Digital Health: Experiences, Technologies and Networks
Technology and the digital world are coerced pretty tightly with our everyday lives at this point. For many years they’ve been both coiling together till neither one is indistinguishable to the other. This is a good thing because it allows us increase the reach and range of our medical facilities from being only available in highly populated areas to being also available in rural areas. This access isn’t perfect because although some areas may have access to telehealth options whether or not they understand how to use them is another matter. It is one thing to have these, fund these options and have them available it is another thing completely to be able to use them.
That is why I feel along with these devices and technologies people should be taught how to use them or be taught how to adapt to these technologies either by a teacher or by adapting a prevalent technology these people use. For example the inScale Mobile technology being used in Mozambique to enhance the communities health through adapting mobile devices to be able to diagnose and identify treatment for prevailing diseases in their communities like pneumonia, malaria and diarrhoea. Computers aren’t a staple or commodity in their country like it is here in Australia or in a lot of other countries. So instead of releasing technology on the computer that could help with their medical problems in their villages, mobile devices were adapted. Being the most prevalent technology for their people and in their communities it was the smartest choice to help out with diagnosing and treating.
Another telehealth option is the quantifying self approach. Using devices or technologies to identify yourself and improve on your health. There are two ways of looking at this a) it’s being used to help you and improve yourself for the better or b) it’s just a collection of data that is going to be used by companies or some entity. Neither is a bad thing, as it will be used for something that will either improve yourself or improve someone else. I like to look at this optimistically and think that trying to quantify yourself will help you improve yourself. It helps to understand how you tick and what you can do to make yourself tick better.