If you're living with a chronic illness, you're in the right place.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Tech News

3:36 PM Posted by Stephanie Horgan ,

Last week, an article came out featuring UCLA's medical center and a web-based program they use with their IBD patients. It is a state of the art program where patients can download an app for tablets and smartphones to help monitor their illness. They started the trial on IBD patients, but plan on expanding it to other chronic illnesses such as heart failure, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). 

In a culture like ours, which is moving more and more towards embracing technology, it seems as if this medical center is ahead of the curve. Their program is called "Home Care" and "has several modules for patient support. It incorporates a tool called My Academy that enables patients to take tests to gauge their knowledge about their condition. The program also teaches the patients about medication that treats their ailments. Patients answer questions in an interactive app on the iPad about their disease activities, quality of life and work productivity. Doctors and nurses then receive the answers in real time. As educated patients take control of their conditions by using the mobile tool, they could use the health care system less, he suggested. After reviewing patients' answers, doctors may adjust patients' medication, schedule appointments or conduct remote counseling using the iPad's FaceTime application. The Home Care application also incorporates My Coach, a tool that provides help or support for anxiety, isolation and depression, which can result from having a chronic condition. Another module, called My Work, assesses work productivity." These are all exciting new directions health care may move in, and we are interested in being a part of that. One of the main reasons we have a blog and facebook page for our practice is to raise awareness as well as empower patients with knowledge about their illness and ways to cope with it. 

What about you? Has your doctor embraced technology? How easy it is to get ahold of your doctor? Are there any apps that you find helpful when trying to track your quality of life?