devices. By using these tools, physicians can answer patient questions, check in and conduct health visits. The data that is created can be collected and analyzed on an ongoing basis.
Integrating the stream of information with electronic health records and digital health platforms will create a more complete picture of the patient’s health situation. It would also reduce the hours spent manually charting, faxing records and hand-entering medical data.
5. New ways to execute telehealth visits
With mobile devices, physicians and healthcare staff can virtually execute visits that allows patients and physicians to see each other, which makes the visit feel more real. Patients can also to connect with physicians and experts in other cities, and countries, which would be cost-effective without impacting the patient satisfaction.
Healthcare organizations must start embracing technology and its possibilities. Digital health does not have to be complicated. The list above gives evident examples of simple solutions that favor both clinicians and the patients.
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