Though we often go to health websites when checking on worrying symptoms we are experiencing in an effort to self-diagnose, the thought of downloading health-aiding apps hardly crosses anybody’s mind.
We often don’t associate our smartphones or other technology as being aids to help us with our healthcare, when in the present scenario the two could merge seamlessly together to give you a more productive approach for your well-being.
Smartphone revolutionises health care benefits. It is a great tool to keep track of your health. You can customize schedules and reminders for doctors’ appointments and medication. It allows you to be in touch with healthcare professionals virtually in case of medical issues when you have no physical access to a doctor.
With the smartphone revolution, an increasingly powerful new set of tools—from attachments that can identify an ear infection or track heart rhythms to an app that can monitor mental health—can trim down your visit to doctors, slash health costs, speed up the pace of care and give more power and knowledge to patients. Americans are progressively downloading more and more health and fitness apps designed to help them get in shape, lose weight or deal with an array of health issues. Since we always keep our phones with us, these apps make it easier to start the long-term lifestyle changes that endorse good health, such as getting more exercise and eating more balanced diets.
According to tech experts, we are not making full use of the potential that mobile technology has in terms of personal healthcare advancement. The method with which doctors prescribe medicines and pharmacies distribute them hasn’t evolved in years – even with the huge advancements that technology has made. With the emergence of the digital age, the ability for patients to communicate with health companies online should progress – much like how we have made bill payments and shopping online the norm.
Recent studies, including a paper by Gale Lucas and others published in the Journal of Computers in Human Behavior, have given evidence that people are more willing to divulge their inner thoughts to a computer avatar or “virtual human” than a real one. With machines working to enumerate moods and offering virtual counseling to educate us on mental health professionals, smartphones can be touted as the upcoming technology in improving mental health.
Improving the virtual tracking of healthcare and communication to patients could save countless physical office hours and money spent by the healthcare system as well. Having effective systems in place that promptly deal with customer illnesses, could also save lives.
Examples of technology that show these advantages are already available. For example, wearable tech such as the Apple Watch reminds users when to take medication and restock on their prescribed drugs. You can also measure your heart rate on these devices. This is a tool that could be used in the future to sign to users that something is amiss if anything seems abnormal.
The possibilities are endless. Phones could be used to diagnose disease and the seriousness of illnesses to let you know whether you need to make a doctor’s appointment or head down to the pharmacy.
If vitals such as heart rate can be monitored, it could well be shared with your healthcare team, providing data for in-depth analysis and comparison with similar patients. This could be used to provide more accurate diagnoses and treatment.
So it seems that instead of using our smartphones for work communication, entertainment and news, consumers will benefit from being well-versed in how it can help their health too. After all, healthcare providers, tech companies and retailers are all moving in the direction of making healthcare more adaptable and accessible in the digital age.
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