The Blog: How Digitization is Impacting HealthCare
20 Nov, 2019
Digitization Beyond The Tech Sector
The digital revolution touches on every aspect of our lives, healthcare included. Whether it's finding a recommendation for the best chiropractor, booking a parking spot before surgery, or even training doctors and educating patients.Look a little closer and you will find no clearer example of the internet changing peoples' lives.
In the pre-internet age, Dr's diagnosis was very rarely questioned.These days Drs are as likely to get a list of potential diagnoses from some patients as they are symptoms.In many cases, this can be helpful for treatment. This is because a better-informed patient is better equipped and motivated to follow treatment recommendations.
On the other hand, some of today's patients have learned incorrect information from the internet.This can sometimes cause difficulties, such as more instances of disagreement and conflict between healthcare professionals and patients, and a greater pressure on medical professionals to prescribe medication when it is not required.
The reliability of healthcare advice on the internet is entirely dependent on the quality of sources.To combat the issues above, there is a call to better educate patients with critical skills that will help ensure that they can distinguish between reliable and unreliable healthcare information on the internet.
Helping Patients To Stay Healthy
Medical professionals have identified the role of the internet and digital marketing as a vital tool for preventative care and patient education.
Increasingly the internet is becoming the primary tool for helping patients to follow their treatments correctly.Unlike a medical practice, the internet is a constant part of patients' lives; it is always there to help answer their questions and keep them on track.
As part of the fight for patient empowerment and against misinformation. Healthcare services from around the world are increasingly going online. England provides access for all citizens to NHS 111 online, where patients can read reliable medical advice and to make appointments with practitioners.
Smartphone apps are also helping patients to get and stick to treatments better.There is a whole host of medication reminder apps includingMedisafe, Tabtime, Med Minder, PillpackandE-Pill.There are also disease-specific Apps such asGlucose Buddy which enables diabetics sufferers to track their insulin and blood sugar levels through their phones.
The internet can also help patients find answers to some of those more difficult or embarrassing questions. Clearly there is a demand for services in this area: Ro is a cloud pharmacy that specializes in the online diagnosis and delivery of treatments for erectile dysfunction. This year the company was valued at around $500 million
Training Better Doctors & Nurses
Virtualmedschoolis an online platform that offers what the Dutch company call "A 'Flight simulator' for medical professionals".Online tutorials of complex medical procedures from the virtual perspective of a surgeon in the operating theatre. The tool is currently used by over 6000 doctors and nurses in many hospitals in the Netherlands and The United Kingdom.
Medical Realties is another company that offers services in this area. Dr Shafi Ahmed is the CEO of the company.The Dr's vision is to create an online platform that uses augmented reality and affordable tech such as smartphones to teach medicine to people at different locations around the world.The aim is to make medical training more affordable and accessible.Check out a video interview here. This all just goes to show that digitization is not just helping with every stage of treatment it is also helping to train better Drs for the future.
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