In this blog post, we discuss the role and scope of digital health tools in the management of chronic care diseases. Chronic diseases are those diseases or health issues that persist for a long duration. This duration could extend from 3 months to an entire lifetime, depending on the patient’s body composition, resistance, lifestyle, and the nature of the disease.
The symptoms of chronic diseases are usually known to be less severe than those of acute diseases. However, chronic diseases can be quite debilitating, because they may result in partial disability, and may eventually lead to death, as well.
Some examples of chronic diseases are hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, depression, arthritis, coronary heart disease, heart failure, Alzheimer’s, and dementia.
Chronic diseases cannot completely be cured, except in extremely rare cases. What they require instead, is management, to prevent the symptoms from worsening, and to ease the patient’s day-to-day life.
Chronic care disease management essentially involves constant monitoring of the patient, through repeated, regular, and consistent consultations. In the course of these consultations, the current course of treatments is discussed, and revisions are made by the healthcare professional or doctor where required. Because chronic care disease management requires such regular monitoring, it takes up a lot of the patient’s time, and interferes with regular life, too.
This is where digital health solutions play an important role in chronic care disease management. With digital health solutions for communication, patients can stay in touch with their healthcare practitioners and keep them abreast of any health-related developments.
Then there are digital health solutions that are designed to monitor vitals such as blood pressure, blood sugar levels, insulin, sleep duration, sleep quality, number of hours of activity, calorie intake, calories burnt, and more.
With innovative gadgets such as fitness bands, blood pressure monitors, and pulse rate monitors, patients suffering from chronic diseases can record their own vital readings. These digital health readings can then be transmitted to doctors or therapists via digital communication tools, or healthcare apps designed to work with respective gadgets.
Doctors can monitor all their patients’ health related readings via digital health tools, and assist patients with chronic care disease management, without actually meeting them in person. For patients this means significant savings in terms of money and time, and fewer missed appointments.
For doctors, it means being able to stay more mobile, travel more easily, and also being able to take more appointments. With digital health solutions for chronic care disease management, health monitoring can even be done on a daily basis instead of periodic weekly or monthly consultations. This flexibility afforded to patients and doctors by digital health solutions has significantly assisted in their diffusion in the market; new innovations in the field of digital health for chronic care disease management have drastically increased in the past few years.