For Trioova, connected care means better care.
And for everyone else, it should too. Connected care is care enhanced by digital health, eHealth, Telehealth and similar technology-enabled care tools that allow the connection between all care team members and important health information. Really, the concept of being connected to your health is the increased communication and collaboration between you (the patient) and your care teams (beyond your family doctor).
Note: I say care teams (plural) because you may be involved in more than one care team. You are probably responsible for your own health, but you may also be responsible for the health of a family member or friend. When this is the case, being able to manage health simply and efficiently is important. About three-quarters of caregivers are employed full time (according to a study done in 2013) and devote 6-11 hours/week to caregiving on top of their paid jobs. Having an efficient way to view health information and be able to interact with the care team is important. I mean, everyone in your care team should be in-the-know about your health, right? Read this caregiver's story about care teams being ITK.
So... are we connected yet?
Well, not quite yet. Currently, you act as a middleman in your own health. Your job is to relay all of the necessary health information to those who need it. Infoway Health has been busting myths about digital health (if you don't believe me take a look at this one!) But, how are you supposed to know what's important, what's not, who needs it, etc.. all without easy access to your information?! It's the tricky truth about today's healthcare.
With connected care, you become the centre of an interconnected health network of your clinicians and other members in your care circle. With access to your information, you can educate yourself on the health issue and walk into your appointment fully prepared and in control. Studies in Boston, MA demonstrate how powerful access to your medical information is and how with this information patients and caregivers are more engaged and involved in their healthcare.
Connected care doesn't stop at simply having access to your health information, with wearables you start to create health data. At the CES conference this year, a discussion around connected health was focused mostly on wearables and raw data being provided to your health professionals. Wearables allow us (the care receivers) to track our day to day health in real time. Data such as this may make it easier for our care providers to catch abnormalities or red flags earlier (this could definitely be a good thing). Although there needs to be some work behind determining which data is useful, having access to this information can tell your clinician a lot about your health needs.
The true driver of change is you.
By taking health into our own hands and educating ourselves on our doctors' suggestions, we have created demand for increased connection to our health information. Let's join together, and make it a reality for all players in health care: patients, clinicians, and caregivers!