Over the years the method of healthcare delivery has evolved from traditional medicine to modern medicine, to alternative medicine, and now, computational technology is playing a large role in healthcare delivery. It is making waves. With the geometric increase of the world population, the need for the health industry to cater to everyone increases. The use of computational technology has tried to bridge the gap while delivering optimal healthcare to the masses. It has done so with room for more improvement. Medicine marrying Information is termed Digital Health. We can categorically say that we are in the early stages of digital health and the results so far have shown we need it now more than ever.
In Nigeria, an average citizen leaves home for work by 7:00 am and gets back by 7:00 pm. He or she is occupied for 12 hours including the time that is allocated for lunch (that is if they have lunch). The result of observing this routine 5 to 6 times a week can lead to stress. Stress is the ultimate bedrock for other sicknesses to set in. Now as a human trying to meet your daily target, score a promotion, or and maintain your job, you might not see the necessity to get better treatment when symptoms for certain ailments arise. You have the symptoms but because of the time needed to stop by a hospital; see a doctor, run certain tests, get back to see the doctor, and begin a treatment plan might be so much that it takes more than an hour or two from your 12 hours daily routine. Also, factor in the energy needed to both get to the hospital, the energy spent on waiting in the queue in getting vitals checked, seeing a doctor, and running the test. You think of the stress involved, you end up believing your job is more important than your health.
People in the working class category or any other category require a special type of healthcare delivery. This type of delivery leverages Information Technology to live up to its name and function. This type of health ensures that despite your busy schedule, from anywhere you can still make your health a priority. You still get a quality medical experience without the need of stepping into a hospital or laboratory.
Just like ordering food or purchasing an item on an e-commerce platform, you get proper healthcare delivered to you. There is a difference between making purchases online and getting treatment without leaving where you are. The system guarantees for most healthcare delivery, you will not have to move from one location to another.
Recall how we focused on getting treated when symptoms arise but could not because of your busy schedule. The truth is, you are not so busy getting yourself treated or conduct a routine check-up when the need arises. You are just worried about being delayed so long in the hospital without effective results. It becomes a lose-lose situation. Certain elements of digital health provide a hospital in your pocket/purse or on your work table. These elements enable you to consult with a doctor online, get treated at home or in the office, provides a means for medical examinations (lab tests) to be conducted without you leaving your current position. A major plus is, you are getting medical treatment and services in a relaxed state. Just like efforts put into visiting the market to purchases and haggle prices, the long queue and energy put into getting to a hospital or lab is eliminated with variable options at your fingertips. You have a win-win scenario.
The ability to move medical records from one hospital to another when the need arises is of great benefit. The confidentiality of patient data is also paramount as measures are in place to protect the integrity of data.
There are certain limitations that the system can’t fend for entirely but will still give out some assistance. In the case of getting a scan done, you will have to visit the lab or hospital to get it done. It will take some doing but nothing that will take most of your time and energy. You can always book ahead and get attended to when you show up. Also, when there is a need for surgery, you will still have to show up to the hospital, but the burden from the processes leading up to surgery will be heavily minimized.
With the ever-growing population, the fast-paced environment that we are in, the need for digital healthcare can’t be overemphasized. The benefits go both ways; for the healthcare provider and the patient. Making healthcare accessible to all with a continued increase in performance is the aim of digital health.