Early detection of health problems is one of the best ways to prevent illness. This is an indisputable claim, and doctors the world over will agree that early intervention and prevention is better than any treatment plan.
In the UK, GPs are calling for greater support in the face of increased patient numbers and staff shortages. GPs are seeing as many as 60 patients per day, and are often forced to limit their consultations to under 10 minutes. Digital health technology, such as health monitoring apps and wearables could help to alleviate this pressure by giving doctors access to the information they need to diagnose and treat their patients more efficiently.
But what about the more severe cases when surgery is required? Elective, emergent and routine surgery can all be made safer and more efficient with the introduction of digital health tech. Here’s what you need to know…
Allows Patients to Make Informed Choices
In the case of elective surgery, such as cosmetic procedures, patients are now able to make much better decisions regarding their treatment than ever before. From choosing the right surgeon to making sure their expectations are achievable, sites like Real You have helped to connect patients and doctors around the world, allowing them to share vital information and help to lower the risk of cosmetic surgery claims.
Improved Pre and Post-operative Monitoring
Tracking a patient’s vitals pre and post operative often requires expensive hospital stays. This could be all set to change with the uptake of more digital health technologies. More surgical procedures could be switched to outpatient if there was greater monitoring available, such as telecare services like iBeat, which aims to monitor a patient’s heart rate in real-time and raises alerts with the emergency services in the event of a heart attack. Vital Connect is another startup that is changing the face of health monitoring with its health patches for continued monitoring.
Increased Patient Awareness
One of the biggest barriers to making surgery safer is making sure that patients are fully informed about their procedure. Understanding the postoperative requirements is essential to ensuring surgeries are successful. While too much information can sometimes be a bad thing and lead to patients self-diagnosing, it can also be used to help identify patient risk. TalkHealth is an interactive healthcare platform that works to help patients better understand chronic conditions.
With some forms of surgery, ensuring that the patient completes a rigorous physical therapy routine, which can be costly. Reflexion Health recently raised $7.5 million to grow their range of physical therapy programmes that work on the Microsoft Kinect system. This allows patients to carry out complex programmes from the comfort of their own homes, avoiding costly PT visits.