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"Digital Health": is it viable?

Ramiro Guzman
6 min read
"Digital Health": is it viable? – Wellness and Health – WebMediums
Digital health is a term increasingly heard in the field… But is it really feasible?

To talk about digital health, you need to know some basic concepts and think a little about the complications and benefits that can be associated.

This term is coined to the use of technological tools in the prevention and care of diseases, and its application is increasingly constant.

But is it really a useful tool? Does it generate good results? Could it endanger the people who use it?

All these questions arise before the imminent access of technology to health centers. That is why the different nuances that are drawn before this advance must be analyzed.

How is digital health applied at the moment?

The majority of the world's population currently has access to the Internet, this has made it possible to make all the resources available to take care of their health.

In today's times, where everyone wants to know about their illnesses and medications, this tool has become something of daily use.

Just by entering a search criteria you can already have accurate information about what you are suffering from. This is why many health care societies have decided to take the lead in publishing reviews.

The Internet and digital health

One of the most common media are blogs, where specialists in health issues, such as doctors, physiotherapists, psychologists and others, live.

"Digital Health": is it viable? – Wellness and Health – WebMediums
There are many means of dissemination on the Internet that facilitate digital health.

All of them make simple and easily understood concepts public knowledge that can help many people in their different processes.

At the same time, this makes it possible to reduce the rate of self-medication and avoid the anxiety associated with pathological processes. It has also been allowed to create a digital directory where people can quickly find care in nearby areas.

All this has brought with it an incredible awareness of the importance of attending medical consultations and other specialties. A dizzying, reliable and low cost solution.

What risks are considered when manipulating technology in this field?

It is difficult to define risks when talking about digital health. The massive access to information and the lack of regulation regarding published information; they bring with them a certain number of problems.

Among them are: misused forecasts, indiscriminate use of medications and lack of timely medical care. In turn, many people go to spaces where there are no specialists and mistakenly trust what they find.

Obviously, this translates into a health problem that grows silently, with diseases that progress without discretion and drugs that lose their effect.

A tangible example is the use of antibiotics, many websites recommend using these medicines in pathologies that do not require them. In the end, they lead to resistance to treatment that complicates the treatment of infections and makes the work of doctors increasingly difficult.

On the other hand, it is necessary to mention that there are malicious blogs where unscrupulous people offer magical remedies for conditions that require medical attention.

"Digital Health": is it viable? – Wellness and Health – WebMediums
Bacterial resistance is part of the mishandling of the so-called "digital health".

Scams and lies are the order of the day, something that can endanger anyone who trusts these products.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of your application?

We must start by saying that the benefits of applying digital health are quite extensive, especially when it is done responsibly.

  1. The main advantage of this method is that it decentralizes access to information, reducing the levels of anxiety generated by ignorance.

  2. Additionally, it has given way to an excellent way to collect data on different diseases and create new practical concepts.

  3. In an incidental way, people have had the opportunity to raise their voices and tell their own stories, allowing spaces for debate to be generated. An excellent proof of this is the advances made in diseases such as COVID-19.

However, not everything is good. Unfortunately, there have been certain errors within this trend towards the digitization of health.

Starting with the information that can be considered tabloid, where complications are announced that can hardly be achieved with adequate care.

Added to this is the lack of control over the sources used by some pages to talk about a health issue.

Could it replace health centers and their professionals?

The intention of digital health has never been aimed at supplanting people's timely, personal and clinical care.

The main objective is to provide adequate management to those who have doubts about their health status. On the Internet it is possible to find lists of symptoms that can help determine the urgency with which to seek help. Even so, it is ALWAYS recommended to see a doctor.

Technology vs. human resource

Now, the use of technology within the health area has become a whole field of development. From the famous smart watches, to monitors that are placed under the skin; all tools designed to complement health care.

Projects within this field always focus on facilitating the monitoring of body conditions and an integration between the doctor and the patient.

"Digital Health": is it viable? – Wellness and Health – WebMediums
Technology is evolving rapidly, but it is still far from replacing human resources in medicine.

It is difficult for this method to supplant the work of a professional, since computers create algorithms that suggest medications or diagnoses, but they are not certain.

It could be said that when it comes to diseases, not everything is so simple, some diseases do not even have identifiable signs. Therefore, even if you find a lot of information on the web, do not avoid consulting your trusted doctor.

So how to run it safely?

By this point you may already have an idea of what you need to do regarding digital health, but it's best to make it clear.

  1. First, do not browse pages that do not have the support of a professional, always look for reliable sources. To do this, locate the specialist societies in your country or WHO publications.

  2. Secondly, do not take any type of medication just because it is recommended on a website, always consult your doctor, there may be harmful effects.

  3. Third, but not least, clarify your doubts, but do not stop looking for help if you really need it or if you still have unanswered questions. Remember that taking care of yourself is your responsibility.

Este artículo está también disponible en español
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Ramiro Guzman

Member since over 1 year

Estudiante de Medicina. Redactor SEO, creador y diseñador de contenido para redes sociales con más de 3 años de experiencia.

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