Patient-centric technology – In 2020, physical human interaction has been somewhat thwarted by the outbreak of the Coronavirus – as most communities take the necessary measures of social distancing and self-isolation to help contain the spread of the virus. However, improving the human element of interaction in healthcare has been made more possible thanks to greater investment on tech innovation for health services. The healthcare paradigm is indeed shifting with the application of advancing patient-centric technology that is transforming the lives of millions of people all over the world.
More often than not, a waiting room is packed with patients in need of a doctor – who only has limited consultation time due to the overwhelming waiting list. Technology can offer a practical solution to help reduce the delay and waiting time in clinics. Rather than requiring patients to schedule appointments at a clinic, routine trips for prescriptions and lab results, can be efficiently provided via advanced virtual solutions. Technology can help fight physician burnout and help meet rising patient demands.
Televisits allow patients to connect with their own doctors via video conferencing from their mobile device or computer, without the challenge of commuting or waiting in line at the clinic. Technology can enhance care and can provide a level of continuity that real appointments struggle to provide. Patients want to feel connected and understood by providers who are familiar with their medical history and genuinely care for their well-being. Patient-centric technology can provide patients immediate attention if they suffer from a chronic condition or a seasonal flu/allergy. This approach helps to avoid preventable illness through consistent interaction of practitioner with their patient, who can remain informed about their current health and follow immediate advice once given to them. Technology can therefore help doctors encourage patients to take preventative measures to combat symptoms before a condition develops.
Better access to care will help strengthen doctor-patient relationships, thereby reducing medical errors (common when providers do not know the patient they are seeing) and leading to more accurate, efficient treatment. Thanks to innovation in technology and access to global information via the internet, patients are taking greater responsibility for their health and well-being and are able to inform themselves on conditions and viruses that were once, only understood by physicians. Healthcare has become more about collaboration – patients helping the process of diagnosis and treatment by educating themselves. Because patients are taking on greater responsibility for their healthcare, they are seeking new channels of care, including mobile apps and at-home diagnostic testing. One such example is the lab-testing startup Everlywell, who as of Monday March 23, will offer a COVID-19 sample collection kit for home use. Samples will be securely shipped to labs certified for COVID-19 testing and results will be available in a secure, online format within 48 hours. The company will also be connecting with certified physicians that can provide consultations and support via telehealth. This and many other examples show how tech can revolutionize the healthcare sector by providing easier medical access to patients in need of support and guidance. Providers will utilize technology platforms, software, and mobile apps more, to readily access clinical data, connect and collaborate with patients and peers, for better management of clinical practices. Whilst healthcare remains to be overburdened and imperfect all over the world, patient-centric technology in healthcare is a step in the right direction and will transform approach in providing more effective tools/solutions in delivering optimal clinical outcomes.