A recent stat says Canadians spend about 45 hours a month online —almost double the global average. That’s a lot of time—but not surprising when you think about it.
Every day we’re using technology to receive and share information, do our banking and shopping, engage in conversations with our friends and even voice our opinions about products and services. We’re doing it at home, at work, at our favourite restaurant—even while walking down the street. Desktop, smart phone, tablet—we’re always connected.
Are we behind the times when it comes to managing our health online?
We may be doing a lot of things online—but when it comes to our health we sometimes live behind the times. Many of us still keep that doctor or dentist appointment reminder on our refrigerator. Our health benefit information is usually tucked away in a drawer. We rely on our doctor’s office, or keep receipts and labels to keep track of our medication and health history. We may go to the gym or for a walk—but our goals and progress are usually just recorded in our minds.
When it comes to our health a lot of us have yet to make the digital switch. But there’s a lot of ways we can use our current online habits to help us better manage our health.
Use apps and web tools to set and stick to goals
There are hundreds of apps and web tools that can do everything from tracking the distance you walk or run to measuring your heart rate or calories you’ve burned. Using an app can help you set goals and keep you motivated. How many times have we joined a gym or started walking and two weeks later lost the motivation? There’s a big sense of accomplishment when you can see the distance you’ve travelled or the calories you’ve burned—even more so when you can measure your progress over a long period of time.
Online community support
It’s long been said you’re more likely to stick with something new like a weight loss program or exercise routine when you are part of a supportive group. That’s not always easy to find—especially when friends or family don’t always share your goals or you live in an area that doesn’t have community programs or groups. But you can access groups on sites like Facebook—or wellness blogs like this one—to share common goals, experiences and advice. Can’t find a group that suits your purpose? You can start your own. You’d be surprised to discover how many people you can find online who share some of your same health and wellness concerns and are eager to offer advice, encouragement and motivation.
About ten years ago most of us kept paper copies of our health records in a folder somewhere—if we kept records at all. But today, there are a number of online tools to track things like your prescriptions, treatments, expenditures and appointments. A lot of benefit and health providers are moving towards offering digital services and supports in line with how we interact with other service areas like online shopping or booking a trip. We just launched Medavie Mobile and the free app helps our members keep track of their benefits coverage, claims, health care professionals as well as provide a digital ID card.
We’re living in a pretty exciting time where technology is transforming how we interact and manage our lives—this can include our health. By making our well-being part of our online activities we’re more equipped than ever before to not only manage our health efficiently but make our wellness a priority every day.
How do you use technology to manage your health?
Do you have a favourite app you use to keep track of your health or workout routine? Are there online resources you use for wellness support or motivation? What about managing your health costs? Let us and our readers know in the comments section what works for you.