March 4, 2013
Technology Will Help People To Own Their Health
CNN recently reported about another connection between health care and technology. In the not-too-distant future, technology and health will again work together to improve diagnosis and cures for smartphone users as well as via other technology options.
Already, people are using some smartphone apps to help them monitor their health. A simple search at the App Store for keywords “health app” brings up apps like All-in Yoga, Blood Pressure Diary, HealthNut, not to mention WebMD, Mayo Clinic, and so many others. The CNN article explains that these health care applications will only improve.
In fact, it stipulates: “The ultimate health care applications will allow us to monitor our body and use the insight from that data to create an actionable, preventative health solution, such as an individual exercise or nutritional plan, in addition to devising a personal cocktail of medicine.” Moreover, these apps will allow us to have greater ownership of our health diagnosis and cures.
We will be able to go into our doctors with information to help with our health decisions. No longer will doctors be the sole proprietors of health knowledge and decision making. Patients will have more responsibility in the conversations about their health. As CNN states, the doctor’s role will change to coach instead of just decision maker. Less pressure will rest on their shoulders because different self-diagnosis tools help doctors monitor, prevent, and treat conditions.
The best part of this is the access to knowledge. CNN showed that people will be able to take a picture of their ailments and upload them to an app or database otherwise. Within moments, the patient will have information on the possible prognosis. Plus, future technology may have individual’s personal data stored so that we can better track our health. This would mean that people could focus more on prevention and living healthy lifestyles instead of solely concentrating on treatment. Technology may just change the health care game including health insurance.
Naturally, apps are not the only means of technology that will help health. Devices like pedometers and ECG attachments for iPhones already have an impact on the health of their users. These devices can only grow in number and capabilities.
All of this gives me great hope for the health of our futures. I have long been uncomfortable with the role that doctors feel they have in my own health. I am a researcher by nature thus if I am ill, I will research information to gain a better knowledge of the illness possibilities and treatments. I almost never go to my doctor without a basic knowledge in order to make my office visit a discussion instead of an edict. I want to own my health and my health decisions.
The imminent technology will only help me with that. Instead of being dictated to by my doctors, I will be intimately involved in my health decisions. I like this.
We should all want to be an equal partner in our health as opposed to just a follower of directions. If technology will give that power to individuals, then bring it on. I look forward to the future health apps. I look forward to watching the health care system change and adapt to a world with more information and knowledge. And I am ready to own my health knowledge even more completely.
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