We hear a lot about connecting health these days and most of it focuses on telemedicine. Telecommunications are definitely becoming an integral part of health care. But, connected care can be so much more!
Here are 9 things that can connect you to your care.
1. Medical Information
Medical information is powerful, but it isn't really accessible. It is stuck in different "silos" or medical clinics with limited means of crossing healthcare barriers. In someways this is good, it keeps your information locked away in a vault. But, what happens when you need access to it? Connecting your care means you will be able to securely get medical information to those who need it: whenever, wherever.
2. Healthcare Interpretation
Understanding your care needs can make all the difference. Being connected can mean having someone on "your side" to help you navigate your care, understand what steps need to be taken and the why behind it all. Pearlette Cassells knows the impact that understanding can have and how having all the information empowers patients to advocate for themselves. Take a look at her book!
This is a BIG one. If you are a caregiver, or have known someone in a caring role, you know the amount of time and effort that goes into it. Often, caregivers are left on the outside of the care network. Being connected could make all the difference. With access to needed medical information and professional advice, caregivers would be able to advocate for their loved ones and be sure they are getting the right care.
4. Strategic Care Teams
The care you need is unique to you and your circle of care should be just as unique. Creating a care team isn't as easy as it sounds though, you need to make sure they are all able to communicate and see the same information. Coordinating this can be a nightmare, so making sure they are connected is key.
5. Remote Health Monitoring
The most obvious connected technology is wearables. The number of available technologies is exploding. The trend was started by fitness enthusiasts to track performance levels. In recent years, there has been a larger trend towards health monitoring and using this real time information to provide more informed care.
6. Virtual Visits
Personally, I prefer this term to "Telemedicine". First of all, it doesn't make you think of a phone... because it doesn't involve a phone at all. Virtual visits are when a health professional provides care over a video platform. This type of care could be particularly important to individuals with reduced mobility such as seniors or pregnant women.
7. In-home care
In-home care is equally as important as virtual visits. Care cannot all be done virtually, but it is no easier for individuals with mobility limitations to get to clinic visits. In-home care can vary from professional caregivers who offer support and care to visits from health professionals that are able to complete assessments and medical care in the home.
8. Social Networks
Social connection is important to! You can get connected to people who know what you are going through, or at least have experienced something similar. Networks like Huddol are focused on providing you with a safe place to ask for support or knowledge from other caregivers or professionals.
9. The right professional care
Being connected means you can find the health professional that fits your needs. Comprehensive search engines are needed to connect the dots for you and make sure you are receiving the attention and knowledge you need.