Monday, 9 February 2015

Healthcare providers. Do you want to reduce your waiting lists?

Dumb question. Of course you do. Healthcare providers everywhere face the enormous challenge of providing quality health outcomes for the millions of patients suffering with chronic illnesses.  Escalating pressure on medical resources mean hospitals, clinics and GPs are looking to alternative ways of dealing with the problem, without the need for significant capital investment.

Achieving better healthcare for everyone. Everywhere.

The answer could be tele-health, such as Appdragon's SmartMed (TM) offering.  Tele health is the provision of health care away from the hospital, clinic or surgery.  This could be in the patient's own home, at their place of work or, virtually, anywhere. With modern lifestyles, it's frustrating and stressful for patients to be tied to clinic appointments for routine testing, and it's also expensive for health care providers to provide frequent assessments.

Is Tele Health the Answer?

Tele health, if correctly implemented, can address this conundrum by using mobile broadband, smart phones and app technology to empower and enable the patient to take control of their own condition.  This can lead to better engagement of the patient in managing their own progression of their pathway.  Patients may become much more aware of the symptoms and ways of minimising the affects of their condition.  For example, studies show that patients regularly testing vital signs relevant to a chronic illness, are more likely to stick to diets, prescriptions and exercise regimes.  Of course, it's not the ultimate solution and it won't work in every instance, but for those patients and health care providers that do buy into this new approach, the potential gains are clear.  Reduced health care costs due to fewer in- or out-patient admissions, sooner discharge after minor operations or procedures and fewer re-admissions to hospital. For the health care provider then, a reduction in costs and the ability to divert scarce resources to primary care and emergency treatments (or even research and development) are the main benefits.  For the patient and society at large, an empowered patient could mean less stress and better motivation to take control and manage their condition. This could mean slower progression of chronic conditions and fewer episodes requiring treatment or time off work or absence from loved ones.

SmartMed's Article in Global Health Opportunities 2015

In a future blog I'll talk a little more about what tele health actually is and how it could work in certain scenarios, but for now, take a look at our web site for more information, or read our article on page 101 (or our ad on page 60) of the latest edition of Global Opportunity Healthcare Journal 2015.

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