The pace at which new inventions are being introduced is astonishing. Every day, there’s something to grab our attention. These innovations invite us to learn, to understand its importance, and allow us the choice of making it a part of our routine.
In this internet era, most of the exciting discoveries are centered around technology. For instance, we have e-commerce, e-governance, e-learning, and e-health. The ‘e’ stands for electronic, thus establishing technology as a front runner in innovations. The various terms cited above reinforce the involvement of electronics and technology in several areas, right from administration and learning to healthcare. Let’s talk in brief about the involvement of electronics in healthcare in this article.
E-health mainly involves the electronic way of communication between the health system and consumers. Researchers took inspiration from other fields which had successfully employed the internet to their benefit. They thought, why not try using it in healthcare? A lot of background studies and co-operation between technical leaders and medical professionals has resulted in the present-day of electronic media in many areas of health.
It can be broadly defined as a fusion of technology and health, making the best use of both, and creating a powerful medium. Other neologisms which have similar roots include m-health and telehealth. In m-health, consumers use a mobile device to connect with their health and health records. Tele-medicine is a platform where healthcare professionals and patients are linked by video consultations, emails, or phone calls. There’s still a lot to be worked on to improve these mediums, but the use of these in a health setup has so far yielded more positives than negatives. The relationship between a doctor and patient is highly dependent on effective communication and e-health aids this due to the ease of its use.
A few promising and positive features of e-health in healthcare
- A new interface that promotes better efficiency and cost-effectiveness. E-health makes it simple to consult with a medical professional and cancel out the need to travel to a clinic. This has a significant impact on the cost and saves time and energy for both parties. A drawback is this mode of consultation via video or audio can reduce travel only for mild ailments and not in those cases where the doctor needs to see the patient in person. Nevertheless, it does aid in reducing hospital visits. It has also been found to pave the way for a positive doctor-patient relationship. This aspect is comparable to digital health because it is built along with similar bases.
- Apart from online consultations, e-health also makes it easier to schedule laboratory investigations according to convenience. Thus, patients don’t have to go early to the laboratory to take tokens. Another advantage is seen where reports of tests are available as e-mails, allowing an easy transfer of information. These soft copies can be synced to a patient’s electronic health records quite effortlessly.
- Consulting via e-health platforms is not limited to a geographical area. It allows worldwide connectivity.
- For patients, having their medical records saved as files encourages them to involve more and understand their health better.
- Patients who are advised to join support groups for problems like de-addiction, mental health, or other conditions, have various options to search on the internet and contact those which are feasible. They can form a complete idea about these groups even before joining them.
- E-health promotes reading and acquiring information. A lot of evidence-based research papers, world-renowned journals, and authentic medical knowledge are now available at our fingertips. It saves the time and energy that was needed to go to the library and flip through heavy books!
- There’s a role for e-health even in hospital administration and will certainly have a major part in hospitals in the future. A hospital can develop a unique system that can be used as a common source of all health records, hospital records, and employee records.
- E-commerce is a section dedicated to online sales. This aspect can be productively used for purchasing therapeutic aids and other medical equipment with the click of a button.
Are there any drawbacks?
A major drawback is a difficulty to adapt to new technology. People who are not tech-savvy or those with limited access to the internet can find these changes challenging.
E-health is a trendsetter for change in healthcare with positive reviews and seems to be here to stay!