What is E-Health?
eHealthGH is a company that specializes in health monitoring and interactive medical healthcare. We aim to be a global health care company developing web applications to provide information to patients and consumers. The purpose of this unique site will be to help make healthcare easy and convenient and promote the use of internet-based techniques to provide information as well as health monitoring services. The ultimate aim being to reduce health insurance premiums and promote home health services.
So ... Just What Is E-Health?
E-health is simply a method of providing medical healthcare through an electronic media, usually through the internet. This type of healthcare may entail teaching, collecting physical data for monitoring specific patients, and provide the opportunity for individuals to reach out to healthcare providers and patients who have similar conditions. This is a fairly new way of providing medical healthcare, but helps to provide another method for patients to maintain their independence while still being under the care of a physician.
This type of care is consumer driven and web-based services make up a huge part of any industry and service today. Online shopping has grown exponentially in the past few years as more and more people are interested in the convenience offered through the internet and not interested in traveling to stores and waiting in long lines. Although healthcare is not the same as online shopping, the opportunities provided by increased technology allows many patients to avoid traveling to healthcare offices for basic medical services. Using technology in the medical field is similar to the traditional house call. Patients enjoyed the personalized attention achieved by a house call and e-health provides similar advantages. The technology is especially beneficial for those with chronic conditions who want to maintain their independence.
How Does It Work?
In addition to providing a general service, e-health also uses home monitoring devices that can be connected to the internet and allow healthcare providers to monitor a patients medical condition from a distance. One example of this is a home blood pressure monitor. A patient who needs to monitor blood pressure can use this device at home and then the data is transmitted automatically to a doctor's office or a monitoring center. There is also the potential to use audio and video communications in the future, which will also increase the capabilities of e-monitoring.
There are many health conditions which are especially appropriate for e-monitoring. Hypertension, diabetes, obesity, asthma, CHF, and COPD are all chronic conditions that require a patient to be constantly monitored for health status and risk factors. With e-monitoring applications, patients can have fewer demands on their time and avoid frequent and lengthy doctor visits. In the future, other e-monitoring conditions can be expanded to include infants at risk, growth abnormalities, anorexia, pregnancy concerns, and heart arrhythmias. Almost any chronic health condition has the potential for management or enhancement through this application.
In addition to a decrease in time and travel for the patient, e-monitoring is also beneficial for the healthcare provider. One of the biggest complaints heard from medical doctors and healthcare providers today is that they don't have enough time to spend with each patient. By decreasing the frequency of visits for patients who are relatively stable, the average number of appointments can decrease without risk to the patient. The staff and doctors at healthcare offices will also feel less rushed. These two effects will result in improved patient care all around.
What Are The Disadvantages?
Like anything else, there are some disadvantages to e-healthcare. In the beginning, implementing and monitoring this system will be time-consuming. While worth the time in the long run, many healthcare providers may feel as though it takes up too much of their time. There is also the potential for greater mistakes with e-healthcare. Since the doctor will not be seeing a patient as often, they will not have the opportunity to have the same patient-doctor relationship that can often indicate problems or concerns that are missed by normal medical tests. As this technology changes the way that healthcare works, doctors and nurses will have to adjust in order to make up for this change in patient care.
Who Should Use E-Monitoring?
Like previously mentioned, this technology best works for individuals with chronic health conditions. There are a few barriers that can be easily seen as preventing e-health from being useful for everyone. The first barrier is a lack of access to the technology or a lack of understanding of the technology. Both the patient and the medical staff will have to receive some training on how to use e-monitoring in order for it to be effective. For elderly patients, they may struggle with the technology and this healthcare option may not be practical for them.
The second problem is that this type of healthcare service may not be available to everyone. For individuals without internet or computers, e-monitoring will probably not be an option. While many people should be able to take advantage of the services offered, patients may not have access to the tools needed in order for this method to work for them.
The third problem is that the cost may be prohibitive for some people. Since this technology is new, implementing medical insurance reimbursement will take time. Although it is likely that this service will be paid for by a third party insurance, until that time, patients will probably have to pay out of pocket which may be too expensive for some. This problem should self-resolve fairly quickly, especially as e-monitoring grows.
What Is The Future Of E-Healthcare?
People are eager for online tools which can help them understand their symptoms and management of certain diseases. The internet is already being used to provide healthcare information, and many of the information available is incorrect. By providing a secure and accurate site where patients can come to ask questions and look for resources, the general care of the entire population will increase. Patients today want information that is relevant to their health problem or complaint and are eager for this up-to-date information being readily available.
In the future, patients will start to take a more active role in their own healthcare. With increased access to knowledge, patient/provider relationships can also improve. These interactions that are practical and timely are the future for people today.