Healthcare industry and e-health silent revolution
by Dr. Madina Estephan
What a normal day looks like: my follow up consultations are going as usual, automated bots are handling several interactions at the same time. Meanwhile, a couple hours ago, I have received real time biometric monitoring data for one of my regular patients.
Mrs. D’s blood pressure was stable at night, her 24h blood sugar levels and the urine test results were processed in a matter of a few seconds. The results were sent to one of the virtual doctors visiting her in the morning. The doctor consultation went as planned, Mrs. D was kindly informed that her treatments needed adjusting and medical advice about her situation was shared for the current day. Again, this was done in a matter of a few minutes after which the doctor disappeared into thin air. Meanwhile, a second bot is recording anamnesis of the newly logged in patient. In parallel, I am pushing the door of the operating room to perform pre-scheduled surgery. Somewhere in the cloud, virtual nurses have taken over the follow up visits, additional exploratory exams and prescriptions start popping up on patients’ apps.
That is where telemedicine will be in next few years or so: high speed, virtual, hyper-personalized, proactive, and real time data driven.
Positive customer experience during this sanitary crisis made telemedicine and e-health a part of our acquired behaviors. Having access to health care services any time and regardless of geographical borders has become your « new normal », just as carrying a miniature bottle of hand sanitizer in your pocket has become a normal part of your daily routine.
All kinds of e-connected medical devices are already replacing traditional way of taking blood pressure, measuring oxygen level, listening to the heartbeat, and checking out the patient’s respiration. Technological innovations ranging from the digital stethoscope to otoscope, ophthalmoscope, mobile labs, COVID diagnostic kits and other biometric monitoring devices connected to online data servers are simply the tip of the iceberg when it comes to new medical technology.
Patient follow up will be further integrated and adapted to the patient’s life taking into consideration their psychological preferences, living style, thus integrating digital health as main vector of preventive actions. This was reiterated by Rhym Abdennbi, PharmD and international healthcare executive in our recent Sensemakers live talk session about the “Healthcare industry in sky-fall challenge”. She explained,
While e-health patients are changing behaviors to adapt to the digital healthcare evolution, healthcare professionals might start to feel like they are missing some of the skills needed to adjust to the evolving new norm.
To help resolve this issue, the industry needs to support and promote the emerging trainings that help medical professionals acquire the necessary technical knowledge pertaining to the newly developed digital devices.
While discussing the technical evolution, the cultural impact of this change can easily be missed. The traditional “ritual” of physical exams is vanishing, and physical greeting gestures are no longer as welcome, we now see that supportive “handshakes” are done through screens. Mastering empathy and compassionate expressions are essential to patient facing medical professionals especially with the evolving environment. Healthcare professionals might need support to learn adaptive communication skills, manage stress and to develop resilience now more than ever. Understanding body language, applying motivational interviewing techniques, and cognitive approaches would help them build trusted relationships, enhance patients’ adherence, and improve treatment outcome.
As Sensemakers, we are aware of the importance of these processes and providing healthcare organizations with effective scientifically proven solutions to improve communication skills and adaptive capacity to environmental changes.
We aspire to live a longer and healthier life allowing us to experience aging as wizening process rather than one where we lose mental and physical abilities. To make this happen, the healthcare industry is showing an increasingly inspiring capacity of innovation and collaboration allowing growth in this silent revolution.
Medical doctor, expert in public health, PTM & PCM certified trainer, author of training solutions for healthcare.
Founder and Chief Well-Being Officer at "MAISON ESTEPHAN".
Dr. Madina Estephan