How mHealth maximized the advantage of connected care?
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The world of medicine is made up of a blend of hard and soft facets. Caring for patients is much more than just treating their diseases. Essentially, it’s a teamwork where different skills synergies to provide better health to patients and hence everyone has a vital role to play to accomplish the desired objective – it could be an emotional issue, obesity prevention, stress management, or rehabilitation. Medical professionals closely work in tandem to address these patient needs. Therefore, the medical field is made up of a variety of allied healthcare specialists who play various roles in patients’ lives during their illness.
The emergence of mHealth has underlined the importance of digital sharing and collaboration and enabled exchange of medical data across different stakeholders, viz., primary care providers, diagnostic centers, physicians, drug stores, and other support centers. With increasing usage of smartphones and mobile applications, allied healthcare worker has become an important cog in the healthcare spectrum. Today’s advanced Internet connectivity solutions offer numerous ways of innovative communication. Shortage of physicians and nurses has made this role even more meaningful as physician, paramedics, nurses, or healthcare support teams take on more responsibilities for direct patient care. There are various allied healthcare professionals who serve the needs of patients – dietitians physical therapists, dialysis technologists, social workers, respiratory therapists, phlebotomists, audiologists, to name a few.
Depending on the care needs, patients may be prescribed procedures like dialysis or sessions such as dietary counselling, occupational therapy, etc. With the large number of patient visits each day in a hospital, keeping track of the event details of each individual patient can be a mammoth task. Smart mHealth solutions allow an allied healthcare professional to stay connected, informed and updated about each patient’s progress on treatment/procedures in real time (e.g., medication regimen, dietary modifications, activity tracking, dialysis, respiratory therapy, etc.) and help patients summarize these events meticulously before they consult a physician. This summary can be very handy for physicians during the consultation, as it presents a crisp storyboard containing every detail of prescribed outpatient treatments rendered to the patient. This way, physician could focus on the real issue and need not make umpteen calls to various departments to find out relevant details. Nor does the patient have to run from department to department to get the paperwork ready before the next physician visit, thus saving time and energy for both the patient and physician.