Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Technology and The Patient

True engagement comes about through two-way, mutually beneficial conversations.

Technology must look to create multiple ways to facilitate both formal and informal Patient- Doctor Communication. The telephone made a huge impact on the way we communicate, and so did email. Newer technologies must be used to offer ease of use, increase reach and lower costs. Many providers today communicate with their patients using skype, google chat and even facebook. Technologies must build on such success stories.

Doctor–Patient Communication will also benefit if technology vendors link Communication mechanisms to Provider Information Sources and Health Information Exchanges

-- Provide integrations of these mechanisms with clinical and diagnostic software(EMR's, EHR's , etc)
-- Emailing of schedules and reports to patients is a must.
-- Using SMS to send Medical alerts, reminders, and schedules
-- Go the extra distance and use Social Media to provide alerts and reminders to patients via Facebook Messages, Twitter DM's, etc

For years, patients have liked to work in groups, to support each other, to help themselves cope with illnesses which their near and dear ones don’t understand, to seek advice from others who have similar ailments. 

Bringing people together in collaborative dialogue to explore social conditions that are the major influences of health and illness generates deeper collective awareness and community-driven action.

Since Individuals don’t see their lives partitioned into an online and offline world, Online communities should be given as much value as offline ones. A variety of Online Communities must come up for connecting patients quickly and privately with others who share similar health experiences. A fantastic example of one such community is Patients Like Me

Technology today exists not only in the form of created online communities but also online community frameworks; These allow just about anyone with an idea for a group or community to set up an online network, full with video and audio chats, whiteboarding, discussion forums and groups and all the other good stuff.

This helps create an integrated digital ecosystem which simultaneously addresses both individual and social dimensions of health. In effect this

-- Allows Patients to engage with each other
-- Allows Providers to engage with this medium


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