Today we’re looking at the evolution of the Digital Patient with respect to new platforms and telemedicine.
The digital patient is a user who crosses the limits of classical medicine and uses different devices and forms of technology that allow them to better understand their health status, keep up to date with their diagnoses, pay attention to their ailments and indicators, and have information on their treatments in an automated way.
Likewise, the digital patient is also someone who uses new technologies to communicate with health personnel, thus creating a horizontal and bidirectional relationship between doctor and patient and taking a more proactive and empowered role in their use of medicine.
The growth and development of new technologies has allowed the concept ‘patient’ to include, almost automatically, the adjective ‘digital’. But what exactly does this novel construction mean? How does it manifest itself in practice?
Reasons for the Evolution of the Digital Patient
1. Electronic Prescription
The use of electronic prescriptions has been in the making in Spain since 2003, but it was only in 2015 when it began to spread to all regional health systems. In 2017, its use was also expanded in mutual societies, both for those attached to insurance entities.
This tool gives health personnel the possibility of issuing prescriptions through digital means that can be dispensed at any pharmacy without the need to present the prescription on paper. The fact that its regulation is unified at the national level allows any prescription to be taken into account from any pharmacy in Spain, the user just has to present their individual health card for this.
2. Artificial intelligence and preventive medicine
Thanks to technological advances and the increasingly widespread use of smartphones and other wearables, a large part of the population already has an electronic device capable of carrying out countless functions that are little known among the masses – also including health personnel.
These devices are capable, for example, of evaluating health indicators such as blood pressure, heart rate or blood oxygenation, and transmit, in turn, this information to doctors so that they can remotely monitor it.
Uninterrupted communication between doctor and patient allows a more accurate diagnosis to be made earlier. In addition, it’s also possible to observe the evolution of the patient and give them a more proactive role in their treatment, as well as having a broader and more precise margin of maneuver in the face of any change that may occur in their health status, which will be detected instantly.
As we said, these benefits are not only reduced to the information obtained by the health professional, but also have a positive effect on the information, understanding and participation that remains in the hands of the patient.
The possibility of carrying out teleconsultations via mobile, tablet or PC to resolve any doubts that may arise -or of using asynchronous messaging in cases where the patient cannot be attended instantly- will allow the patient to better understand their case, its symptoms and its evolution, as well as the active implication that it can have on them.
The digital patient can also make use of an alert system that notifies him when it is time to take medication, carry out some exercise or complete a follow-up questionnaire.
Current applications of Artificial Intelligence
As we said, Artificial Intelligence (AI/AI) is a key element in the evolution of telemedicine and, consequently, the digital patient has it increasingly integrated into their day to day life.
Thus, in the era of the Internet of Things (IoT or Internet of Things), a wide range of medical devices and equipment can be connected to a server or to the cloud.
In this way, the integrated wearables are able to monitor the vital signs of patients in real time and transmit this data to the cloud so that both health personnel and the patients themselves can carry out an evaluation of them easily and keep going.
This degree of monitoring can help patients with chronic conditions to manage the data that concerns their own health. Beyond this, it is also possible to reduce the number of face-to-face visits to the medical center and allows discerning between when it is necessary to go to the emergency room and when this assistance is not essential.
In turn, this gives emergency personnel the possibility of responding immediately in those cases whose nature so requires, specifically in cases of heart attacks or other types of cardiovascular accidents. Making use of innovative telemedicine devices to transmit EEG, EKG and other readings while traveling to the scene of the emergency, these specialists have the possibility of advising immediate treatments while the hospital staff can prepare and provide the facilities for the imminent arrival of the patient.
This combination of AI elements, used synergistically and efficiently, translates into a health system that is increasingly capable of saving lives.
The evolution of the Digital Patient with the right software
The evolution of the digital patient demands that clinics and health providers also do it with them. Thus, it is necessary for them to implement a patient management system that is focused on their needs and that has the necessary tools to attend to them.
An updated telemedicine platform should allow holistic and comprehensive management of the clinic and integrate functionalities that range from the most bureaucratic (accounting in patient management or budgeting) to the most practical elements, such as monitoring of treatments in a humane and individualized, but automated way, going through the possibility of accessing medical records from any device or the issuance of electronic prescriptions; without neglecting the economic aspect, such as the opportunity to carry out digital marketing campaigns that allow reaching more and more people.
Therefore, you can count on Docline, the Telemedicine software capable of providing you with all these tools so that your clinic works in the most efficient way.