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A Physician's Perspective: Meaningful Use of Health Technology

Jul 3 2012   8:44PM GMT

Empowered patients using digital health tools

Posted by: DrJosephKim

We’re living in an era where many patients are relying on digital health tools on a regular basis. As an example, sophisticated diabetes patients are tracking their blood glucose readings and they’re uploading their data to the cloud using their mobile devices. Some diabetes patients are using mobile apps to record what they eat to see what types of effects certain foods are having on their blood glucose levels. These empowered patients or e-patients are gaining more ownership over their diseases and becoming more knowledgeable about disease self-management.

Here’s another example – patients with migraines are using mobile apps to track their headache patterns. This type of information can help clinicians identify triggers that patients may need to avoid in the future to reduce their headaches. These mobile apps can also transmit data from “headache logs” to their physicians so that they can adjust their migraine medications.

Patients are getting empowered. Are physicians and health care professionals also keeping up with the digital health revolution? Do they know which digital tools and mobile apps patients are using? As patients become empowered, they’re joining online communities, sharing stories, and talking about how certain mobile apps have really helped them. Patients are blogging, they’re becoming health activists, and some are even developing their own patient apps. These are exciting times and we are seeing more innovation than ever before, so stay tuned and follow how the digital health revolution unfolds!

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