Imagine how many piles of paper health records have been spared with the arrival of digital technology. Think about how much money have been saved from hospital visits and future treatments and purchase of drugs and how many medical errors have been reduced with the help of modern technology. Medicine and healthcare are taking a stride toward total wellness. The medical industry is gambling for life by making digital technology reach every people on earth to have a digital or online record, or at least to those who want to—to make the process fast and treatment more effective. Old-fashioned method of data gathering is now replaced by digital technology, and we have been adapting this system progressively because we are witnessing the results.
Smart devices for better health
Digital technology is developed by researchers in the goal to improve health and make healthcare effective. Data stored digitally are more than beneficial since digital technology is taking the world by storm, and the results of improved health are obvious.
The philosophy of better health is always about the tools needed to carry out every mission. With so much data available, technology is taking the spotlight to help in improving health. With the rise and fame of smart devices, a person can now monitor his health with the help of digital devices. Although smart devices may not actually treat your condition, it may however help in the management of the disease. For example, glucose monitors have been around to help a patient monitor and display the glucose level in his blood. And it will only take a few seconds to 5 minutes to know it. If blood sugar levels are normal, diabetes complications may be prevented.
Here are some of the advanced digital devices, some of them wearable, that could protect one’s health, if not treat.
1. Heart rate monitors—Heart rate or pulse rate monitoring is crucial in monitoring one’s health. Once you know the significance of understanding your rate—how fast or slow your heart beats per minute—you will get an idea how to treat the situation. It is wise to be aware why heart rate monitoring is necessary. Heart rate monitors can be strapped as a belt, around the upper arm, or can be worn as wrist watches.
2. Video cameras—Odd it may seem, but don’t you know that video cameras are crucial technological devices to provide you safety in terms of health? Video cameras placed in the living room or bedroom of family members who have been into joint replacement surgeries are small devices to monitor them. The danger of falls of elders and family members can happen anytime because of their limited mobility. To have peace of mind when you are away, video cams will be your eyes when you are not physically present at home.
3. Blood pressure monitors—Hypertension is one of the most common health conditions in the world. To save doctor’s visit, you can detect your blood pressure by using modern devices. Most of these devices use apps connected to smart phones to measure blood pressure and heart rate. These monitors help you manage your health if you go beyond the rate, indicating you need to take medication or some other preventive measures.
4. Stress biosensor—Imagine if you can reduce stress or monitor it, you will learn how to regain self-control. Being able to identify your stress can help you manage it. With new devices on the market called PIP, stress levels can now be measured. Using an iPhone or tablet, the PIP technology monitors the stress levels in minutes. Having instant results enhances a person’s control over their stress. Stress is a health problem that leads to further health problems affecting the body, the feelings and thoughts, and the behavior. Uncontrolled stress levels can lead certain diseases such as heart, hypertension, obesity, and diabetes.
5. Digital weight watchers—Some people are weight conscious. Either they do not want to know their weight or are too vigilant on how much they weigh every day. Today, weight management is very crucial to health management. Achieving an optimal weight doesn’t mean you have to be skinny. Many people have this misconception that a perfect body figure equates to being healthy.
Many weighing scales have the feature of displaying the body mass index (BMI) of a person. Knowing the right BMI will help you monitor your health. We all know that the diseases mentioned above are interlaced with another. Being obese or skinny can both lead different health problems.
6. Sleep tracker—one useful device that can track your sleep is the Android sleep app. This app tracks your sleep patterns, whether you are in a rested sleep, oversleeping, and having deficient sleep. It has features that can detect sounds in the room while you’re sleeping to monitor levels of snoring or if you talk in your sleep.
People combating with certain illnesses barely get a good night sleep. The average number of hours a person needs to sleep is 7 hours. Restful sleep is one of the hardest things to achieve. Consequently, due to abnormal sleeping habits, the body’s immune system fails, leading to more complicated diseases. Sleep apps are designed to help you sleep and feeling rested and relaxed upon waking up.
7. Digital thermometers—a thermometer is a device to measure body temperature and heat signatures to gauge if a person has a fever. Few decades back, mercury thermometers built in glass tubes were once a ubiquitous device in our homes. Mercury-filled glass thermometers are passed their age because mercury, as an element, is a toxic liquid that can cause harm when vaporized or inhaled. With digital thermometers, readings are faster than you expect. Because we know that babies and small children are impatient and often misbehaving when they are not feeling well, making it hard for you to get their temperature, digital thermometers can lighten the load.
How Far Did We Go?
Digital technology has given us vast opportunities to seek understanding about overall wellness by monitoring devices and indicators that might lead to serious illness. However, regular access to data and alerts through the help of modern technology sometimes get bad and lose the worth of preventive care just so we depend too much on these findings. Truly, readily available data can give us better perspective and wise decision-making but we forget that we need to escalate crucial matters to those who know better.
It is understandable that as we benefit from using digital devices to monitor our health, it does not actually reduces mortality rate when it comes to discovering that worsening illnesses might need a considerable focus of cure rather than just merely reading the diagnoses. Given the proliferation of digital technology, the lack of doctors’ conclusion may hamper our health than treat them. Sometimes, over diagnosing a condition leaves us empty in know-how to place our health in the preventive mode. We forget that health practitioners’ expertise and clinical presence are what we actually need. The question lies on if sufficient data is beneficial.
On the part of medical professionals, they honestly admit that digital technology has been a great help in finding cures for diseases. However, with too much dependence on this modernity, health professionals unconsciously drive away their focus from the patient who actually needs the cure. Our environment is so equipped with technological advancements where doctors gain thorough knowledge for diagnosing different types of diseases. The advances in science are overwhelming. The mindset over patient care often is concentrated on how to cure diseases rather than improving one’s life. Being so, patients tend to become as experiments since doctors are more concerned on treating the disease rather than on healing the individual. With this kind of trend, we should transform the entire healthcare experience to be able to redefine patient–health expert relationship.
Restoring a patient’s health not merely eradicating the disease should be the main focus to achieve better health. If we take advantage of the scientific discoveries and apply them properly for wellness, perhaps the trend in medical field will be different.