Digital health is one of the solutions to all that’s been lacking in the current state of healthcare. The changes that will result from merging healthcare of the past with telehealth will result in more advanced and more convenient patient care. Digital health will allow more patients to schedule appointments with their physician online, which allows them to skip the commute time and the time spent wasted in waiting rooms. In addition, it encourages individuals to be more involved with their diagnosis and treatment plan.
Digital health has already been having a positive impact on life in Jamaica, which will only continue to progress forward as more technological advancements replace traditional methods and more out-of-date technology.
How is digital health improving life in Jamaica?
As telehealth continues to mature, there are 3 areas where it will benefit the lives of Jamaicans the most:
1. Obesity Epidemic
Last year, obesity affected more than 20 percent of Jamaican adults, while another 32 percent were labeled as overweight. Being overweight takes such a toll on your health and leads to diseases that could be prevented otherwise, including: strokes, heart disease, and diabetes. Digital health can help to address this issue with wearables that can monitor fitness regimes, nutrition, and sleep patterns. A wellness coach can use this data to help provide an alternative lifestyle for those who are currently overweight or for those looking to develop better habits to prevent weight gain.
2. Advancement In Wearables
There are already methods out there to help individuals monitor their health and make necessary changes. But as technology advances, so will patient care. Some examples of these wearables include devices that can can either be worn directly or are embedded into clothing that record necessary health information based off of your heart rate or even sweat. Software companies such as EMED Health Technology Information Systems will serve as a centralized hub for telehealth and wearable tech.
3. Lifestyle Medicine Within Primary Care
A few years ago, the American Medical Association required that primary care physicians everywhere adopt the 15 clinical competencies of lifestyle medicine into their practices. This new regulation encourages the shift to wearable devices that can be used to track patient data – like diet, weight, blood pressure – in order to enhance the level of care provided to Jamaicans.
Healthcare still has a long way to go, but Jamaica has already seen a decline in the number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths as it applies to the more preventable diseases. With telemedicine, the hope is to see these numbers decrease even more substantially over the next couple of years.