Upcoming Healthcare Technology Forum – Engaging Patients in Their Health Care
Posted by Darshana Nadkarni, Ph.D.,
Biotech & Medical Device Recruitment
Wd_darshana at hotmail dot com, www.darshanavnadkarni.wordpress.com
Active patient engagement is a crucial component of effective healthcare model. What are the components of proactive and fully engaged patient? An engaged patient will be active in finding and receiving care that is optimum and will participate in their care. An engaged patient will begin at finding good healthcare plan that works for his or her personal needs and will meet financial responsibilities for their health care. Engaged patients will communicate their needs with the doctors, organize their health care accordingly, and will participate in and arrive at appropriate treatment decisions. Patients who are engaged will proactively seek knowledge and information about their health and take steps to enhance their health. All of these are extremely critical aspects of sustained and quality care.
However, patients are often not engaged in their healthcare. Studies show that engaged patients can prevent fatalities. For instance, about 40% of deaths in the US are caused by modifiable behavioral issues like smoking and obesity. Similarly, medical non-adherence is responsible for many cardiac re-hospitalizations. On average, people with chronic diseases take only 50% of the prescribed doses of medications. As many as 75% of patients do not keep their follow-up appointments.
Needless to say that lack of patient engagement not only diminishes health of the patients but it ends up costing a lot of money to the healthcare system, a burden that is shared by everyone from providers to the population at large. Considering that patients who are pro actively engaged in their health care experience more enhanced health outcomes and incur lower costs, this has become a hot topic of discussion. There are tremendous pressures on the healthcare system to contain and lower costs.
How might technologies help the patients of the future to be better informed and more actively engaged in their own healthcare decisions? A panel in Health Technology Forum annual conference on May, 20 in San Francisco, will review habit-changing technologies, their attributes and the impact they can have in inculcating better patient behaviors. Technologies that work with the elderly may be different from those that work with adult population. On the other hand, gaming may be effective in teaching young patients, but may not be effective in changing behaviors of adult patients. A panel of experts will discuss positive and negative attribute of various technologies and their potential to impact patient behaviors. To register for the conference, go to www.healthtechnologyforum.com .