Digital Health has become an influencing factor in today’s day and age. Patients using digital networks to communicate with doctors are enjoying the benefits of innovative healthcare experience. It has drastically changed healthcare practices by helping them overcome many traditional challenges and processes. It provides patients the power to manage their health by providing access to their health data from different sources such as doctor’s clinics, hospitals, laboratories, pharmacist and even old medical records. But, despite healthcare being one of the largest sectors in India and a preferred destination for medical tourism globally, it’s the state of healthcare remains to rely on written prescriptions, manual processes, and paper files.
Digitization is possibly the most comfortable change that Indian doctors and patients are experiencing. The proliferation of the internet, penetration of the global market and rising use of mobiles is expected to fuel this trend further. Education and information around the use of digital health can bring the number of people under the umbrella of technology benefits.
Visualize this to understand more about digital health: You belong to a rural area, where you can’t find any medical help after sunset. One fine day you start feeling under the weather and you realize that the sun has already gone down. Hearing to a bit of traditional advice, you pop in a dose of paracetamol, hoping it would help. After a few hours, your symptoms lose their limits, and you are under drastic pain at midnight where you have no access to medical facilities. What will be your next step?
Here comes the need for digital health – In the same scenario, digital health can help you impart the medical advice you need. You just have to turn on your phone and search for doctors near you and ask them to connect over video chat. Where in doctor can look at your medical history, ask you about your symptoms and provide you with advice you were waiting for. He can also help you with doorstep delivery of prescribed medicine from your nearest pharmacy. Your phone takes note of your medical intake and passes the report of your recovery to your doctor. In just a few days you are back to your routine life where sunset doesn’t haunt you anymore.
This scenario isn’t some scene out of the future. This is innovation happening right now, in the healthcare space. This happens when digital health comes to utility. Here is an important education to impart to make sensible use of digital health in India.
How To Make Sensible Use Of Digital Healthcare In India
Use Convenient Lines of Communication– The more lines of communication, the easier it becomes for a patient to reach out to healthcare providers. Allowing the patient to connect with their doctors via the preferred mode of communication such as phone, text, email, and even social media enables them to obtain advice and guidance whenever it’s necessary. These systems allow communication to be documented for later review. The tools used for communication allows both doctor and patient to get notifications, reminders, appointment scheduling and prescription refilling, to make healthcare simple and experience advanced care.
Make use of organized information –Since decades we have used thousands of paper files to store our medical records, but when it comes to searching for a file needed, the process is much more time-consuming and the potential for errors is also much higher. Digital health has revolutionized file management and, in turn, improved the way that doctors and patients communicate. With the help of digital systems in place, doctors can quickly find a patient’s health record, access important information, answer questions, provide accurate treatment, and even see when and how the patient was treated last. The patient management system can also be integrated with electronic health record (EHR) systems. EHR helps to cuts down on regular admin tasks so staff can spend more time with patients rather than files.
Input health information on the web from multiple locations –Digital health design puts the patient on the lead and overall efforts are made to enhance the patient experience. Patients can sync in digital access and help themselves whenever it is needed. The use of virtual portals in digital space can help them to update their health information on the web from anywhere around the corner of the world.
Cloud-based patient relationship management (PRM) systems are one of the latest ways for doctors and patients to keep the lines of communication open. These systems are secured and not location-dependent when updates are made at one location, the other locations will instantly receive the information. The idea is just to stay connected whenever or wherever a patient needs care.
Use of digital tools for better patient experience –Digital health tools such as wearables and mobile apps, encourage patients to better understand and engage in a dialogue about their health data, which can improve outcomes. Data fetched by these tools can help providers to map a more complete picture of a person’s everyday health.
Use of patient portal –Patient portals are websites designed to help better connect patients to their providers. There are different types of portals but more or less they have the same features such as, the patient’s ability to schedule upcoming appointments, view the results of recent tests and obtain other types of health information. Some portals allow patients to securely and electronically communicate with their providers with the help of chatbox and video conferencing. Patient portals are becoming an increasingly important way to stay engaged with doctors in today’s healthcare space.
Easier to share feedback – Digital healthcare technology is providing avenues for two-way communication. It provides the best opportunity for patients to share their experience with the doctor because online reviews help people make informed decisions about everything from what products to buy to which doctor to visit. Honest patient feedback is certainly valuable information for a doctor or clinic whether or not it’s posted online.
In the era where the rest of the world is already talking about the use of artificial intelligence in the healthcare sector, we can at least take advantage of digitization in our healthcare. Digital health provides the network of quality care so that the maximum number of people can benefit across the country – no matter where they are. Let’s pass on proper education and information on digital health in our surroundings and make quality and accessible care a reality.