Is technology making health care impersonal?

by Venky Kulkarni

shutterstock_deviceSomeone recently asked me if I thought technology was making our health care too impersonal. Things like reporting our blood pressure online, tracking our heart rate on our wrist, surgery through google glass, may all sound a little impersonal—but I disagree. Technology is helping to make our health care more personal than ever before.

Engaging in healthcare

When was the last time you visited your doctor? Chances are it was the last time you had a health issue or noticed something was wrong. For most of us a doctor visit is pretty infrequent in our day to day lives.

This is why we can go months – even years – unaware of a health issue that could have been prevented or diminished.  We know it’s smart to get things like our cholesterol, blood pressure, heart and other areas checked, but when it comes down to it, most of us don’t always take the time. Actively taking care of our health, even when we feel healthy, always seems to end up low on our priority list.

Getting personal

Mobile apps tailored to track your exercise progress, calorie intake, heart rate or even blood pressure, lets each of us use technology in a whole new personal level. It supports and creates a relationship with our own health, a relationship based on responsible self-care.

Digital health is not about removing the human touch from care, it’s about putting you front and centre in the management of your own health – nothing can get more personal than that.

It wasn’t too long ago monitoring a health issue or a check-up could only happen at the doctor’s office. We didn’t have the right tools or accessibility to take the lead. Times have changed. These days self-care is as accessible as your nearest desktop or mobile, and taking the lead on self-care can have a great impact on being and staying healthy in between your doctor visits.

Health benefits can also be personal

shutterstock_runnersPeople who take an active role in their healthcare are more likely to stick to the activities, lifestyle, and, if necessary, treatments to keep them well. For employers, this can mean a reduction in absences, disability and can also promote engagement.  As a benefit provider, it’s part of our role to engage our members in their health. We are a firm believer that today’s technology is the key to strengthening that engagement.

It’s why we invest in applications like Medavie MobileMy Good Health and other digital platforms as part of our overall plan offerings. A benefit provider should not only recognize the value in technology, but also provide the tools that encourage and support members to actively engage in their health.

Care impersonal? Self-care using today’s technology brings managing our health to a whole new personal level.

One thought on “Is technology making health care impersonal?

  1. I agree! The fundamental purpose of technology is to increases efficiency and make things better therefore we should continue using it to improve our lives by helping us acquire and manage personal information which we could never do before.

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