Can the innovation of E-health technologies enable you to be in control of your health – and, thus, be healthier?
Yes, according to the Centre for Global E-Health Innovation. E-health technology is making it easier for patients to take responsibility for monitoring their health. One in four adult internet users tracks their own health data online – a growing number do it with ‘apps’ on their phones.
“Self-trackers” is the new term for these people who follow things such as weight, blood pressure, and exercise routines online, according to Carol Torgan, a health science strategist at the National Institutes for Health.
Of course, there are other applications of technology in the health setting that patients find useful - communicating with their physician for example. According to a recent study, respondents said that corresponding with their health care provider by e-mail, text or smart phone app could help them avoid a health issue. And this will only increase as more people get their hands on smart phones and tablets in the years ahead. Physicians will increasingly empower patients by offering quicker advice via texts and apps rather than patient visits.
But apps aren’t meant to replace doctors or other health care providers. Studies recommend that health apps be used to compliment what you are doing offline as even the best app can’t work magic.
One area where apps and websites appear to be providing value with fewer concerns is improving our mental health.
Pamela Rutledge, director of the Media Psychology Research Center says, “There’s a stigma about mental health in general, which is part of the value of these apps. How do we identify the things that really work well? The gratitude apps and the mindfulness apps are working on that side.”
Gratitude and mindfulness apps? Sure. Mindfulness and gratitude apps for healthy living make sense because there is an innate spiritual quality to health and wellbeing.