Digital health and self-monitoring is becoming increasingly popular in the UK, especially for those with long-term illnesses. Here are my top 5 benefits of digital health for both the NHS and patients…
Self-monitoring means patients can manage their condition in the comfort and convenience of their own homes. Many health providers will offer a variety of different channels for patients to use to submit their readings to their GP. This can include by phone, online, SMS or app. This means self-monitoring is a realistic option for the majority of the population, including those not on the internet. Patients are no longer bound to the next available appointment, or NHS operating hours meaning that they are free to go about their daily lives, take holidays and work without disruption of routine appointments. They can self-test at a time and in a place which suits them.
PEACE OF MIND
Patients can be reassured that their health is being monitored by a healthcare professional between clinic or hospital appointments, and that their healthcare professional will be in touch if there are any concerns around their health. Alerts can be set up to ensure that a healthcare professional will be in touch if readings fall outside of set parameters.
Self-monitoring gives a patient more knowledge about their condition which sets a platform for patients with increased intelligence around their health. This empowerment enables better engagement with their health, which in turn promotes beneficial behaviour change.
MORE INFORMED DECISIONS
Self-monitoring integrated with GP systems like SystmOne and EMIS Web ensures that healthcare professionals have access to a continuum of data based around their patients’ health. This can better inform both the patient and the healthcare professional when decisions are made around health and care. It can also help early identification so that any concerns can be addressed quickly and effectively.
REDUCE UNNECESSARY APPOINTMENTS
Self-monitoring can break the trend of ever-growing healthcare costs in the NHS by reducing the number of face-to-face appointments. This not only reduces the financial burden within the NHS, but also on the patient too. Associated costs with regular routine appointments are reduced such as travel expenses, parking and time taken from work. Additional to the financial benefits, self-monitoring also reduces workload on healthcare professionals. This means that a service can reach more patients at scale, without compromising the quality of care.
To hear about the benefits of self-monitoring from real patients who are at risk of a stroke and who have chosen to self-test their INR levels at home, read some of our patient stories.