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eHealth – The Ecstasy And The Agony Of Data-Driven Care

With some of our colleagues in the process of setting up their own My Health Record, we at ACA Research felt the time was right to take a look the far reaching and ultimately exciting topic of eHealth in Australia.

You’ve probably come across many new terms of late, not least, the internet of things (IoT) and interoperability, both of these terms are important in helping activate this new world of health management. Both are concerned with things (which could mean anything from the humble fitness tracker, through to the most advanced diagnostic medical equipment) being able to share data with each other, as well as hook people together from far flung places on the planet to deliver massive improvements to health outcomes for patients.

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This has huge ramifications for how healthcare can be managed in Australia, not only in terms of a reduction in the amount of healthcare interactions that must be undertaken face to face which can be a struggle for the remote or the infirm, but in aiding patient compliance and providing the opportunity for specialist intervention wherever that specialist is. Beyond this, patients themselves can arrive at a doctors surgery or emergency department with their full health and medication history easily accessible, helping doctors hone in more quickly on what is wrong and what they can do to try and fix it.

But, it also means that there will be fewer places to hide.

Whether you are trying to convince your doctor that a 5 minute walk round the park equated to you following the exercise program they recommended for you, you’re doctor shopping for medication or even trying to put together a glowing personal health history for the insurance company to see, the truth will be easy to access. While there are no doubt, extensive privacy terms in place for who can see what and how it can be used, it will be even more obvious to those viewing your record that you may have chosen to not disclose certain elements to them.

To some, the advent of eHealth can just mean another level of ‘big-brother’ control. However, to many, eHealth confers some pretty major benefits in terms of patient outcomes, efficiencies and cost savings, as well as more of a two-way dialogue with a system that can sometimes seem quite faceless.

At ACA Research we are immersed in all things healthcare. We conduct regular research studies with healthcare professionals and health decision-makers at all levels and settings across Australia. Our ‘setting first’ approach to research means that outcomes are framed within a relevant context and easily translatable into actions. Please contact nscott@acaresearch.com.au for more details

 

Topics: Healthcare Research wearable technology Health technology