The Covid-19 Pandemic and Need for Digital Health Solutions

The Covid-19 pandemic has thrown our world headlong into a healthcare challenge unlike any seen in at least a hundred years. The surge of uncertainty and disruption of “normal life” as we knew it, has left us stranded with few reliable options for our healthcare needs.

Even in the best of times, sitting in a doctor’s waiting room is something no one looks forward to. Today, with social distancing norms in place, it is understandable that most people want to keep their hospital and doctor visits to a minimum. In fact, as the cases of Corona rise worldwide, healthcare systems across the world are looking for ways to remove the need for face to face meetings of healthcare professionals and their patients.

In a world where digital technologies have become the lifeline like never before, people are turning to their smartphones to track and manage their healthcare needs. Solutions such as healthcare apps that are accessible through the ubiquitous mobile phone provide an opportunity to improve access to care by bridging the distance between the patient and their health goals.

According to an IQVIA report

“The adoption and use of smartphones and other mobile devices is widespread, with 95% of all Americans (and 80% of seniors) having cellphones that enable text-messaging and 77% having smartphones that enable mobile applications both of which can be used to encourage health behaviors.”

Health apps play a significant role in helping people who suffer from chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension etc. by helping them track and manage their condition.

KnowYourMeds is a digital healthcare app that provides personalized engagement with a patient helping them better manage their medical conditions, especially long-term ones, on their own.

When a patient gets regular pill reminders as well as timely prompts to get tests done, they are more likely to adhere to their medication schedules. This is especially imperative in times such as now when disruptions in the day’s regular structure cause stress and anxiety, often leading to procrastination or ignoring of the medical regimen. Patients who use healthcare apps such as KnowYourMeds find that many time consuming and sometimes confusing tasks such as looking up medicine contraindications, side effects etc. can be easily performed by a few taps on their phones. Once a patient feels engaged and empowered to take care of their routine medical needs, they have a better chance of catching anything unusual early on. While medication adherence and self-monitoring of one’s health metrics are obviously hugely beneficial for the patient, these also reduce overall costs for the healthcare system.

KnowYourMeds keeps a record of the medical history, any side effects that the patient may have suffered and other health metrics. These can also then be converted to PDF and shared with the doctor. When a doctor has access to a patient’s medical record at-a-glance, it saves time and provides accuracy that can be even better than a face to face interaction, thus leading to better overall clinical outcomes.

The WHO states that “The use and scale up of digital health solutions can revolutionize how people worldwide achieve higher standards of health, and access services to promote and protect their health and well-being.”

As patient care moves out of hospitals and clinics into the domain of digital care, both healthcare professionals and their patients will be able to pull data from apps such as KnowYourMeds to find meaningful insights. This in turn will provide an opportunity for better informed decision making and care that is personalized for the patient’s unique needs.

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