Imagine if you have a heart attack!
Fortunately, you survived because you received good quality care from nurses and doctors while you were in the hospital and now you are preparing to go home to receive treatment from people closest to you.
Doctors have explained that his health is bad. You must choose: change your lifestyle or death. You should stop smoking, increase your physical activity, eat healthy foods with a balanced diet (while reducing your salt) and be sure to take all medications as recommended.
But before you are discharged from the hospital, your nurse notifies you of several applications that you can download to your smartphone that will help your recovery. Such assistance includes facilitating the transition from hospital to home and all related behavioral changes that are necessary to reduce the risk of subsequent heart attacks.
The rapid advance of digital technology has brought changes in the field of medical. Many benefits of using technology, but the development of technology itself is difficult to follow. This creates new challenges for health professionals and patients.
What is digital therapy?
Digital therapy can be explained as any form of intervention that is administered digitally and has a therapeutic effect on patients. This can be used to treat medical conditions in a manner similar to medication or surgery.
Examples of the latest digital therapies include several types of applications that help us administer medications and control heart health, there are also applications to support mental health and fitness, or augmented and virtual reality devices to educate patients.
Health records, recipe tables and health education sheets in paper form are outdated. Now we can send letters electronically, enter information in electronic data stores and access treatment data digitally.
And health education for patients is no longer carried out static and unidirectional communication. The digital revolution provides facilities for dynamic and personal education, and bidirectional interactions between patients and therapists.
How can digital therapy help us?
Digital health services improve the overall quality of care, even in situations where patients live hundreds of kilometers away from their doctors.
For example, diabetic patients. This condition is experienced by 1.7 million people in USA. This is one of the main factors that cause heart disease and strokes. Therefore, it is important that diabetic patients monitor their health conditions to reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Recent research measures equipment-based online games, through applications to provide educational content for diabetic patients. Participants who received the request in this trial experienced significant and continuous improvements, measured through their HbA1c (blood glucose level).
Such application-based games will improve the treatment of patients with chronic diseases on a large scale. And some Back Pain recliner use air bag technology for provide relief from back pain by air massage touch.
The new ages also use electronic devices to track activity, measure sleep hours and record nutrient intake. This information provides quick and accurate comments to people and their therapists, allowing adjustments if necessary.
Registered information can also be combined into larger datasets to reveal patterns over time and provide information for future maintenance.
Digital therapy gave rise to a new term in the health care industry. "Connected health" reflects that more doctors and patients can interact digitally with each other. Some examples include text messages, telehealth and video consultations with health professionals.
Increasing evidence shows that digitally provided care (including applications and interventions based on text messages) may be good for your health and can help you cope with chronic diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Digital health requires a collaborative approach
Digital health services now have seismic disorders in patient care, especially when new technologies are cheap and easily accessible to patients who may not have the necessary information to understand their true condition.
Technology can help and empower patients to take care of themselves, but more needs to be done to connect this new technology to the existing health system.
For example, the latest Apple Watch feature where we can see data related to our heart rate. Research such as the Apple Heart Study shows that this exciting innovation can significantly increase the rate of detection of heart rhythm disorders and increase stroke prevention efforts.
But when a patient receives a notification that the heart rate is high, what should he do? Do you ignore it? Go to the general practitioner? Go directly to the emergency room? And does this affect our health system?
Many of these questions remain unanswered, so it is necessary to continue urging research to discover how technology can be applied to the existing health care system.
If we are going to produce digital therapy tools that are useful for health problems, then it is very important that users participate in the process. Patients and health professionals can work together to develop software to design applications that meet the complex needs of the patient's medical care.