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Article Summary:

Calibre Magazine – June 2022

 

Recently, rising consumer interest in lifestyle-based health and wellness technologies such as digital health apps, telemedicine, and wearables has compelled the health industry to quickly play catch-up with science and innovation.

New technologies make it easier for people to embrace a healthier lifestyle, leading to acceptance and the awareness of their importance by the mainstream medicine field. This highlights the importance of a new, more holistic, model of healthcare.

CONNECTED HEALTH

A connected health model of care is one that seamlessly integrates all aspects of a patient’s journey— hospital stays, speciality services, ambulatory care, self-management at home, and community support. Using a holistic approach to patient-centred care allows best practices to be incorporated into every aspect of healthcare.

It is natural to think of the hospital as a centre of healing, and in many cases, that’s true. But much healing happens outside the hospital ward. In some ways, real healing happens at home.

“The Covid era saw a time when many of my orthopaedic patients stayed home to stay safe, missing clinic and therapy appointments despite suffering from pain. So, I started a virtual gym at www.drputra.com to give them clear instructions on how to perform their own muscle strengthening, pain reducing exercises at home.

“Together with video consults over a secure line, this helped many patients with shoulder, knee, hip, and back pain get much better without actually coming into my clinic,” shares Dr Putra Prabhakar Vatakal, a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Beacon Hospital.

WEARABLES

Wearable technology is making it easier for patients to stay on track with treatments and manage some of these side effects before they even occur, helping ensure success from beginning to end.

As these technologies continue to advance and become more mainstream, patients will have greater access to tools designed to improve healthcare accessibility and quality.

TELEHEALTH

One major exemplification of medicine catching up with technology is telehealth.

Can telehealth offer a better experience than on-site visits? Yes and no, according to Dr Putra. “I could see patients from Beijing, London, and Kuching, all without leaving my desk in Kuala Lumpur. A knee MRI done in South Africa this afternoon can appear on my computer screen in just a few minutes.

“Telehealth has brought modern medicine and surgery to corners of the earth we could only dream of before. And that’s of special value in pandemic times, and to the elderly and movement impaired.“

“But there are still missing things. I cannot yet put my hands through a computer screen and touch a patient’s painful knee to find the exact place that hurts. I can’t sit in my office and place my ultrasound probe on the shoulder of a patient outside the hospital,” he says.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

Another innovation is automated intelligence using artificial intelligence (AI) technology. The healthcare sector is increasingly using AI to automate processes that would be too time-consuming for human workers or to collect data to make certain treatments more effective.

ONLINE HEALTH & WELLNESS COACHING GETS CERTIFIED

According to Michael, the wellness industry has grown so quickly that healthcare professionals don’t have enough time to manage all of their patients’ needs. He believes technology can provide solutions for these challenges by enabling providers to focus on treating illness while leaving long-term treatment plans up to an affordable, certified coach.

BALANCING BETWEEN HEALTH MONITORING & PRIVACY

Current and upcoming technological advancements in healthcare anticipate health problems, improve quality of life, and enable better relationships with healthcare providers. However, it is important to understand that we still don’t know how well these technologies work, what to expect from them long-term, and whether they will have any long-term effect.

THE FUTURE OF DIGITAL HEALTH

Digital health will continue to grow and evolve at a rapid pace. But how can a new, seamless care experience be created? “Perhaps we should take another page out the book of the history of technology and create open-source devices that anyone can contribute to and find a way to make them secure. Nevertheless, I believe sooner or later, it will happen. Perhaps the more important question to ask is: How are we going to have this artificially intelligent, instant, life-saving seamless experience but still keep it human?” suggests Dr Putra.

 

To read the full article, click here!

 

Featured Doctor :

Dr Putra Prabhakar Vatakal

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

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