How we access healthcare varies from country to country but rarely do you find patients content with the service they receive. In the UK the service is free yet you may have to wait 2-4 weeks to see your primary care physician for a non urgent consultation. In the USA, costs are excessive. These issues lead to poor standards of health within the population. Advances in technology (digital health), however mean that this no longer needs to be the case. But how can we use digital health to our advantage?
In an age where we like to be in control of most things in our lives, we need to start taking control of our health. Doctors are given ownership of our health but rarely have the time to focus on in depth holistic care.
In an age where information is everywhere, we can educate ourselves on healthier living but care must be taken in choosing where that information comes from.
We can track many health parameters using our watches etc but which parameters are really of use: the number of steps you have walked or your heart rate? Also is this information accurate?
Having learnt about your health and recorded relevant information, it is important to have a professional interpret it, but how can you obtain an appointment quickly and cost effectively?
Now that you have found a professional to talk to, do they have the expertise and understanding of the developments in medicine, to analyse your data and then tailor your care to your own personal biology?
The benefits of digital health are reliant on 4 pillars:
We at HealthAide.co are creating an environment where motivated individuals can improve their health using the 4 pillars of digital health.
Healthcare is a heavily regulated industry that is not meeting the needs of the population irrespective of whether the patient is paying for their care or not. We need to alter our mindset as doctors and patients and only then will standards improve. We both need to embrace the pillars of digital health and in time this will ultimately improve standards of our health wherever we are.
Blog post written by Dr Khurram Akhter.
Khurram is an experienced primary care physician and a thought leader
in the field of digital health.