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Posts Tagged ‘acute care’

Traditional health care is directed towards the treatment of acute health problems and, to a lesser degree, chronic conditions. This bias against preventive medicine is reflected also in most of the eHealth solutions that are being developed.

A person who develops a chronic disease is faced with the shock of suddenly having to make drastic changes in lifestyle. Then the same person confronts another shock:  having to deal with an array of devices supposedly geared to help in the treatment of the health problem using eHealth solutions.

On top of the necessary adjustments involved in incorporating periodic controls and check-ups, medicine intake, diets, etc, the person will have to learn how to use and live with an array of gadgets. These may vary from the less intrusive sensors to computers and the like, of which a normal older person may know next to nothing.

A more rational approach would be to follow the path of preventive medicine. Just as preventive medicine identifies target populations that have to be monitored, why don’t we provide the healthy person, within a target population, with those gadgets designed to prevent the deterioration of health. This way, eHealth becomes an integral part of   preventive health care, with the person directly involved in the process.

As the process of deterioration continues, so will the person´s health care and eHealth requirements. But if we involve people in the process of preventive health care early enough, we help them ease the transition from a healthy person to a not so healthy one helped by preventive medicine and what we could call preventive eHealth.  An additional asset to this approach is the increased efficiency of health care derived from the use of prevention instead of relying mainly on acute care.

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