One in 10 Americans believe that health information found on the Internet saved their lives, according to a blockbuster survey released today by Royal Philips Technology. These consumers are finding healthcare information by using mHealth, mobile apps and interactive applications on the Internet. This is the first widespread survey that confirms that health care technology information has been plugged into high-tech devices and applications to provide health information to consumers. The net effect is that people believe this marriage between health care technology and their devices is saving their lives.
The survey found that the high-tech devices that people use to find out the latest in health care breakthroughs are now a part of their overall health care solutions and an important element of living healthy lives. Eleven percent of survey respondents said that if were not for health information found on the Web, that they might be severely ill or dead.
Another 25 percent of respondents said that they used symptom checker websites or diagnostic technology home tests with the same frequency that they visited their doctors. Twenty-seven percent used health care technology applications in place of seeing their doctors. Another 41 percent answered that they felt comfortable using websites featuring health technology information to check on various health symptoms. Nearly half of Americans had no problem with using symptom checker technologies and vital sign technologies on the Internet and sharing that information with their doctors. More than one-third of Americans believe that this Internet health care technology, allowing a person to monitor their life signs, is now a key to ensuring a longer life.
The Best is Yet to Come
The survey found that medical care is in the early stages of health care delivery that will combine mobile apps, mHealth and the Web. Applications are under development today that will weave together the latest health information technologies with professionals in health care, doctors, nurses and patients. This will create a medical and social web where various medical entities will have a share in decisions about a patient’s treatment, according to Dr. Eric Silfen, the chief medical officer at Philips. The company is on the cutting edge of well-being and health care for patients.
It’s part of a technological revolution in health care that will lower the cost of health care, prevent medical errors, increase the quality of care and create a standard of medicine based on the best evidence, Silfen said. “Ultimately, the technological undercurrents of the post-PC world – the power of many designer gadgets, cloud ecosystems and mobile app computing – will hasten the personalization and partnerships that will transform sustainable medical care to the highest quality,” he added.
Smart devices will ultimately use health care technology information to allow access to care anywhere. Philips has already developed an app, called CarePartners mobile app, that will gather doctors, patients and family into a secure virtual space to discuss long-term medical care. Each patient will own a personal, high-tech health book where health care can be managed and updated.
Virtual care using smart devices and apps to engage a patient with the latest in health care technology is the future. Some consumers have already credited this new way of medical care with saving their lives.