Fast-paced lives, stressful routines, and late night works sum up the life of a working professional these days. With so much going on in the lives of people, health and nutrition are bound to get neglected. Pizzas with oodles of cheese, juicy burgers with double bacon stuffing, donuts with lots of cream and every junk food that’s high in sodium and saturated fat, has become the staple diet for people who are always on the go. Calling this food a day saver will be an understatement, since, munching them has become an order of the day, for a majority of the planet’s population. Thanks to globalization, improving economies, and the booming corporate sector, health has suffered tremendously.
Taking charge of one’s health looks tedious to many, lack of time and interest, being the key reasons behind this. However, the influx of technology in the healthcare sector is bringing a radical change in the current situation. Although, the world is not new to the fact that health plays a crucial role in one’s holistic development and neglecting it can have serious repercussions on the lives of people. But the inherent nature of ignorance is entrenched deeply in homo sapiens that knowingly or unknowingly, they tend to follow the mob. Here comes the role of technology in the picture. Making the lives of people better, technology is helping individuals maintain their health in a convenient and easy manner.
A sneak-peek into how technology is enabling people to achieve a healthy, robust and disease-free life.
Deficiency of nutrients in the body is not easily identifiable, unless, it develops into a disease. Many children and adults suffer from malnutrition, due to the lack of nutrient intake, which affects their physical growth and causes aging in the case of adults. Regular medical check-ups is the best way to keep track of what’s happening inside the body. However, accessibility to clinics or hospitals is an issue for those staying in remote areas or developing countries, hence, keeping a tab on one’s health status is nothing more than a challenge. Smart healthcare technology is bringing a vast change in the way people access healthcare facilities. It is making it convenient and easy for people to avail the healthcare facilities by being in constant touch with doctors. Gone is the time when reaching out to a physician required miles of distance to be covered. Technology has flattened the world and blurred the geographical boundaries, hence, staying informed about one’s health status has become a lot easier than before.
With scores of apps and gadgets, tracking one’s daily activities has become extremely easy. People can keep track of the number of hours they are sleeping, the amount of time they spend exercising and the kind of food they have daily. For instance, Fitbit – a wonderful app to keep a check on the physical activity and sleeping hours, has become quite popular especially among youngsters. Another example that I’d like to cite here is that of medical health checkups that schools, colleges, and even companies conduct from time to time. Once these checkups are done, results are communicated through emails or through mhealth apps. Also, individuals are reminded of their next appointment with the doctor or their next health check up, that is due after a month or so, in the app itself. One of the major benefits of this technology is the instant information it provides to the patients, saving their as well as the doctor’s time.
Easy access to health records
Patient care has now become much reliable and secure. With everything getting computerized, all the important data about the individual is kept safe, with only patients and doctors having access to the same. This enables doctors to monitor the treatments that are being provided to patients, and at the same time gives patients access to their electronic health records like lab test results, medication records, to name a few.
Instantly available diet charts
Taking an appointment with the dietician or crossing cities to meet them in person , discussing one’s health and then getting a diet chart made by the practitioner is so passe. With the Android and Apple app store flooded with innumerous mhealth apps that make diet plans tailored to the user’s’ body requirements, people can now maintain their health and nutrition effortlessly and without any hassles. Not just smartphone applications, fitness devices are also in vogue these days, as they help users keep a check on their daily calorie intake and its effect on their health. They also enable people to keep track of their energy expenditure and cholesterol levels and gives them a clear picture of where they stand.
Immediate health counseling
Healthcare technology has completely changed the way people maintain their health. Seeking counseling as per their requirements and getting expert advice from professionals in the industry, has become just a swipe away. All it takes one to do is – install a good mhealth application in the phone and get access to the ocean of information on health, nutrition, and diet.
Easy availability of organic products
Thanks to healthcare mobile apps and websites and the rising influence of social media, local farmers can now easily sell farm products to a larger circle of people. This benefits the local farmers as they are able to increase their customer base by reaching out to more people, who are in need of their products. In the same way, it’s also beneficial for individuals as they can avail organic products at their doorstep, with a single click, in the comfort of their homes.
As shown in the above figure, in 2015, the global digital health market stood at 80 billion U.S. dollars and is predicted to rise to a whopping 200 billion US dollars by 2020, according to statista. This shows the rising influence of the healthcare technology. Adding value to the lives of people, the healthcare industry, by making mindful use of technology, is metamorphosing the entire system of patient care, giving it an all new meaning and making it better with every passing day.