Often when you refer to a care team, it meant the physicians, nurses, medical assistants, physiotherapist, care givers etc. The basic assumption here is that ‘I’ am sick and it is the care team’s responsibility to attend to my illness and get me to the path of recovery while the insurance pays for it. The role of ‘me’ as a patient is never talked about beyond the passing reference in the prescription pads and doctor’s instructions which are duly forgotten the moment patient walks out of the physician’s office.
What is expected out of ‘me’, the patient? I am tired and sick and not have much energy to keep my focus on my own recovery. What else I can do?
Turns out the modern technology has advanced a lot further on this front to give ‘me’ the patient a huge helping hand.
The doctor instructions can now be digitized and given to me in small doses.
A timely reminder to take my medication.
A gentle check with my spouse to ensure she is available to take me to my lab work the next day.
Summon a Uber/Lyft ride to take me to the PT visit that I need to attend in person.
Automatically check my vitals via wearables and send them to the care team where it is properly processed and converted in to actionable data for the physician’s office.
Automatically convey my progress to my out of town kids and other close friends and family members without everyone calling me every single day to check on me which at times becomes annoying and a reminder that I am sick.
Turns out I can still be the same patient worrying about my health and hoping to feel better soon. But my day to day gadgets and devices I use in addition to few additional wearables could potentially create this aura that I am taking better care of myself.
The Physician’s office has more information about my progress and is able to provide better care while all I did was to embrace few new tools which I use anyway on a daily basis..i.e smart phones, Alexa /google home , Fitbit , weighing scale, bp/heart rate monitor etc.
Technology has to be invisible and blend with my daily routine in order to bring the best out of me. If it requires me to change my habit and behavior, it is not going to be sustainable. It’s about time the healthcare industry recognize that and change its care delivery methods.