Moreover, health care system is a giant and complex system that involves many parties. It is not an easy task to improve the delivery system. Still, to improve health care delivery is an urgent issue for many reasons, such as for the system to become more far reaching in rural areas. By using mobile technology, many innovative things have already been done. For example, applications that can help elders and people who suffer from chronicle diseases. There are also applications that can assist smoking cessation programs, which will prevent other diseases in the long run.
Also, internet enables ways that pharmacy tore operates, which brings convenience into people’s lives. In addition, internet changes the way how patients and physicians interact with each other. In summary, Introduction Since the inception of the internet in 1990, internet has indeed become one of the most truly revolutionary creations in the 20th century. Recently, with the inception and development of high technology gadgets, internet is gradually becoming a necessity in people’s lives. Nowadays, from daily purchasing to planning a trip, everything can be finished online.
Especially the smart devices we now use and rely people’s daily lives. Taking the mobile devices for example, there will be 10 billon mobile phones in use in the globe by the end of 2016 (World Health Organization 2011). While apps with no real life value is getting investments, which causes Silicon Valley starts to suspect if the world is in a giant technology bubble, technology innovation indeed changes the traditional ways of health care delivery. First and foremost, technology changes how health care is delivered.
And from there, it offers new opportunities for patients and professionals, making health care delivery more proactive and patient oriented. Furthermore, it changes the way of how people onventionally perceive disease treatment. Internet and technology innovation helps people to prevent disease rather than cure them. The essay will mainly discuss how mobile devices enable different possibilities for health care delivery. Also, the essay will discuss how easy internet access nowadays plays a part in health care deliveries.
Rural Area Health Care Access In order to understand the performance of a large scale system as health care system, one needs to know briefly how each element in this system works. Then one can possibly understand how technology improves the Health care system delivery. Medical system has multiple individual parts, such as patients with different medical conditions, doctors, pharmacies, hospitals, rehabilitation services, home nursing and many more. Health care providers generally want to serve patients effectively with minimum costs, while patients expect safe, effective treatment immediately available when needed.
Even various stakeholders might have slight difference over their measurements; generally the similar outcomes are expected from health care system. The six quality aims for 21st century health care system are respectively afety, effectiveness, timeliness, patient-centeredness, efficiency and equity. The improvement for all the six items require the understanding of performance measures and decisions for trade-offs among them (Hollnagel et al. 2005 cited by West 2012). Being such a complex system, one faces many challenges when try to use technology to improve the delivery of the service.
Innovated ways are required, and at the same time, the outcomes have to meet the expectation of the patients. This coverage of this essay is quite limited. It mainly focuses on how internet has aided the delivery of health care and hence benefits a majority of people. First and foremost, internet has improved the accessibility of health care, which is especially crucial for patients who live in rural areas of developed countries. However, even in the most developed country, there are still rural areas. And how to extend health care access is the challenge for all nations in concern.
Take Japan for instance, even it is highly developed in its urban areas, there are still mountain areas far from cities. Medical Platform Asia provided the rural residents in Hakkaido 36 wireless devices which can record and transmit blood pressure and weight (McMullan 2006). In China, ural physicians have been equipped with mobile devices that can access electronic application named Health Buddy. Health Buddy provides a list of symptoms and possible treatments. Tips and videos are also provided along the way to promote good health (West 2012).
All these methods are e-health care. The concept of E-health care is based on utilizing internet as a great tool for galvanizing, promoting and communicating consumers in acquiring appropriate health care and gaining access to health care services (Goldstein, 2000). Other developing countries such as India, Malawi, and Bangladesh also utilize E-health care by different degrees. Patients: Passive to Active Role Shift The other example is how patients can gain easy access to health information using internet.
It has been indicated that people from developed country such as China, Brazil, India, Mexico, and Russia tend to have a bigger reliance on internet health information searching. This is related economical reason of health care delivery in developed countries. In developed countries, the cost of seeing a medical professional face to face is high (World Health Organization 2011). There are other barriers for accessing reliable internet health information, for instance, the language. The 20 most popular global health sites are based in the United States.
Still, it has been reported that internet health information is the most sought out information on the internet (McMullan 2006). Patients are gaining at least basic information of health information, possibly related to their own conditions. Such phenomenon is made possible for the prevalence of internet. The merits for patients use the internet to access health information are two. The first one is the shifting of the role of the patients. From the previous passive receivers, patients are now more active in consuming health information (McMullan 2006).
The patient here is considered as consumer for health care service. In another research done using Australian complex health care system, the researcher pointed out that a shift of thinking treating patients as passive receivers to active consumers is needed. And indeed such shift of thinking is needed in many countries. Especially in Australia’s complex health care systems, where consumers are not only pertain to patients but many other parts of the system (Wadhwa 2002). Internet health information may only be a humble beginning in utilizing the internet to bring more changes.
There are criticisms for ealth information provided on line, which such information has potential negative impact on patients and physician relationship (McMullan 2006; Anderson, Rainey & Eysenbach 2003). Still when use properly, it creates new windows for patients and physicians communications. The other opportunity of health care delivery offered by the internet might not be exactly the same. Secondly, since now patients are arriving at the clinic with basic knowledge of their condition, the patient-doctor communication is not as one sided as before, but become more patient oriented.
However, for this shift to successfully take place, ealth professionals need not to view the internet source as potential threats, but acknowledge patients search for information, meanwhile guide the patient to more accurate and reliable information (McMullan 2006). Internet seems to bring endless possibilities for those who are involved in the business world. In the case of online stores and e-commerce, the internet provides alternative forms aside from additional selling and buying. Online pharmacy is made popular for a few reasons. Online pharmacy provides convenience for patients.
First of all, it reduces cost dramatically. Secondly, it offers greater convenience. Last but ot the least, it help patients avoid embarrassment. These are perceived benefits by consumers. However, according to WHO’s report in 2011, there are many safety threats when purchase medicines online. It is the researchers’ duty to establish a system that consumers can use as references when use internet pharmacies. A few methods include examining the location of the internet pharmacy, checking the packaging etc (World Health Organization 2011).
Enhanced Consumer Experiences: Elders, Expectant Mothers and More Peter Lloyd defines the term consumer as an individual person who acquires or uses a service or good (Lloyd 2002). There are many potential improvement opportunities offered by the internet for health care system. The most prominent one is improved customer experience. Enhanced customer experience can include many aspects, such as enabling elder patients and expectant mothers, helping patients their chronic disease management, and improve health care system outcomes and medical system efficiency. The first example is helping elderly and expectant women.
For the elder group, the biggest health issue is that they often forget to take their daily prescription drugs. The statistics show that nearly 50% of patients do not follow their prescriptions (West 012). They either forget to take their drugs at all or they do not follow time or dosage prescribed by the doctor. That means more than half of elder’s health care benefits are generally reduced by human error. Mobile technology together with internet technology can help with this situation. For starters, patients do not have to visit clinicians’ offices to be reminded.
Patients can receive alerts via automated phone calls and emails, and via e-mails. Lots of the automated alerts are enabled by mobile applications. Software called HealthTrax offered by an American company called Dynamed Solutions is a perfect example. This software reminds patients to take their medicines on time, set up appointments, and enable them to track compliance with doctor’s medical instructions. This is not the only type of virtual health assistants. Many other virtual health assistances use the aid of technology to help patients who suffer from chronicle diseases.
These patients need their records to be kept in track in order to keep in touch with their caregivers. Moreover, this kind of virtual software integrates patients’ electronic medical records and is able to store information in patients’ personal records (West 2012). Another example is an app called “coaching app” developed by Dr. Robert Schwarzberg (West 2012). This app is designed for chronic disease sufferers. By using a subscription model, this app guides its user to The other types of health care users who need attention are expectant mothers.
For instance, in the less developed areas such as Bangladesh, maternity morality is still a cause for women’s’ death. And infants fatality comprise of 75% of deaths under age five (West 2012). Apparently there are hidden problems that are not being identified in time or not being attended to. To raise patients’ awareness, doctors in Bangladesh aunched an initiative called Mobile4Health. The initiative provides information for all scenarios for expectant mothers, such as tips for taking care of pregnant women, early warning signs of possible problems of infants, the benefits of family planning best practice, breast feeding best practices.
Some chronicle disease and health problem are improved by using mobile devices. For instance, there is a study focusing on the positive effects on smoking cessation program brought by mobile devices. There are 47 applications designed to help people fght for stop smoking (West, 2012). These applications can count cigarettes moked daily, employing quota systems, or calculators that sought to diminish smoking levels. The program originally found hope in text message when comes to smoking intervention. However, app interventions are more user-friendly.
The quality of intervention is more obvious comparing when use apps. However, many mobile apps still need to connect to more exterior sources, such as health clinics or health counseling services. The researcher also suggested that application developers stick with public on smoking cessations guidelines. By doing that, surely the application contents for smoking cessation will become more relevant. Hence the quality and experience of using this app will be enhanced. If the mobile device smoking cessation program is more successful than usual health care intervention, or at least aid the intervention effectively.
It is apparent that a number of smoking related diseases can be further prevented. In this way, not only the quality of health care delivery is improved, but also the effectiveness of health care is enhanced. An example for chronicle disease is diabetes. In Mexico, diabetes have become the biggest chronic health care problem (West 2012). In addition, it has been estimated that more than 15% adults are living with diabetes. A clinical research examines how 36 wireless internet access can help in diabetes management in improving patients care, especially for marginalized communities.
Patients use this application to access online videos, and to send interactive questionnaires to health care workers etc. The responses of the patients are encoded into the database which are made immediately available for health care providers to review and do follow-ups. By using apps to manage big patient groups such as diabetes groups is more effective then the traditional way. The patients can receive more instant and updated responses, hich are also made accessible with the help of internet.
Aside from these prominent examples, according to Apple iTunes store, there are more than 12,000 apps related to health care. Statistics show that there are nearly 40,000 mobile health care applications and that 247 million people have chosen to miles to help people who are in real need. And at the same time, people are responding to the use of technology in a traditional field well. Conclusion By introducing technology innovation into health care system, the new delivery form and the things these apps and software can indeed achieve enhanced patients’ xperience with health care system.
Health care is not only about treating people when they come to the hospital or covering their expenses, but also about building a long term relationship. It is also about taking real care of patients’ health and lives. By making use of technology and internet, health care system creates new value in their service by providing patients with reminders and other tips. And the most important point is that they help people who need the assistance the most. Health information on the internet in developing countries may have been criticized f being not professional enough or causing other problems.