Service Area : USA
What is Digital health?
Digital Health refers to the use of information and communications technologies in medicine and other health professions to manage illnesses and health risks and to promote wellness, using digitized records as opposed to paper files.
What Does it Mean to be an Empowered Patient (e-Patient)?
It means that you take control of your health issues, manage and monitor your health conditions, work with your clinician for the best possible outcome. It requires that you have read information about the medications you take and understand when, why, how and how often to take those medications. It means that you are proactive and work to keep yourself healthy and fit.
What is a Digital Health Record?
The digital health record, (DHR), also called the electronic medical record (EMR), is a written clinical history of a patient, that includes all health conditions, medical history, diagnoses, a complete and up-to-date medications list, treatment plans, immunization dates, allergies, radiology images, laboratory and test results.
What is a Patient Portal?
A Patient Portal is a secure online website that gives patients convenient, 24-hour access to personal health information from anywhere in the world, with an Internet connection. The tools or features vary, depending on the portal, but most portals enable you to order prescription refills, make appointments with a specialist, review lab and test or procedure results, have an e-visit with your clinician, and review your bills. Generally, portals include a link to a health information resource where you can find health information. You can also add information about what you’re doing to stay healthy and prevent disease, such as:
What do I bring to a Visit with the Doctor?
When you go to a doctor’s office, your first priority is to have an open trusting relationship with your clinician. All patients should have full information at the point of care. You can make the assumption that your doctor will have your digital health record with a complete list of your medications, allergies, conditions and past labs, procedure & treatment information. Your responsibility as an e-Patient, is to bring a list of question that are on your mind that includes: questions about conditions that you may have developed since your last visit such as a rash, cough, cough or other medical problem, medications you are taking (When to take, how often, What time of day, with food or not? and side effects that might occur). You should also bring up tests or procedures that you discussed in the past, and when they need to happen. Additionally, your need to remind your clinician about inoculations you might need and bring up all issues about your physical or mental health, that are bothering you.
What is a Wearable?
A wearables device used in healthcare is a remote smart sensor or accelerometer that tracks movements and speed, or sensors that measure human vitals such as heart rate, glucose levels, blood pressure, breathing function. While most wearables are either worn on the body or are attached to clothing, some function without any physical contact with the user for example, a mobile phone, smart tag or computer that can track user movements, and monitors this data in real time. Modern wearable technology includes fitness trackers, such as the Fitbit and the smart watch. They also include virtual reality headsets, smart jewelry, web-enabled glasses and Bluetooth headsets. Wearables work differently, based on their use: for health purposes, fitness or entertainment. Almost all wearable technology is based on the use of microprocessors, & batteries for connectivity to the internet so the collected data can be synched with other electronics, such as mobile devices or laptops.
What is Telehealth? Why is it beneficial?
Telehealth is a way to provide access and answers to people who are unable, due to distance, illness or inconvenience, to have a virtual conversation with their clinicians. The convergence of high bandwidth telecommunications, video technology, sophisticated medical robots and the spread of digital health records are enabling technologies that make this form of patient-clinician contact possible. Telehealth applications include: teletherapy, speech therapy, rehabilitation therapy, physical therapy, trauma and emergency care.
How do I protect the privacy of my health information? You own your data, Really?
In the 21st century world of medicine numerous tests, procedures, labs, consultations are routine, your private health information is recorded and handled by many individuals, not the least of which are the billing agents and the IT employees in a healthcare institution who maintain all of this technology. In the coming era when artificial intelligence will combine with your health record and could drive patient portals and other online interactions to manage your care, keeping your health information private is going to be difficult. Although there are strict rules that protect the privacy of your health information, it is not always possible to keep it protected. There are two areas where you want to keep that information private. One is where your employer has access to your health information and could deny you a promotion based on an illness listed in your record. The second, and bigger challenge is to keep your health information away from use by the prying eyes of marketing companies who share it with commercial entities use it to sell you products. It is up to you to decide how, when and whether that information should be kept in strict confidence or not. Be Aware!