How Analytics and Technology Can Enable and Improve Patient Engagement
Authored by Ayesha Rajan, Research Analyst at Altheia Predictive Health
When it comes to our medical data, many people simply go to their annual checkups and hear feedback from their doctors; this is often a very one sided experience and we know that for people to be healthy, they must take an active role in their health. Engaging in our health can mean different things for different people – for those who are very health, engaging in our health could mean tracking nutrition and dietary decisions or exercise routines and for those suffering from chronic conditions, such as diabetes, this can mean using apps that track health metrics to improve the understanding of your own body. In this article we will take a look at a few companies who are seeking to improve patient engagement to improve the health of its users.
In this day and age, nearly everyone has a smartphone and from that phone they conduct almost all of their communication, check the weather, secure their homes, do banking and more. It is only natural then that they could also utilize this device to enhance their health. Apps are a great way to increase patient engagement because of their accessibility and many providers have realized this. MyChart is widely used by providers to communicate test results and ranges, appointment summaries and other relevant health information. This is an important tool for patients to have because it enables them to always have their medical records on hand as either reminders for themselves or supplemental information for nutritionists or trainers. MyChart also enables patients to have a direct line of communication with their doctors to ask any pressing or important questions. Another great app available to consumers to mySugr; this app was created to help diabetics track, understand and control their blood sugar levels. The app lets users log their blood glucose and insulin levels, their medication list and dosages, as well as meals from which they derive an estimated carb intake. All of these factors are key to keeping diabetic patients in good health and mySugr utilizes these inputs to create detailed reports and health analysis for patients, as well as takeaways to provide your physician. A great app for those suffering from cardiovascular issues is Kardia – Kardia is integratable with health devices such as EKG and blood pressure devices to analyze and log your EKG results. With continued time and use, the app will learn your body’s normal readings and note when abnormalities show up, as well as when those abnormalities seem serious enough to contact a physician. The app also creates concise reports to share with your providers.
As technology continues to improve the world around us, it is amazing that it can also improve the functions that happen within us. Analytics and apps make improved health easy to access for many people and, in many cases, at no additional cost which means that everyone should consider incorporating such apps into their lives.