Doctors – The World Is Now Mobile. Do You Have A Plan To Keep Up?

The smartphone has taken over the world and India is no exception. According to Indian Telecom statistics from TRAI, India’s mobile subscriber base has crossed the 1 billion mark in 2016. Researchers from Gartner estimate that in the next couple of years, a large chunk of these mobile subscribers will move to a smartphone. According to a report by Counterpoint Research, India has over 220 million active smartphones and has surpassed the US smartphone market. With this smartphone proliferation, there also has been an incremental adoption of mobile applications. In 2016 alone, Indians downloaded over 6 million mobile applications, up from 3.5 billion in 2015, and beat the US app market. As the world is getting increasingly concentrated into the palms of the consumers, healthcare applications too are finding space on the smartphone screens. As the consumerisation of healthcare increases, doctors too are looking towards mobile applications to increase efficiencies and productivity and foster better patient engagement.

A good mobile health application has to serve as a common platform where the patients, who are the consumers of healthcare can connect with the healthcare provider, the doctor. Given the increasing emphasis on digitisation, mobile apps serve as the perfect medium that bridge the gap between the patients and the doctors. The average mobile data consumption is also increasing in India and Ericsson estimates that it will account for 99% of total traffic from mobile phones by 2021 increasing fivefold from 2015. This increase in mobile data use is only going to further fuel the app economy.

Search Doctors:

Patients too are turning towards mobile to address their healthcare queries. A large number of people turn to their mobile devices to search for doctors and look for diagnostic services etc. What is becoming apparent is that just as the world turns to mobile to managing their banking and finance, and retail etc. needs, it is also turning to mobile and mobile applications to address their healthcare needs.

Patient Medical History Management:

With the rise of high-speed networks, both patients and doctors can look at the mobile app for a more integrated healthcare experience. A good mobile application can store the health history of an individual and allow anywhere, anytime access. This can be of help if an individual requires medical assistance when he/she is travelling or does not have access to hard copies of the health records. Mobile apps can be used to store all health-related data in the form of prescriptions, health records, lab reports, X-Rays, and scans etc. All health records can be easily stored in the mobile app and can be accessed when needed. The patients can choose to provide access to these medical records to specific doctors enabling the doctors to offer better patient care.

Better Patient Management:

For doctors, managing and maintaining mountains of health records, cases, and patient information can prove to be a gargantuan challenge. Since most doctors are connected with more than one hospital and usually run more than one clinic, having access to patient records and cases when they need to becomes critical. In this age of technology, mobile apps make it easier to read up on cases, take a look at reports and lab results when they are on the go. They can use the mobile app for drug and disease research, store related research information and identify other reliable sources for consultations. Having a centralised repository of patient information can assist them in better patient management as all appointments, feedbacks, case notes can be stored easily in one place and accessed at convenience.

Improve Efficiency:

Mobile apps can also make practice management easier and more efficient. Since all the information regarding the patient is stored in a central repository, there is no time wasted in retracing steps and the time spent with the patient can be used more productively. They can also use the mobile app to manage the administrative concerns of the different clinics, manage multiple calendars, streamline case management, referral management etc. easily. Along with this, they can also share files with the concerned parties.

Analytics:

With a good mobile app which offers analytics feature, doctors can assess the performance of their clinics, identify factors that contribute to recurring ailments, assess which tests are being done more frequently etc.

Better Compliance:

Given the increasingly complex and stringent compliance landscape, finance management capabilities of a mobile app can help the doctors remain on the right side of the regulatory landscape by easily documenting all incomes, outflows and finance records.

Better Patient Interaction:

Mobile apps also make consultations easier. Using the app both, doctor and patient can connect with one another, exchange basic information, and complete the first stage of consultation which primarily revolves around information gathering. They can decide on the course of action that needs to be taken and when they meet physically, the meeting then becomes more productive and time-efficient. Considering the low patient and practitioner ratio in India, this feature can be of great advantage to both the parties.

Patient Engagement:

Doctors can also help patients manage their health with the help of mobile apps post discharge from hospitals, remain connected with patients post operations easily, assist in chronic disease management and send timely reminders to their patients to make health care more manageable and increase patient engagement and patient satisfaction.

Most doctors today are using their mobile to check emails and messages from patients. To leverage the mobile revolution to their advantage, all they need to do is look at a comprehensive mobile app to address the medical needs of their patients. The convenience of the mobile app not only benefits the doctor but also benefits the patients greatly.

 

“A substance can cure what it can induce”

Dr. Nikhil Patil, an acclaimed homoeopath, talks about homoeopathy and busts the age-old myths…
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Dr. Nikhil Patil, BHMS, Clinical Research in Homoeopathy
Dr. Nikhil Patil, BHMS, Clinical Research in Homoeopathy

Being a homoeopathic doctor, do you face a lot of criticism in the world of allopathics? What kind of criticism? And how do you deal with it?

Homoeopathy is a well-proven science, and is practiced at large worldwide. Every law has exceptions and similarly, every system of medicine has some flaws. Yes! There is criticism and I feel it is healthy criticism. It helps me grow and become a better doctor every day. There are patients who come with hesitation and ask me questions about authenticity of homoeopathy, its curative powers and mostly about the time taken to cure diseases. With advancement in technology and practicing methods, the time to cure diseases has reduced up to certain hours. In acute conditions like asthmatic attacks, homoeopathic treatment can reduce patient’s sufferings in minutes.

The criticism is mostly about time taken to cure diseases and with adapting to certain methods of treatment I am able to deal with that criticism by showing results. I feel dealing with criticism has to be this way only. Finding each other’s faults is not going to reduce the suffering of the person; instead of reacting to such things I spend my time in improving my methods and reducing the suffering of the patient. Around 2-3 years back, there was lot of discussion going on about the “Placebo Effect” of homoeopathy and I guess everybody has come out of it. With the help of modern technology, scientists have proven that there is no such thing as “Placebo Effect” in homoeopathy, and actually homoeopathy works on nano-technology. Continue reading “A substance can cure what it can induce”

Why should we write doctor recommendations?

During my conversations about Savetime with my family, relatives or friends following few questions often come up. “Why should I write a recommendation?”, “What will change by writing recommendation?”, “The visit to the doctor was just normal what is there to write about?”

However on the contrary, we tend to believe what people say and want to get feedback from them first, rather than trying something new on our own. Especially when it comes to medical issues we are even more cautious. For example while visiting a doctor, we usually go to a doctor because a friend of mine said he is good doctor or my uncle told me about his good reputation. Our mind is relatively at ease while visiting a doctor through a reference of an uncle, a relative, a friend or even a stranger. So doctor recommendations are very important for all of us.

In below points I deal with the “Why” part. We all should write doctor recommendations and here are a few reasons:

1)      Recommendations builds trust

In a city like Pune, we have many migrants for education and business. Many a times we have the need of a doctor and we want to find the ‘good doctor’ or the most trusted doctor. At such time when you are new to a City and have no one to consult too, the experiences shared by other people play a very important role in choosing the right doctor and it builds trust between the doctor and the patient even before the patient walks in the clinic.

2)    We learn more about our regular doctors

As mostly our first appointment with a doctor is a result of some known or unknown experience and maybe for a different ailment; recommendations by others provide us a good way to know about the doctor we have already been going to. We might not know about other specialties of that doctor and other procedure that the doctor undertakes. Other people can help us understand our regular doctors better.

3)    We get to know about new doctors

There is a very good saying “A bad remedy for a disease is far worse than the disease

You might be a local or a migrant in a City like Pune and need to visit a specialist that your family physician suggested you. In this technologically advanced age you do not need to get stuck with one doctor or the referred doctor. You can find other similar specialists in your area and can read through recommendation of other fellow patients. You might end up going to a new doctor after going through those recommendations and might get well sooner and have to spend less.

4)    Brings Doctor and Patient closer

Doctors generally like to maintain good contacts with their patients as they also learn from our recovery cycle. One of the way to maintain the contacts is replying to patients’ views. Sometimes they explain why a medicine was prescribed and sometimes it’s a simple expression of gratitude from them. This helps to build  a social bonding with doctor. Such bonding is always useful while getting a good advice, consultations at odd time or discounts on treatments.

5)    Helps building the patient community

Giving back to the community is an obligation that we must fulfill. There are times when you are looking for a good pediatrician in town for your kid’s vaccination, other time you were looking for an orthopedist nearby for your old parents who can’t travel long distance. At such times community helped you in choosing the right doctor. As a goodwill gesture we should also contribute to the community. Our experience with the doctors might be helpful for fellow parents who are equally scared in taking their 2 year old kid to a new doctor, it might save someone from an unprofessional doctor or might help in many other ways. This builds a patient community where patients are well informed to take the right decision and this could foster a very good relationship between patients and doctors.

savetime doctor recommendation

So don’t delay any further log onto www.savetime.com and share your experiences with all the doctors you have been to and read from the thousands of review already shared by the patient community. And if you still have any other questions, feel free to leave a comment.

Swapnil Potdar, savetime.com.Swapnil is self-motivated and loves challenges. He is always eager to keep track of technology trends in the world. He likes to asks tons of questions, enjoys meeting new people and learning new things. He is currently working with our Android team. He is an Engineering graduate in IT from MIT, Pune. Savetime.com is the beginning of his passionate journey to make a difference in the world. Facebook, board puzzles and sci-fi thriller books take up rest of his time.

Taking on Negligence, Malpractice and Inefficiencies in Healthcare.

How trustworthy are doctors today? Are they really fulfilling their duties as a lifesaver with full dignity?

Today, individuals are not plagued as much by diseases or illnesses, but by medical malpractice.

A friend of mine who was pretty much fit thought of doing a complete body check up. When her test results came out, she turned blue reading the highlighted, Cholesterol: 300 mg/dL. She ran to her physician with the report. He said she needs to control her diet and stop consuming oily stuff as her cholesterol level has reached the maximum limit. He prescribed her few medicines to lower her cholesterol. Fearful of ill-health, she consumed those medicines and fell sick. She was taken to another hospital where they told her that cholesterol level was never high, instead it went low because of wrong medication. When her family raised this issue with the previous hospital they concluded that there was a small mistake from their end. The reports got exchanged. Really?

How simple it was for them to say it was a small mistake. Was the mental and physical pain the patient had to undergo of no significance? This mistake could have lead to severe health issues for my friend.

Another malpractice that we observe is in the Emergency Rooms (ER) at many hospitals that have become chaotic environments where overcrowding and medical negligence is a serious problem. Many patients are left wounded waiting for hours in the queue in order to be evaluated and treated for their medical needs.  Although most patients who are kept waiting for long periods of time will not see any significant deterioration, some patients may have medical conditions far more dangerous. When doctors and nurses are overloaded with patients, they are forced to rush from patient to patient to manage the crowd, sometimes causing them to misdiagnose a patient’s medical condition. Under this type of workload the medical staff is more likely to be tired, overworked, stressed, and disconnected from their patients. This increases the patient’s medical negligence and they are left harmed as a result. Surgical mistakes are also a big cause of death for thousands of people today. Because the patient is unconscious during an operation, he or she is generally the last person to find out if any medical malpractice occurred. The black market in human organs has become a grave threat to public health. Patients completely rely on the medical practitioners without even realizing that post surgery they return home without some essential organs of their body.

When we approach a doctor we usually have to fill out papers that deal with our personal information, our medical history and anything that the doctor should know about our medical condition. From there, these forms go from the clerk to the nurse, and then finally the doctor. One cannot see a lot of issues with this but it can actually cause more problems than none. Those pieces of paper pass from one hand, to another and in that whole process those pieces of paper can easily be tampered, misinterpreted and ultimately misdiagnosed as well.

Use of right technology not only helps assure that the patient’s information is taken care of, but it also helps the hospitals and doctors in improving their efficiency and the quality of diagnosis. Technology can easily help a doctor pull up a patient’s record anywhere in their office or even share it with other entities that may need it. By using technology, it ultimate helps lower the probability of medical malpractice if done appropriately by making the patient’s  information not only more easily readable, but also very clear and understandable.

To curb this issue of malpractice we need to bring in medical laws that encompass the protection of both patients and medical professionals. Patients should be protected under medical law against medical professionals who cause some form of harm, injury or death to a patient, as well as breaching a level of confidentiality. In addition there should also be a medical law to protect medical professionals who have acted responsibly when caring for a patient, despite being wrongly accused by a patient for medical malpractice or other breach of the law.

Fatima SayedFatima is working as an Associate Support in Sales and Marketing team of Savetime.com. She has completed her Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics from University of Pune in the year 2012. When she isn’t glued to her computer screen, you will find her spending her leisure time with pieces of paper creating origami structures to adorn her house.