Taking the Point of Care EverywhereBy Juan Caceres | Wed, 05/11/2022 - 16:00
I’m a technology person, who for the past six years I have focused on how to use technology to help patients to improve their life in terms of health. Much of this work is focused on innovation and how new technologies can be applied in this sector. These are technologies that have been validated in medical terms because there are many technologies that are good but are not medically approved.
Analyzing people’s behavior and acting proactively in terms of health in Mexico are not what we are used to doing. Usually, we just act when we feel something is wrong. Lifestyle is closely related to this.
If we focus on the majority of the population, the middle-class, who work from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day, most would need to request a day off to visit a doctor, which would usually be deducted from their pay. Many believe that their issue can be resolved in one day but what if they need to take some extra days off for tests or follow-ups. Most of the time, a proper medical evaluation takes about three days, which means three days less in pay.
To address this issue, I truly believe providing patient care wherever they are through technology would make the health system more accessible. It would also encourage people to become more proactive regarding their health because we are offering them options. When they start to feel bad, they can use a device and measure themselves or get connected to a doctor properly.
And when I talk about connecting properly, it’s not just about a video call. In terms of teleconsultations, a video call cannot offer a proper diagnosis. My recommendation is to go a little deeper. Today, portable medical devices are not as expensive as they used to be. Now, patients can have their own device for measuring blood pressure, a better Bluetooth scale and other technologies that can provide their doctor with the right information to make the right diagnosis. I also think companies can invest to make these devices available to patients so they can have that video call with a doctor but with the ability to provide the right information.
There are also a lot of apps that can be connected to these devices and apps that help you to track your health. If you combine wearables, medical devices, apps and a doctor who is able to check you remotely, I would bet you would now have your point of care with you everywhere, because connecting all these dots of information is the unique way in which you can act proactively in terms of your health.
Imagine that when you go to a hospital and the hospital has this information in a timely manner. It could even save your life because doctors can make better medical decisions in terms of what medications to prescribe and many other details that take place in the hospital.
Maybe you are thinking that this looks a lot like the future of healthcare or maybe that it is not available in Latin America countries. I would say that you are wrong because in countries like Mexico and Colombia, this is today’s reality. There are a couple of private hospitals that are working on this healthcare modality right now. There are also medtech companies and medical devices manufacturers in these countries that have this in place. It is real and many people are investing in this modality and making it even more of a reality. You as a person or as a medical institution just need to join the movement.
There are many private hospitals, health institutions and companies that are investing a great deal in digital health and also trying to move the point of care for patients to wherever they are. If you have the economic resources to consume services from these institutions, try to use them because these innovators want the country to move ahead. Motivate them to let them know they are right in making these investments. You can also check whether or not your future health institution is trying to help you to move to a more proactive healthcare model because now we have the technology available at reasonable prices. Use your money smartly and you will also be contributing to improving the health of all the people in our country.