The digital health revolution is happening, and it’s changing the way we get care. It’s improving patient outcomes, doctor care and communication between patients and their medical providers.
Digital health, which encompasses a wide range of technologies that enable patients to connect with their doctors and other providers remotely, has become a major trend in healthcare. In fact, many people now prefer digital services over in-person care because they allow patients to access information more easily and quickly when they need it.
Thanks to digital health, getting care from your doctor has never been easier. Whether you’re at home, in the car, or even far away on vacation, you can use your smartphone to access health records, message a doctor for advice about a troubling rash, or video chat with a therapist. Digital health is here to stay—and it’s changing the way we get and provide care.
Digital health devices and apps
Digital health devices and apps are mobile technology designed to improve your physical well-being. Digital health products can be used to monitor weight loss, track physical activity, and even help with mental health conditions such as depression.
Benefits of using digital health devices and apps include:
- Increased productivity by providing a convenient way to keep track of your daily activities
- Greater independence because they allow you to maintain better self-care without relying on others
Patient portals are a secure online gateway to your healthcare information. You can use them to communicate with the providers who treat you and request appointments, prescription refills and other services. Patient portals help you manage your health by giving you secure access to your medical records and allowing you to communicate with healthcare providers in a timely manner.
It’s important to understand that telehealth and telemedicine are two distinct fields. Telehealth is the use of technology to provide health care, while telemedicine is the use of technology to provide medical care. While both fields have the same goal—to improve access to care—they differ in their approach and often blur into one another.
Telehealth and telemedicine
Telehealth can be used as a platform for providing wellness programs and education, managing chronic conditions like diabetes or asthma, monitoring medication adherence and side effects, connecting patients with community resources like health coaches or support groups, conducting remote patient monitoring (e.g., Fitbit), triaging urgent care needs before they become serious enough to warrant an ER visit or ambulance ride (eHealth Technology Center 2017), etc.
The most common way people interact with telemedicine today is through video chat apps such as Skype or FaceTime: these allow users to video conference with healthcare professionals from virtually anywhere via their smartphones; this type of service was estimated by some researchers at $5 billion in 2015 alone (Kaushal et al 2016).
Virtual visits are a new way for patients to receive care. With virtual visits, you can see a doctor from the comfort of your own home or anywhere else as long as you have an internet connection. Many people prefer virtual visits because they’re able to schedule them on their own time, rather than having to wait in line at the doctor’s office when they get sick or if they need an emergency room visit.
Virtual visits are also useful for patients who live in rural areas where there aren’t many doctors nearby, because it allows them access to specialized care from specialists all across the country without having to travel very far at all.
Online video chats
Online video chats have also become a convenient way to get care, especially for people who live in rural areas or who cannot easily travel to see a doctor. In addition to being useful during epidemics, online video chats can also help people with chronic illnesses manage their conditions better by connecting them with health care providers at any time of day or night. For example, some patients may need frequent medical attention during the night because of complications related to their condition (e.g., asthma). In these cases it is helpful if doctors are available via phone call so they can continue giving advice even into late hours when most clinics are closed like 7pm-11pm on weekdays as well as weekends off too!
It’s exciting to see the way that telehealth, telemedicine, and patient portals are bringing healthcare into our homes. This is bound to be an area of rapid growth and innovation in the future as more healthcare providers start to offer virtual care services to their patients. It should come as no surprise that digital health is one of the top trends in the industry right now. The biggest change we’ve seen so far has been with devices like Fitbit and Apple Watch, which have made it easier than ever before for people to track their activity levels or sleep patterns–but there are plenty of other innovations coming down the pipeline too!