Understanding the Rise of eHealth
The concept of eHealth is a tricky one because there is no single definition for it. However, it’s a very relevant topic for two reasons: health and the Internet. These are aspects that affect each other as the population grows and technological innovations continue to occur at a rapid rate.
A General Definition of eHealth
Simply put, eHealth or electronic health refers to how technology is used for healthcare. It’s concerned with how the Internet and the technologies related to it can help patients and medical professionals alike. Likewise, it’s about how the healthcare industry can use its resources in a more efficient manner.
But eHealth also goes beyond this definition. The field is an attempt to understand how the public and private institutions converge with access to health information. Furthermore, it’s a way of thinking that seeks to improve healthcare on a local, regional, and global context.
Empowering Medical Patients
Perhaps the most exciting aspect of eHealth is how it helps patients take a more active role in knowing their health. Patients should still go to hospitals and seek the professional advice of physicians, but they should also learn how to access general health information on their own.
For example, anyone can download the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) app on iOS and the Google Play Store. It’s a free application that provides up-to-date information on health — you get to access articles, blogs, statistics, videos, and podcasts about topics such as diabetes and mortality rates.
Getting Your Own EKG
Today, there are many ways to learn about health. Mayo Clinic and WebMD are two of the most popular online sources of medical information. The latter even has an app that can help you identify pills and find the nearest hospital or pharmacy in your area.
But what’s even more amazing is that people can have an electrocardiogram (EKG) without leaving their homes. Developed by AI company AliveCor, Kardia is a $99 product that allows you to have an accurate EKG in just 30 seconds. This means that you can regularly check if your heart rate is normal or not.
Plus, the Kardia App helps you track your weight and blood pressure as well. If you find anything unusual, you can immediately send an email to your doctor with your EKG results attached. This is what eHealth is all about — giving ordinary people the means to take care of themselves better.
In Need of More Workers
The healthcare industry is in need of software engineers and data scientists now more than ever. They cannot risk the mismanagement of big data. After all, they’re handling highly sensitive information of thousands or even millions of people.
So apart from knowing how to troubleshoot VPN issues, the IT department of any hospital or medical institution must be well aware of cybersecurity threats. They must then inform every employee about the importance of online safety not only for them but also for the patients.
eHealth is an exciting new field worth exploring. It shows that technology can be used for the betterment of society. The question now is whether people can ensure that their right to privacy remains intact even as eHealth finds more ways to use the Internet and other related technologies.