Just a mere 25 years ago, after patient data was collected by the nurse or doctor it was stored and archieved in a paper based filing system. The developments we have seen in healthcare over the last quarter of a century has been noteworthy (pardon the pun) and these developments are not about to stop. The NHS is due to go paperless in the next 5 years.
Currently health care professionals feel pressure from every angle. Face to face time with patients is decreasing. In light of this the BMA has recently stated that the contact time for GP’s needs to increase from a 10 minute consultation to a 15 minute consultation. This would allow for better decision making and improved service.
Entrepreneurs are embracing the the IT shift in our healthcare system and are devising technologies aimed at increasing access, improving quality, and decreasing costs.
Industry attitudes regarding the impact of health apps, especially home diagnostics, are mixed. But the growing clinician and consumer figures suggest that these tools are here for the future (PwC Health Research Institute 2014). 28% of consumer now say they have a healthcare, wellness or medical app on their smartphone or tablet PwC Health Research Institute 2013).
The few healthcare professionals that are prescribing these apps, say they are willing to prescribe apps for sleep monitoring, vitals monitoring and chronic disease managment. Health apps may hold the key to unleash patients pursuit of wellness and managing their own care.
When looking at patients who use different types of inhalers to manage their disease such as asthma as many as 25% of patients have never recieved verbal inhaler technique advise. From this a staggering 85% of patients may not be using their inhalers correctly. (Lavorni et al 2008).
Medhance is an app that can be used as an adjunct to face to face interaction. The app has been supported and funded by CHEST (Collective enHanced Envrionment for Social Tasks).
Our app has been developed by active clinician Doctor Uzair Adam who has had an array of clinical experience. The app could help our ageing population who find it difficult when using medical devices. In contrast to the stereotypes surrounding technology, patients aged between 51-65 years are the group most likely to use digital healthcare tools (Healthcare Informatics 2016).
These findings suggest that Medhance, an app which demonstrates to patients how to use medcal equipment with interavtive checklists, videos and other useful tools may have benifits to a specific target population.
As consumers start to integrate apps such Medhance into their daily lives they should begin to gain better control over their own health. This will in turn have a knock on effect on general health related care costs.
The future of our health care in the UK is forever changing. As clinicians we need to enhance patients’ confidence, enhance their technique, Medhance.
Healthcare Informatics, “EHRs Have Largely positive Impact on Patient Care, Survey Finds” July 2016. (accessed 05.09.2016)
Lavorini, F., Magnan, A., Dubus, J. C., Voshaar, T., Corbetta, L., Broeders, M., … & Corrigan, C. (2008). Effect of incorrect use of dry powder inhalers on management of patients with asthma and COPD. Respiratory medicine, 102(4), 593-604.
PwC Health Research Institute, “Health Wearables: Early Days.” October 2014.(acessed 05.09.2016).
PwC Health Research Institute, “Top Health Industry Issues of 2013.” January 2013. (accessed 05.09.2016).