INTERVIEW ON THE PRICE OF BUSINESS SHOW, MEDIA PARTNER OF THIS SITE.
Recently Kevin Price, Host of the nationally syndicated Price of Business Show, welcomed Dr. Ann Hester to provide another commentary in a series.
Today’s technologies never cease to amaze us. Astounding technological advances make headline news regularly. Machine learning and artificial intelligence are infiltrating many aspects of our daily lives. While we may be oblivious to their presence, they are there and will continue to accelerate.
Such high-level technology is over the heads of the average person, despite how they may benefit from it. Yet, there are technologies that everyone should be aware of. One of the most consequential of these is in the area of health care. Physicians often obtain a patient’s prior health records, including images of EKGs and CAT scans, with a few clicks of the keyboard. This game changer provides physicians with tremendous potential to provide safe and effective care.
But patients can also access life-altering technologies. Nowadays, almost everyone has a smartphone, and the number of health-related mobile apps is staggering. Around the world, there are tens of thousands of apps, and their capabilities are astonishing. Name a need and find an app. Do you have trouble remembering to take your medication? There are apps with all sorts of reminders, including alarms. Do you have trouble falling asleep at night? You’re not alone. There are apps that help you relax. Let’s say you have diabetes and don’t keep track of your blood sugars because you don’t want to stick your finger. No problem there, either. There are wearable blood sugar monitors that relay your readings to, you guessed it, your mobile app. This goes far, far beyond convenience. You can expect an audible notification if your blood sugar is in a potentially dangerous range. Now that can be life-saving! These apps are only the tip of the iceberg. Trying to count calories? That’s a breeze. The caloric content of countless foods can be found in a snap. Likewise, workout routines can send a burst of endorphins and completely change the day’s trajectory. But we often don’t have time to go to the gym. So yes, there are workout apps as well. Surprised? Probably not. Being able to monitor health metrics in real-time is also highly beneficial. Some people have even picked up potentially serious heart rhythms thru their smartwatches.
In addition to tracking one’s health digitally, mobile apps can even connect patients to doctors who provide real-time consultations about health concerns. These virtual visits can be game changing. Imagine logging into a visit with your doctor while seated on a park bench. Just pull out your smartphone if you develop a non-serious illness, such as an annoying rash, and want an immediate evaluation. The doctor can see your rash through your cell phone and reassure you or even send a prescription to your local pharmacy. Health does not begin or end with physical health. Sometimes it’s our emotional health that needs the most attention. Fortunately, there are also apps to enhance our emotional well-being. Some apps play relaxing music or give us inspirational tips. The value mobile apps can be to our well-being is virtually endless.
The field of medicine is ever-changing, and it would behoove us all to try to keep up with new technologies designed to improve our lives. There is virtually no end to opportunities to improve our health that lie just a click away. All we need is the right “app-titude” to optimize our health and potentially even our lifespan.
Ann M. Hester, M.D. is a board-certified internist with over 25 years of experience. She obtained her medical degree from the University of Tennessee in Memphis. Dr. Hester believes when patients are taught exceptional “patient skills,” they become empowered to play a previously unimagined role in optimizing their medical care and minimizing medical costs. Her mission is to share these critical skills by various means, thereby improving patient outcomes and strengthening the U.S. healthcare system. This mission started in medical school when she witnessed the tremendous gap between how patients and doctors think. Over the years, she has written various patient empowerment pieces online and through books. Her latest book is Patient Empowerment 101: More than a book, it’s an adventure! This unique work takes an unprecedented step in helping people think more like doctors and position themselves at the center of their healthcare team.
Learn more at https://www.patientempowerment101.com.
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