It is now difficult to imagine our life without technology, which has been with us for years in everything we do, from birthday greetings to the organization of holidays. Therefore, it is natural that it has assumed an increasingly important role in the care and assistance paths, to the point of becoming an integral part of the Health Services.
Video tutorials, apps, video calls, emails, and SMS offer many advantages to educate patients, remembering visits and therapies, and monitoring their condition. Medical facilities have also implemented technologies like LIS for molecular testing labs, and we have also seen Medical Digital Marketing, thanks to the advancements in this sector.
A care and assistance program cannot rely on technological solutions alone: however cutting-edge they may be, they also have limitations. No app will ever know the Patient in a truly accurate way, nor will it ever be able to establish his needs and specific needs of the moment. Multiple health facilities use various technological solutions to adapt to the inclinations of each patient and by inserting the most congenial technology into the program (SMS, email, app, video-call). To do this, human contact is fundamental: only through dialogue between the patient and healthcare professionals can the parameters on which the technical support will be based later be established.
Quick, Accessible and Cheap: the Advantages of Online Health Services
As already mentioned, most facilities prefer an approach in which human contact is central, especially in the early stages of the program. In these moments, the patient, doctor, and caregiver must be able to dialogue to establish a personalized ” journey, “with a mix of direct (human) and technological contacts whose frequency is set by the patient. He chooses the approach that feels most suitable for him, taking advantage of the advantages of technology in the way and at the time he prefers.
The main advantages offered by the technology are:
Accessibility 24 Hours a Day
This is the case of the video tutorials, which can resolve the Patient’s doubts at any time and regardless of the hours of availability of the professionals.
Convenience and Time Saving
An email, an SMS, or the interaction via the App can be a quick tool in case of doubts or instant questions or to make a periodic reminder of the therapy or check-up visit.
The technological solutions allow offering proximity and constant support to the Patient even remotely, making the intervention of the healthcare professionals who are treating him much faster and more effective and avoiding the Patient traveling to the hospital.
The Limits of a Purely Technological Approach
The exclusively technological interaction, however, brings with it limits that should not be underestimated, such as:
Doubts or specific questions cannot be solved solely with the use of technology, but there is a need for an in-depth dialogue that only an expert can offer.
With an exclusively technological approach, the Patient could feel isolated and neglected.
Reduction or Disappearance of Dialogue
Fundamental in the relationship between caregiver and patient.
In the context of Health Services, relying on technology can be decisive in offering the Patient quick and timely indications, such as daily reminders to improve adherence to therapy, but a patient support program must take into account not only the advantages but also the limitations of the technological approach, and integrate it with solutions in which direct human contact is foreseen.
There is no standardized mix of the two approaches. From time to time, several facilities create an ad hoc assistance plan with respect to the profile of the individual patient based on their preferences and needs of the moment.