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5 Digital Health Myths Debunked

Do you currently use digital health applications in your practice?

If so, you know that the technological revolution taking place in healthcare right now is leading to more efficient care for your patients.

But the question is, do your patients know that?

It is now easier than ever for you to help empower your patients by providing them with online access to their personal health history, enabling them to connect with you through a virtual setting and book appointments online.

For some patients however, digital health has created uncertainty and concerns about how they will receive care going forward.

Here we address 5 common digital health myths held by patients:

Myth #1: Digital health is only for the young and tech savvy.

 Fact: Canadians – including seniors – are very connected: 88.5% of Canadian households have Internet access.[1]

Digital health isn’t just for those who keep current with the latest apps on their smart devices. While plenty of healthcare apps abound, digital health also offers important opportunities for advancing care for seniors through programs such as telehomecare.

Additionally, you can take advantage of digital health to help educate your patients of all ages during consultation. iMD Health has created a visual-based patient education platform that you can use on your smartphone or tablet as a teaching tool to help patients understand complex health and medical information.

We invite you try out our free application by clicking the link at the bottom of this article!

Myth #2: The quality of care offered in a virtual visit is not as good as the care of a face-to-face visit.

 Fact: While in-person visits will remain a cornerstone of primary care, there are many scenarios in which virtual visits can provide the same standard of care.[2]

The reality is, patients who opt for virtual visits tend to do so in order to save time, gain faster access to care and avoid missing work.

Virtual visits are convenient for patients who may simply need a prescription refill or referral to a specialist.

 A BC study found 79% of patients who had a virtual visit said the quality of care was the same as an in-person visit, while 91% said the online visit helped them with the health issue for which they needed the appointment.2

More serious medical conditions will require an in-person appointment. But even in these cases, virtual visits can enable continuity of care for those in remote communities, meaning less travel to and from the doctor’s office.

Myth #3: There has been little to no progress in digital health in Canada.

 Fact: Substantial progress has been made in Canada, with the key components of Canadians’ health records now 93.8% digitized and available electronically.[3]

Growth in the availability of digital health services for Canadians more than doubled between 2014 and 2016. And almost three-quarters of family physicians in Canada are now using electronic medical records (EMRs).

Digital health has enabled healthcare providers, and the healthcare system as a whole, to operate more efficiently, and has produced an estimated $16 million in benefits since 2007.3

Myth #4: Patient-doctor relationships suffer when there is a computer screen in the exam room.

 Fact: Technology does not impact the quality of the interaction.[4]

If anything, technology improves quality of care by serving as an immediate point of reference for healthcare providers and an educational tool for patients.

Almost two-thirds (65%) of physicians who used electronic records reported better or much better quality of care since implementation.4

iMD Health’s top priority is to help you educate and empower your patients. We’ve developed an online platform to help you do just that, and invite you to try it out by clicking the link at the bottom of this article!

 Myth #5: Digital Health is just for healthcare providers.

 Fact: 69% of Canadians who don’t currently have online access to their medical records would like access.[5]

The data confirms it – patients like having digital access to healthcare data and information and they want more of it.

 74% of Canadians with access to digital health say it helps them have more informed discussions with their doctor.5

Enabling patients to digitally access their health information is a key contributor to patient engagement and empowerment, which are directly linked to improved chronic disease management and better overall health.

The uncertainty or concern some patients feel when it comes to digital health is not always based on fact. Help your patients to embrace the benefits of healthcare technology by dispelling commonly-held myths.

And if you haven’t already, click the link below to try iMD Health’s patient education platform. Bring digital health into your exam room today!

 

 

 

[1] http://www.internetlivestats.com/internet-users/canada/

[2] Virtual Visits in British Columbia: 2015 Patients Survey and Physician Interview Study

[3] https://www.infoway-inforoute.ca/en/component/edocman/resources/i-infoway-i-corporate/annual-reports/3098-annual-report-2015-2016

[4] https://www.infoway-inforoute.ca/en/what-we-do/blog/consumer-health/6771-perceptions-around-patient-provider-interaction

[5] http://www.healthcareimc.com/main/the-case-for-the-connected-patient/