One of the opportunities that eHealth offers is improving communication between the health professional, the health organization and the patient, something that many understand as a revolution compared to how it was a few years ago. eHealth has opened a new channel of communication between patients and health providers.
The result of this improved communication is that it empowers the patient and offers the medic the possibility of improving their attention thanks to new tools offered by technology, establishing a relation that personalizes medicine and utilizes many new channels.
This new dimension to the relation between medic and patient strengthens various aspects of their relationship, that can be understood as authentic opportunities that eHealth highlights.
1. Direct communication at real time: the patient has free access to inquire about doubts regarding their sickness or medication, and can even schedule an immediate or a second diagnosis. Eliminating the barrier between space and time may be a small feat for technology but it is a monumental feat for the user.
2. Improved assistance to chronic patients: patients who have a chronic illness that they will have to live with for the rest of their lives have found the perfect aid to escape being marginalized by the system, and to continue receiving the help and treatment that they need.
3. Assistance to dependent patients: an ever-aging country that does not support the increasing demands of the population of elderly dependents could be a major flaw in the health system. However, eHealth, through the latest advances in telemedicine, improves the medical attention to these types of patients.
4. Rehabilitation: hailed as the most significant method in terms of improved accessibility for the patient, cost efficiency, and quality of care, the patient utilizes technological devices that facilitate repetitive and progressive physical therapy.
Are we taking full advantage? From the perspective of the patients, it is already easy to find solutions in the first three cases. Perhaps not with the diversity that they want, but it is true that current systems are in place that can make life easier if their demand focuses on the specified cases.
From the perspective of the health professionals, above all in the private sector and certainly in point 4, solutions are already being offered, in less intensity, above all in points 2 and 3. Health professionals highlight that point 4 presents an opportunity full of challenges. Yet, perhaps this is because they are not taking full advantage of the edge that technology can offer.