Patients Go Digital – How Digital Trends Are Improving Patients’ Lives

Birgit Bauer
Written by
Birgit Bauer

If you live with a chronic disease like multiple sclerosis, you are likely very busy. Whether it’s trying to navigate things like doctors’ appointments and trips to the physiotherapist or just juggling all of your daily responsibilities it can be tiresome. It also takes a toll on your resources, both financially and physically.

Because of the demands of life with MS, many have begun seeking out digital tools to help them balance it all. These solutions can mean a better quality of life and use of important, personal resources.

Online Doctor-Patient Communication

With special online communication tools, patients are now able to ask their doctor their personal questions in a safe space. If the doctor thinks it would be better to have an office visit, it is also easy to make an appointment right there, within the online platform. Additionally, patients are now able to receive daily psychological care through a number of online tools as well.

Physiotherapy online?

The Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation recently published study during ECTRIMS highlighting an online system which helps patient to do their exercises with a physiotherapist, at home. In the tool, both the patient and the physiotherapist are online and able to discuss questions, comments, and any additional concerns. The Physiotherapist can also help patients completely the exercises correctly while also making any necessary adjustments along the way. By eliminating the commute to and from the office, patients now have more time for doing something for their own health! What’s not to love?

Smartphone Apps

It turns out our smartphones may be useful for more than just texting! As a mobile exercise tool, they can train the brain and help to improve cognitive functions with simple and funny games. Additionally, they can often be used offline as well making it easier for patients to do lessons whenever they are free.

Smartphone apps can also be helpful for disease management. With these tools, patients can now track their struggles and symptoms in their own apps which can then be shared with their doctor. The more data that your physician knows, the better that their recommendation can be. The hope is that ultimately, this can help to either maintain or improve your quality of life in the long run.

Electronic Health Records

Another great online tool that has come into play over the last few years is the electronic health record. They are great for keeping the big picture view of a patient’s life while also making it easy to share content between patients and their doctors – all while staying paperless! Although some countries have yet to provide this option to patients, it should hopefully be available to everyone soon!

Using Technology to Ask the Right Questions

When it comes to building your knowledge of your own health, knowledge about the disease is an important point. Patients today learn about MS with anything from Smartphone apps to Chrome Extensions. By the way, the MS: No Filter Extension for the Google Chrome from Living Like You “MS gives you funny, but real valuable insights about living with MS and a lot of specific terms. Digital tools like these are important when it comes to asking the right questions for keeping yourself in tip-top shape.

At the end of the day, digital trends are more than just a small help for patients. More often than not, they make patients’ lives much easier when it comes to managing their disease, gaining knowledge and support, and investing in their own journey. Although a tool can’t replace a trip to the doctor, they are a great start!

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