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‘Digital Healthcare Trends’

According to researchers, physicians will be able to triage a patient’s status and their need to be seen by monitoring the data generated by wearable devices and analyzed by an Artificial Intelligent (AI) system. Fo example, many patients may go to their doctor and have a high blood pressure at that visit prompting the doctor to monitor the blood pressure more closely. This has become common practice but has proven to be very difficult to get the patient to be compliant in performing this task. The reasons for this may include, the patient forgetting to take or document the blood pressure or a lack of education of the process. Monitoring a patient’s vital signs can be a critical part of the plan of care but it’s often a struggle to get patients to do it.

In office visits aren’t always the right answer, as a patient will often get “white coat syndrome” at the doctor. For example, the stress of being at the doctor can cause a patient to have abnormally high blood pressure so this must be considered. Because of this, a physician may ask the patient to go home and keep track of their vital signs but has been proven to be ineffective in the past for the reasons listed above.

Paper health records lead to inefficiencies and big mistakes

There used to be a day you would go to the doctor when you were sick. The doctor would see you, examine and diagnose you, write out a prescription, hand it to you and send you on your way. If your doctor happened to be really busy and got distracted maybe he or she forgot that you had an allergy to something like penicillin and then wrote a prescription for something with it in it.

Of course, you don’t realize there is something wrong until you get the prescription back from the pharmacy and pull out the bottle to take a pill. It could be that the smell is overpowering or the color is distinctive. You know you are allergic and cannot have it and you wonder “how did this ever happen?” The reality is that this happens all the time. The rate at which this occurs used to be a lot higher, but it still happens. Also, it’s not limited to just doctor visits. It happens in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, doctor’s offices, pharmacies and in the home. Paper medical records are archaic, disconnected and not convenient for sharing information.

Baby boomers, who were born between 1946 and 1964, according to Wikipedia, constitute the second-largest generation following millennials. This group grew up knowing the value of healthcare and taking care of themselves. In addition to making their own healthcare decisions, many of them are now caring for aging parents as well. Today, they value the advances and healthcare options offered by technology. In fact, they have adapted quite well to the internet and have embraced social media: 83% of baby boomers ages 51 to 59 and 76% of those ages 60 to 69 use the internet regularly, according to The Pew Research Center.

But how exactly are baby boomers using the internet and technology when making healthcare decisions?

Baby boomers have a lot of confidence in their healthcare team and rely on what their doctors tell them. However, they like to research what they have been told to gain more insight on their health issues. They enjoy using healthcare portals to locate information or come up with questions for their doctors. For example, my 94-year-old grandfather is completely independent and living on his own, and he loves using the computer or even his iPhone to research medical terms mentioned by his doctor. He is being very proactive in his own care.

Insight and Influence Through Social Media
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