The days when physicians made regular house calls are long gone in Western medicine, traded for the efficiency of centralized hospitals and clinics. Modernizing medicine has involved compromise, however, sometimes at the expense of patient care. Today, mHealth technology is helping us to reduce that sacrifice, increase efficiency, and offer better care than has been possible before under any system, old or new.

With our current and ever-growing capabilities, we can start to build a healthcare system that functions however we wish. In a perfect world, what would that look like? How would patients interact with doctors?

In the ideal system, patients see doctors at a brick and mortar office whenever necessary, but not more frequently. If you’re wondering if you should worry about a sore elbow, you can ask that question through a secure and easy phone call or text. The doctor is able to give honest opinions and medical advice without fear of legal repercussions from privacy issues or frivolous malpractice suits. You might be told that you need to come in to have it examined, but maybe you just need ice and rest.

At the same time, patients do not avoid seeking medical help because of the time or cost involved; it’s easy to get in touch remotely. The few necessary visits to the doctor don’t take too much time because there’s no paperwork to complete and vital signs are already in the system from medical devices used at home.

Patients with conditions that require monitoring, like high blood pressure, regularly check themselves at home with easy to use tools. The data is automatically recorded and transmitted to the appropriate doctor. When the results are healthy, life goes on; if the doctor gets concerning results, medical professionals can contact the patient easily to address it appropriately, perhaps by scheduling a visit.

Similar systems are used to help seniors age at home, as long as they are capable of caring for themselves but just need a little extra attention. Low-risk patients move home quickly after surgery to recover in the comfort of their own homes, monitored through the help of mobile technology. If a patient becomes ill or has a medical question while travelling far from home, there’s no need to find a new doctor, as contact with a primary-care doctor is as easy from Cairo as it is at home.

This sounds too good to be true, and at the moment it is. But mHealth technology is tackling all of the obstacles to a medical system that functions this well. Healthcare becomes better, more efficient, less expensive, more convenient, and more pleasant everyday. We are rapidly advancing towards the perfect-world vision of medicine.


Comments are closed.