From November 13-18, it’s Digital Health Week—a time for Canadians to celebrate progress in digital healthcare technology.
Canada Health InfoWay has joined organizations across the country to create and promote events exploring this important subject. Healthcare professionals, sector leaders, and digital health supporters are also encouraged to get involved online.
At Aetonix, we know that digital technology can lead to massive time and cost savings within the healthcare system. This innovation can help service providers run more efficiently—and make things easier for workers on the frontlines.
But ultimately, improving the system is about creating better health outcomes and quality of life for those who receive care. That’s why we’re most interested in hearing directly from patients.
In honour of Digital Health Week, we’ve been exploring a patient video series presented by Canada Health InfoWay. We’re sharing four of our favourite picks in this post. Through these videos, you’ll hear directly from people whose lives have been changed by digital health innovation.
1) Judith’s Story
To say that cancer can be physically and emotionally overwhelming would be an understatement. Many patients want an immediate understanding of their treatments and how their bodies are responding. Others don’t. This InfoWay video looks at Judith’s story.
It was important for Judith to access her health information—when she was ready. In the meantime, her family members needed to stay in the loop. By providing on-demand access to Judith’s health records online, digital technology met her needs—and the needs of her family.
For providers, going digital is about more than increasing efficiency. It’s about ensuring that patients as well as family caregivers (and other trusted relatives) have secure access to all relevant information—on their own terms.
2) Cheryl’s Story
Cheryl was used to repeating the medical history of her daughter, who has special needs, every time they visited a new clinic. It was a struggle to remember to bring copies of all potentially-relevant documents to appointments. Overall, the process was draining.
In this InfoWay video, Cheryl describes how electronic health records (EHRs) have helped her navigate the health care system. In the past, pieces of her daughter’s medical history were stored in the files of many different practitioners. But things have changed, thanks to digital documentation. “[N]ow, all of her history and story is in one concise document,” says Cheryl.
With digital technology, a patient’s entire care team can securely share information relevant to her care. When all medical information and health updates are available in one easily-accessible place, it’s easier for providers to do their jobs. And greater efficiency means better care and less stress for patients—and their families.
3) Heather’s Story
Living in rural and remote places can come with unique healthcare challenges. Heather wanted the best treatment for her son’s burn, but there were no pediatric plastic surgeons in her Northern community.
Traveling to see a specialist was unavoidable. But thanks to telehealth technology, much of the follow-up care Heather’s son required was provided remotely. Communicating through video was different than simply using the telephone. “I feel like it is face-to-face, because you’re talking in real-time,” says Heather.
Many patients have no choice but to travel to receive the care they need. But most would prefer to be at home when possible. Telehealth solutions make it easy for patients who reside outside of city centres to stay in touch with the right practitioners.
4) Denise’s Story
After the death of her son, Denise found online support from other mothers who had experienced grief. Digital health tools also helped by reminding her to engage in self-care activities.
Digital technology allows patients, caregivers, and those coping with illness or loss to reach out for support. Whether it’s an app that connects circle of care members or a digital forum that offers grief support, a digital tool can provide the comfort of human connection.
A growing number of apps offer reminders (related to medication, as just one example), remote health monitoring, appointment scheduling support, and more. These convenient digital tools have the potential to improve the health and overall wellbeing of people around the world.
Feature image courtesy of NEC Corporation of America