Has it happened to hear a lot about digital health lately? The Covid-19 pandemic, which spared no country in the world, faced states with challenges that were not previously intended as services provided daily to citizens. From virtual workshops, digital learning, online shopping, work from home to digital health services.
Connecting with your doctor in a digital form is a great way to get the health care you need from the comfort and safety of your own home.
What does digital health mean?
Digital healthcare (Telehealth) – often referred to as telemedicine – allows your doctor to take care of your health without a personal physical visit to a clinic or hospital. Digital healthcare is developed through the internet for all persons who have internet access on their computer, tablet or smartphone.
Some digital health opportunities.
Already part of virtual services, there are several ways patients can take advantage of digital healthcare facilities without restricting people from using a platform or app:
1. Talk directly by phone or video chat with your doctor;
2. Sending and receiving messages from your doctor using messages or emails through secure communication platforms. This also protects the nature of the information exchanged online;
3. Remote monitoring so your doctor can check on you at home. For example, you can use a device (which has been on the market for years) to collect vital signs of your organs. These devices send data directly to your doctor, who stays updated in real time for the progression or worsening of your condition.
4. In cases where patients do not have a stable internet connection or an access device, there are many bookstores, internet centers or community centers which, among other things, from the global pandemic, already offer the opportunity to access digital health (telehealth).
What care can I get using digital health?
You can get a variety of specialized care through digital healthcare. Digital healthcare is especially useful for monitoring and improving ongoing health issues, such as medication changes or chronic health conditions.
In either case it is your doctor who will decide if tele-health is appropriate for your health needs.
Your doctor may also ask you to send information that will help improve your health, such as:
- Your weight, blood pressure, blood sugar or other vital information;
- Images of a wound, eye or skin condition;
- A health record;
- Medical records that may be presented to another doctor in the future, such as X-rays;
- Doctors can send you information to manage your health at home;
- Notifications to do rehab exercises or take medication;
- New suggestions for improving diet, mobility or stress management;
- Detailed instructions on how to continue your care at home;
- Encouragement to stick to your treatment plan.
The number of virtual medical examinations is increasing day by day, here it is worth mentioning the new start-ups that provide medical services through a platform or application.
Although physical check ups may be necessary in certain cases, digital health offers many benefits such as:
- Due to the pandemic and the limitations it brings, this form of health reduces exposure and risk of infection;
- Virtual visits ensure you get health care wherever you are – at home, at work or even in your car;
- Virtual visits shorten trips to the clinic, the leave you take from work and the need for childcare;
- Virtual healthcare tools can shorten the waiting time for an appointment;
- You also have access to specialists who are very far from your hometown and who you have not previously had the opportunity to consult with them.
However, digital healthcare is not a perfect fit for everyone or for every medical case. Be sure to discuss the disadvantages or risks with your doctor.
We note that the above data were extracted from the health services in hospitals in the US.