Continuing the Patient Connection with Digital Connectivity

The growth behind social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are the connection they provide between people. Whether its two friends reconnecting or strangers watching funny videos, what these technology platforms do is create a connection among people. That is the driving force behind digital health platforms – connecting patients with those who help to support their health. And with recent advancements and expansions of the digital health industry, connectivity is no longer limited to just the healthcare environment and provides for ongoing connectivity throughout the patient journey.

Digital health platforms enable patient conversations
In a recent survey, 61% of patients using digital platforms reported higher engagement than those of popular social media sites. This finding shows that patients are more engaged and active in their health and seek connection to others to help with their treatment. One reason why digital health platforms see such high engagement is the nature of digital. Digital platforms create safe spaces for patients to be vulnerable.

Traditional health care settings are cold, informal, and place greater emphasis on medical need over patient comfort. Seventy percent of patients say they leave their physician office with additional questions, confusion, or uncertainties about their health and treatment. Digital health platforms allow for patients to pose questions to fellow patients, medical providers, and health experts in a more familiar format. It also offers some anonymity for patients who may feel embarrassed or hesitant to ask more detailed or personal questions related to medical conditions. And while physicians can offer information about clinical diagnosis and medical treatment, online exchange of information from other patients creates a stronger connection and presents real-world views of living with a condition.

Digital platforms support engagement on patients’ schedule
The success of digital health platforms is often due to its functionality to support patients on their schedule. From websites to smartphones to wearables, all of them are designed to be used when its most convenient to the patient. This advanced technology meets patients where they are, both literally and figuratively, to address their needs in the moment. Unlike traditional healthcare settings that operate around the provider’s schedule, digital platforms are accessible anytime, anywhere – and able to support patients from the very beginning of treatment and all steps along the way.

It also succeeds because of its ability to support interconnection with others. Patients who track their medication use on Medisafe can enable that information to be share with their physician, pharmacist, or caregiver to ensure a more complete view of their health. Wearables can capture vital health information that can be share with providers and is now often used to pre-determine risk of flu, heart disease or even COVID. Advanced digital platforms present a connected universe where patient lives are 24-hours and present support at times and places that are meaningful and most impactful.

Patient centricity reigns king in digital platforms
Perhaps what is driving such engagement and activity in digital health platforms is its focus on patients first. Yes, they offer advanced interconnectivity that can share updates with providers, payers, even EHR systems. But for patients to use digital health platforms, they must be patient centric. They must be intuitive, easy to use, and fit easily into the lives of patients.

Patient-centricity also extends to the personalization of support. Advanced AI algorithms ensure patients receive customized support, education, and reinforcement that aligns with their individual use and health issues. Even down to the language used in digital health apps and platforms, it is simple and easily understood, opting more for a friendly format in upbeat tones instead of any clinical language – again aiming to put patients at ease and reinforce engagement.

Conversations in the digital age are increasingly taking place through new digital technologies. This includes important conversations about patient health and supporting the treatment journey. Advanced digital health platforms have met this moment by presenting patient-centric, engaging, and intuitive platforms that meet patients where they are and support the road ahead. Leaving the physician’s office no longer means sitting with questions or walking through treatment alone. The conversation continues and thanks to digital health, it’s the connection that patients need and deserve at the most crucial times.

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