One of the topics that stood out at this year’s HIMSS Conference was patient engagement and how digital health professionals are working to advance and improve patient interaction with their healthcare providers. Consumer digital health is a hot topic, and it fueled content for multiple sessions at HIMSS17, focusing on issues like:
- advancing patient engagement and increasing adoption rates
- understanding, empowering, and increasing satisfaction of patients
- implementing real-time patient portals
- system scalability
- data control and accessibility policies
- the multi-disciplinary approach: developing best practices by engaging front-line staff
The buzz about patient engagement will continue at the 2017 eHealth Conference in Toronto in June. Digital heath professionals have a palpable sense of excitement about being on the cusp of a new era in healthcare delivery, with big opportunities for growth and innovation when it comes to crafting the healthcare consumer experience.
As apps, remote clinical devices, and wearable technology proliferate (and Canadians continue to gain access to digital health via their clinical teams – and retail settings like Best Buy), it will be up to digital health professionals to channel the approaching tidal wave of Patient-Generated Health Data (PGHD) and deploy the new technologies that will enable and transform patient engagement. Navigating this new world in partnership with clinicians will uncover how best to manage new data streams and communicate effectively with patients.
This trend isn’t going anywhere: today these tools are on our phones and on our wrists. Tomorrow they will be inside our bodies, as patient engagement technology migrates from apps and wearables to ingestible sensors and printable organs. And, as avid consumers of new technologies, patients are often ahead of the curve. How we continue to develop the infrastructure and personal health tools to support them might be the topic of the year.