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Melon Health Blog

How Should Tech Be Used In Patient Care

Posted by Siobhan Bulfin on Jul 3, 2019 3:40:17 PM

Discussions on scalable health care often center around a key question, “Which resources aren’t being used to their full potential?” 

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From human intelligence to state-of-the-art facilities, there are many capabilities that the health care industry can leverage. But one resource surpasses them all with its limitless potential— technology. It is often underutilized, and legacy systems make it hard for teams to tap into the full power of new solutions.

The possibilities are endless, however. Here are just a few ways technology can augment human connection in patient care:

Support for change

Technology gives patients an increased ability to express themselves, and to be heard. For example, Melon’s technology gives health coaches the tools to understand a patient’s concerns, barriers to getting well, existing habits and history. From there, health coaches are able to customize and optimize their patient’s whole-person care plan.

Here’s an example of how technology can augment behavior change programs. Before a patient enters a program, they complete a self-efficacy survey. This survey helps health coaches personalize a patient’s initial one-to-one session. Then the patient and coach together create a health and wellness goals.

Once the patient and coach have set achievable goals, patient progress can be tracked on a digital platform. This gives patients intrinsic motivation as they can see their progress in real time. Coaches and care teams, on the other hand, can see if a patient is struggling to meet their health goals and find new ways to engage them in their behavior change.

Facilitating relationships

Technology can hinder relationships, but it can also connect people who might never have the opportunity to meet.

Peer experts

Many patients who’ve been successfully managing their chronic conditions are willing to help guide their peers. The challenge has been connecting these patients with one another to build a support network.

Melon’s HIPAA compliant platform leverages the power of peer experts. Our online communities offer real-time support—day and night. This empowers patients to stay motivated and receive support when they need it. Because of the fast-growing size of this volunteer workforce, we’re seeing patient care become more scalable and better supported.

Healthy monitoring

Melon has been in this space long enough to realize that not all peer advice is created equal. That’s why peer support communities are monitored by community managers and health coaches to ensure peer advice is positive, confidential and clinically sound. As a result, patients can safely interact with, and learn from, others who are managing the same conditions. 

Educating with personalization

A significant challenge in scalable health care is how to educate patients. Every patient learns differently and therefore has different preferences for receiving information. Technology has the potential to bridge this gap by providing patients with customized materials ie) podcasts, videos, articles and infographics.

Personalized information

Another challenge is that a patient’s chronic conditions often overlap with other comorbidities. The creation of personalized plans for these complex conditions takes clinicians time and effort. However, AI can augment human intelligence by directing patients to information that addresses their specific comorbidities.

For instance, a patient struggling with diabetes and depression will need a certain set of educational materials. A patient managing diabetes and early onset of heart disease may require a different set. AI has the ability to surface content specific to the patients needs at meaningful points in their health journey, enabling them to make the right choices for their conditions.

Synthesizing data for better motivation

Health technology also helps patients track the progress of their wellness goals. Health tracking is traditionally done at routine clinic appointments. Now health care can put tools directly into a patient’s hands. This enables them to track their daily health data insights and make the necessary adjustments.

For instance, Melon creates self-awareness and accountability through at-home health tracking. Each day or week, patients can monitor progress on their mobile app which integrates with over 300 wearables. Patients can use their wearables or the app to view reports on their physical activity, sleep and heart rate.

This means health care teams can access large amounts of synthesized health data and see at a glance where the patient is on their journey and if they need adjustments made to their care plan. Patients tend to stay motivated because their wellness plans are aligned with their personal goals and lifestyles. This is in stark contrast to a system of rigid protocols that may, or may not, work for them.

Technology can be used to augment human intelligence and improve scalable personalized care for patients. Ultimately, patients will boost motivation and gradually reach goals they never thought possible.

Learn more about working with technology and certified health coaches to help maximize efficiencies and drive stronger patient outcomes.

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Topics: patient engagement, scaleable healthcare, peer support, patient community

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