Coronavirus is everyones biggest concern, but it does not mean we will not develop other health problems, such as gastro, appendicitis or injuries. We still need to see the doctor, but at the same time we do not want to expose ourselves to coronavirus, by going out. As a result, doctors have been encouraged to use Telehealth, (Telehealth is where you see a doctor via something like Skype or Facetime).
Now you can see your GP by Telehealth under Medicare.
As a family physician, I have been using Telehealth for many years. It will never take over from seeing a doctor face to face, but we can achieve a lot using a video consultation.
As a doctor I need to gather a lot of information to work out what is wrong with you. If you can give me that information, I can perform a safer consultation via a video. If you have the right tools in your house, you can give me the information that I need and reduce the chance of missing something nasty.
These tools have been around for many years and are not high tech.
This week, we have created a special edition newsletter to highlight what tools can be used to help your doctor make a safe diagnosis. As mentioned before in this blog, these gadgets should be part of everyones first aid kit, to allow you to always see a doctor from the comfort of your own home, safe from the coronavirus.
Online Health Services
Whether you have the right equipment or not, there are many health services that you can access online. You can see a GP, get a blood test or even an STI check. Click on the button below for more information.
For Clinic Owners
If you are a clinic owner who is setting up a Telehealth service, please click on the link below and cut and paste the URL into an email or sms to be sent to your patients.
You can improve the quality of your Telehealth assessments by informing your patient population how to provide data that can help you make a diagnosis.
Please note that your patients will need to be consented to receive communication via this process - Spam Act 2003)
The culture of digital health encourages us to understand our health, get involved in activities that may prevent illness in the future, get to know our body and then act if a problem arises. This culture applies to the health of women. We all should be pursuing regular exercise and a healthy diet. In addition we should be focussing on mental health and performing activities that benefit it. Specific to women’s health are also how your periods are affecting you, pregnancy issues and breast health. Technology is providing us with solutions to all these aspects of health and more.
So How Can Technology Help?
So let’s focus on issues specific to women. There are many questions that we come across as health professionals about the health of women. Periods, sexual health, contraception etc. The topic of conversation often varies according to the age of the person. Younger females come in to discuss contraception and period advice, whilst older females often like to discuss things like hormone replacement therapy (HRT). A useful site to consider when asking questions about women’s health is Clue. They have an encyclopaedia of information on most topics. Free and easy to access, it is a useful starting point for anyone who needs information to learn about their body.
In addition to this they have a period tracker. It is useful for women to track their periods from a general health point of view but also if they are trying to get pregnant. It is a simple to use tracker that can be downloaded to your phone and accessed at all times. It also tracks your mood to determine if there is a hormonal cause to any mood issue. I have a patient who was started on strong antidepressants 5 years ago by another doctor. It was not really working that well and we went through the cycle of increasing her dose, getting her seen by a psychologist and encouraging her to exercise. One day she decided to track her mood in relation to her periods and realised that her mood was typically worse prior to the onset of her period. We got her off the antidepressant and onto the pill and she was transformed. Her mood was much improved. Unfortunately it had taken 5 years to get to that point. It highlights the point that if you understand your body well, we can treat any problems accurately.
This brings us to our next point which get to know your body, physically. What do I mean by this? We all have little lumps and bumps that are normal for us. It is important to know where these lumps and bumps are and monitor for change. In relation to women’s health this applies to your breasts. Get to know them! It is really important to understand what is normal for you. If you know this, then you will be identify a change. If you notice a change, you can act by seeing your doctor, who can identify if there is a problem or not. With all problems if it can be diagnosed early, the chance of cure is high. Daisy Wheel is an app that can teach you how to examine your breasts but also remind you to set aside a few moments on a regular basis to perform a check. A simple piece of tech that can really make a difference to your health.
The pelvic floor is a series of muscles that sit in the pelvis and help with all activities that the pelvis performs such as controlling your bowels and bladder and sexual function. Because we cannot see it we often forget it is there. As we age, they become weaker. If you have children, they are often affected in childbirth. Strengthening your pelvic floor can provide benefit whatever stage of life you are in. Strong pelvic floor muscles can improve your sensation during sex and the strength of your orgasms. They also prevent the risk of incontinence as you get older. Elvie is a novel piece of technology that helps train your pelvic floor, that is worth considering.
We have identified some technology specific to women’s health but it is worth remembering that all other forms of technology still apply to women in relation to fitness, nutrition and mental wellbeing. The digital health revolution is breaking down barriers enabling you to understand your health and take control. We at HealthAide continue to strive to find solutions that could be of use to you, whatever your health concern is. Empower yourself and own your health. We have one life, let's make it a good one.
Blog post written by Dr Khurram Akhter.
Khurram is an experienced primary care physician and a thought leader
in the field of digital health.
Disclaimer: This text does not serve as medical advice and if you have any questions, seek advice from your doctor.