How technology is shaping the field of health care

In today’s technology age, there are so many new advancements and services to tune into. Driving a car is made easier with the help of navigation systems and voice-activated controls. Getting in touch with loved ones who live out of state is made all the more personal through video chatting with programs like Skype. And as it turns out, the health care industry is benefiting, as well.

Telehealth, which is defined as the delivery of health-related services and information with the help of telecommunication technologies, is paving the way for the future of health care. According to the telehealth Wikipedia page, it can be as basic as two health care professionals discussing a case over the phone or as sophisticated as doing robotic surgery between facilities at different ends of the globe.
In a recent article published by the Mayo Clinic, telehealth, also referred to as e-health or m-health (mobile health), the editors discussed a variety of health care services, including but not limited to:

  • Online support groups
  • Online health information and self-management tools
  • Email and online communication with health care providers
  • Electronic health records
  • Remote monitoring of vital signs
  • Video or online doctor visits

Those same editors also looked listed out a few good examples for how telehealth can benefit someone with say, diabetes. That person could tap into telehealth services to manage their health and they could do it from the comfort of their own home. Here are a few of those examples, courtesy of the Mayo Clinic.

  • Use a mobile phone or other device to upload food logs, medications, dosing, and blood sugar levels for review by a nurse who responds electronically.
  • Watch a how-to video on carbohydrate counting and download an application (app) for it to your mobile phone.
  • Use the same app to estimate, based on your diet and exercise level, how much insulin you need.
  • Send an email or text message to a nurse or diabetes educator when you have questions.
  • Order testing supplies and medications online.
  • Research the pros and cons of alternate treatments, such as insulin pumps.
  • Get email, text or phone reminders when you need a flu shot, foot exam or other preventive care.

So thanks to the cutting-edge benefits that telehealth can bring, these are truly exciting times to be living. And it’s nice to know that these technologies aren’t just for the young and hip. They’re for the old, the young and everyone in between.
To learn more, talk to your doctor or your Freedom Health Care caregiver. And take advantage of the advancements that are being made every day.