Can patients improve their own health ? Results from a study of smartphone use in diabetes and hypertension

Can patients improve their own health ? Results from a study of smartphone use in diabetes and hypertension.

It is clear, being at home is always the best. Nevertheless is it cost efficient ? What about people with chronic disease ? As usual there is a chicken and egg circle, until technology is deployed to big amounts of patients, the costs will not be low. If we assume that public healthcare systems need to decrease costs as the public system is not more sustainable (or dramatically over budget), the only chance is going for some remote patient monitoring systems that combine good professional health care at home but being effective based on the remote eHealth monitoring systems.

In general people is not ready for health technology, and health technology and their devices and systems, are not enough user friendly. Think about the elders, the segment of population above 60, far away from being tech-lovers or even worst tech users, and demanding always more face to face attention. The key will be the right combination between direct care services and the use of eHealth systems. One of the hopes is that new generations, and in fact the sons and daughters of current elders, are either digital natives or digital immigrants, they may adopt faster some good eHealth solutions, if they can bring a better quality of life to their parents. Early adopters will not be the patients but the relatives and care givers of the patients. This is the challenge.

Can patients improve their own health ? Results from a study of smartphone use in diabetes and hypertension

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When people with medical assistance needs is directly assisted by professionals, such nurse or doctors, coordinating and providing health assistance, they improve notably. With the increase on elder population, chronic desease will increase, 85% of adult population believes they have a chronic decease in Catalunya. Health sector expects in the next 30 years and increase of diabetic prevalence of 50% , specially for elder people.
eHealth with remote monitoring will be one of the biggest growing business in the following years. eHealth has one of the key points to start recovering from a disease : facilitates getting yourself, the patient, involved actively.
In the referenced article it is described how controlled patients with type II diabetes, measuring their own systolic and diastolic blood pressure were getting a significant improvement after one year period.
The key is always engaging actively patients on the control and the direct support and coach by physicians. It is not just the technology but being smart on technology application. Health is about people, and the technology can help a lot.