Technological advances are beginning to redefine a new paradigm in the diagnosis and follow-up of pathologies. In particular, they have a positive impact on the evolution of the chronic patient. This evolution makes and will make it possible for the incorporation of technology for the control of health to empower the patient and help them in their day-to-day life with a chronic pathology. But how and where are we going?
More personalized and complete diagnosis
This is being achieved thanks to several aspects that new technologies offer, such as, for example, the collection of patient data over prolonged periods, continuous monitoring of vital signs and control of adherence to treatments.
Although we must not lose sight of the ethical and legal controversy that this may entail (the massive processing of health-related data is one of the main challenges of the medicine of the future), it also represents a great improvement for the patient. What is the key? Ensuring the ethical management of this medical data.
Technology as an ally in the ‘patient journey’
Technology is providing patients with instruments that allow them to take an active role in the management and design of healthcare services tailored to their needs, thus turning them into drivers of innovation and research in healthcare.
New technologies such as big data or Artificial Intelligence (AI) can facilitate a person’s communication with their environment, helping them in their well-being and increasing their empowerment and self-management.
Let’s take a look at some examples of these types of applications.
Eyetracking, key in neurological diseases and patients with disabilities
The use of eyetracking technology can advance the diagnosis of diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s or dementia by as much as 10 years, significantly improving recovery and treatment, as well as changing the patient’s quality of life. This technology offers enormous potential for neurology; vital neurophysiological data can be obtained from the elderly population on a daily basis, thus facilitating diagnosis, prognosis and follow-up. But eyetracking can also focus on improving the quality of life of people with different degrees of disability, enabling the patient to communicate with his or her environment freely and autonomously. For example, patients with severe neuromotor disorders.
Another application of this technology is eye readers, which allow the patient to control any device with his or her gaze. Combined with accessible programs for communication, the patients can express themselves autonomously with their environment since, among other functionalities, they can speak through virtual keyboards and synthesized voice, surf the Internet, use their social networks or even learn to read and write. As a result, the person’s quality of life and self-esteem are significantly improved.
Examples of other applications
As mentioned in eHealth Vision, with the Migraine buddy app or the Brainguard bracelet, people with migraine can now detect the factors that produce the attack and predict when the migraine attack is about to occur in order to take preventive measures.
People with melanoma, with Molexplore, can track all their skin lesions to detect melanoma. This report could be sent directly to the dermatologist or oncologist or linked to the patient’s history in an AI (Artificial Intelligence) system to diagnose such cancer or if a melanoma is recurrent, in case of having previously suffered from this type of skin cancer.
Another interesting example is Apparkinson, an app that aims to improve the daily lives of people with Parkinson’s disease and their families, allowing affected people or their caregivers to schedule their drug treatments, keep track of medication, perform exercises at home or prepare for consultations in Neurology.
These are just a few examples of how new technologies can impact and improve the quality of life of chronic patients. Which technology do you prefer?
Written by Maria Huguet, Digital Marketing & Communication Analyst, & Fahlon Cárdenas, Project Manager