I don’t keep up with most trends. Usually, they go as quickly as they arrived and rarely are they anything of substance. Think about it: Pogo sticks. Platform shoes. Quinoa. Yikes….Okay, I’ll admit I like quinoa. But overall, I’m not really a trendy kinda gal.
There’s always an exception to the rule of course. And that exception is threefold: New folk-rock music, The Walking Dead and health trends. Knowing what’s going on in medicine and wellness is hugely important to me and my household. I’m never the first one to jump on (or off) the vaccine bandwagon but keeping up with what’s happening and what that looks like for the people I love allows me to choose the best possible healthcare for us. After all, it shapes our entire lives!
Here are 3 digital health trends your family needs to know about.
Personalized healthcare is at the fore of all the other advancements in medicine. Doctors and hospitals are creating personalized health plans that speak directly to illnesses that are plaguing our country. Obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, etc… These are all highly diet and lifestyle related and in that, highly personal. So, by paying special attention to them, particularly in relation to cancer diagnostics and newborn screening, new treatments and plans for preventative action are being formulated.
We really are moving toward a patient-oriented system, rather than a top down model that benefits the system more than the patient.
A particular challenge is applying what were previously en-masse treatments and drugs to a case by case basis. To facilitate that, there’s a vital importance of nurturing the patient/doctor relationship and a need for a fundamental awareness of one’s own wellness and body. Communication is key here, as are combination therapies for treating a variety of problems or symptoms rather than just one.
Moreover, supplementing traditional medicine with yoga and meditation, a healthy sex life, regular exercise and holistic food practices could be a potential multifaceted solution to this problem.
Customer Relationship Management
Ensuring both personalized healthcare and broader healthcare meets the needs of the patient, customer relationship management is vital. Put simply, Customer Relationship Management is a broadly recognized, widely-implemented strategy for managing and nurturing a system’s interactions with patients. It involves using technology to organize, automate and synchronize processes and the overall goals are to find, attract and win new patients, nurture and retain those the healthcare system already has, entice former patients back into the process, and reduce the costs of marketing and client service.
Basically, responsive technology (software and practical application) improves the bottom line for governments and hospitals, as well as patients. Using digital health technologies and trends to facilitate this kind of wellness connects patients and their families, doctors, nurses, and pharmacists for a streamlined and more efficient – not to mention effective – health care system, thereby improving the care we receive.
As personalized health care mixes with customer relationship management, we’re seeing a marriage between the material and the virtual – a disruptive technology that virtualization and decentralization of healthcare. In this system and in the future of healthcare, practitioners can work from anywhere and patients can be treated anywhere, making it easier for people to obtain the treatment they need. Of course, it requires a united front between doctors, nurses, hospitals, pharmacists, universities, and patients and their families which isn’t easy – simply opening those doors is a challenge in and of itself.
But digital health records, telehealth, E-health, and intelligent automation like AI and virtual reality make this easier. Combined with the monitoring data from wearable technology will provide real-time information that helps people make better and more specific health care decisions across borders and places.
What trends are you most excited about? Which ones are you worried about? Which will affect your family the most? An integral piece of these health trends is patient participation so join the conversation!
Kristy Gardner is a writer, photographer and the author of Cooking With Cocktails: 75 Spirited Recipes (Countryman Press). She’s written & photographed with Edible Communities, The Taste Canada Food Writing Awards, and CountryMan Press and has presented at The Food Blogger’s Online Summit. Kristy lives in Vancouver, B.C. and has a penchant for farm fresh cocktails, carbs, hiking in the backcountry, bad ’80s films, bourbon, and pigs. Stalk her at SheEats.ca.