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Changing Face of Health care in 2010

Posted Jan 19 2010 5:58am

Internet Applications

More user interactive websites,and also building up community of patients who share the same ailment.Common bonding among patients will help in better management of health.

Health-e-consumers are a growing breed. They are health conscious individuals who utilize online media,wireless communications  and e-health for wellness maintenance. The popularity of the Internet and the trend for all consumers to be more health conscious mean that health-e-consumers will play a dominant role in the future health care industry.Personal Health Records

Personal health records are the complete health data copy owned by an individual. It could be either paper based or stored electronically on patient’s computer locally or distally at another server and accessed through internet. Digital Personal Health Records [DPHR] are tools and services in medical informatics which utilizes Information technologies to aid individuals to create their own personal health information.Current storage technologies which are deployed are optical media like CDs,DVDs or Blu Ray Discs and Flash memory devices like USB Flash drive and also Memory Storage Disks,Memory Sticks or Portable Hard drives. They could also be stored online at a distant server.The health data could be entered by individuals or by their health care provider.

It contains patient’s personal data (name, date of birth and other demographic details).It also includes patient’s diagnosis or health condition and details about the various treatment/assessments delivered by health professionals during an episode of care from health care provider.

Individuals create their own personal health record in DPHR unlike the Electronic Medical Records which are created by Hospital and medical centers by physicians.With the growth of Web 2.0 in the internet, there is renewed interest about Personal health records in electronic format today.

Wireless health monitoring

The emergence of consumer health electronics such as portable ECG devices, blood pressure monitors or weight scales can allow the seamless capture and sharing of patient information from home, at work or even on the road. Portable ECGs, for instance, weigh just 3.5 ounces and allow outpatients to record electrical heart signals and transmit the results to doctors who can monitor them for trouble down the road. Advances in microprocessors will allow such devices to connect wirelessly with home computers, mobile phones or even remote Internet applications.

Smart Phones

C. Peter Waegemann, CEO of the Medical Records Institute and executive director of the newly established not-for-profit mHealth Initiative, says that in the last several years, cell phone use had been forbidden in most hospitals and clinics. Now, however, they are moving toward becoming among the most prized tools to decrease costs, improve care, and provide an optimal way to communicate with patients.

The vision of the mHealth Initiative includes 10 application clusters that will enhance the overall delivery of healthcare through the use of cell phone technology.

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