Beyond Fitbit, There Is More To Health Management

Health management found an altogether new meaning in 2007 when Fitbit Inc set its foundation in San Francisco. A decade down the line, the world has caught up with the ‘healthy living’ trend and how! What started more as a fad has now become an integral part of people’s lives. There are people who just cannot function without their Fitbit tugging at their wrists! No, we are not exaggerating.

Fitbit came in as a revolutionary product that helped people keep track of their physical activity. It gave birth to a horde of other fitness trackers that let you track your physical/health activities ranging from calorie intake, calories burnt, steps walked, kilometres ran, water intake, sleep et al. You name it and you have a tracker for it today – be it in the form of a wearable gadget or a mobile phone application. These are all great ways to ensure that you are leading a healthy life but have you ever wondered that this is not all that health management is about?

Health management is an umbrella term and tracking physical activities and sleep is just two of the many other aspects that one needs to cater to for a having a healthy mind and body. The fad of fitness trackers and app has made people overlook the bigger picture. Managing health is not only about tracking your steps, calories, or food but also about monitoring your health at regular intervals. Monitoring health is what these apps and trackers don’t provide for. A holistic approach to health management will be tracking as well as monitoring other aspects. Let’s take a look –

Managing Personal Health Record (PHR) History:

Personal Health Record (PHR) is a tool that helps an individual to keep a track of their past and current health and medical history. Unlike the fitness apps and trackers where you live by the day, the PHR is a consolidated data about your entire health history. It helps doctors in tracking your past health record thereby felicitating better and accurate medical care. It keeps track of your diagnosis and treatments which, in turn, helps the doctors in precise analysis and treatment. There are several mobile apps available today which can help you keep track of your personal health record right from the mobile.

Healthcare Advice

Have a stomach ache? Google the symptoms and voila you have stomach cancer! Hasn’t this happened with most of us? Today, Googling about a disease has created more anxiety than the disease itself. With so much of information at our disposal, it becomes difficult to measure the accuracy of it. Reading a couple of articles on the internet cannot provide you with the healthcare advice you need. You need qualified professionals to guide you through. You need access to quality health advice from expert professionals – delivered right on your mobile phone.

Keeping in Touch with Doctors

How many times have you texted your doctor regarding some ailment or post-op follow-up? Innumerable, isn’t it? Ever wondered about how unsystematic you are being regarding such vital information? It becomes difficult not only for you but also for the doctor to keep track of your medical history. You should be able to communicate with the doctor while making your medical information available systematically. You don’t need to visit the doctor nor do you need to worry about losing track of your vital medical information. Everything should be placed systematically under your health profile.

Locating Doctors, Labs & Other Medical Facilities

Just like apps wherein you review restaurants, how about an app where you can review doctors, labs, X-ray and MRI centres etc? We seek reviews from acquaintances and friends before finalizing a doctor or accessing any other medical facility. But, what if you are stuck in a new city with no reliable acquaintance? In such situations, it helps to have an app more like an online directory that recommends and reviews doctors, hospitals, labs and other medical centres.

Good Diet & Exercise

Completing 10k steps every day on your fitness tracker doesn’t mean that you have met your exercise quota nor does consuming food with limited calorie ensures you are having a good and healthy diet. Exercise and a good diet are well beyond that. One needs to exercise for at least 30 minutes at a stretch. Walking 10k steps over the entire day doesn’t count for exercise. A good diet is imperative in maintaining health and keeping a check on calorie count doesn’t imply good diet. You need to ensure that your diet is meeting your nutrition quota for the day. A good diet should be based on the intake of nutrients more than the calorie count.

The fad of healthy life has skewed the meaning of health management. Losing weight or building muscle doesn’t mean you are fit or healthy. Being healthy is far more than just your outer body. Though it is not bad to keep a track of your day to day physical activities and eating habits, one needs to focus on the rest of the above-mentioned aspects as well in order to achieve a perfectly healthy mind and body.

 

5 Reasons you should take control of your Personal Health Records

Personal Health Records – Helping Patients be in Control of their Health and Wellness

 

With your every visit to a physician, hospital or healthcare provider, you add a new record paper in your medical file. Your file cabinet is filled with your medical files, reports, X-rays, and prescriptions. Whenever you want to access any old report, you dig out all the files to find the right information. Any follow-up visit to the doctor or a consultation with a new doctor needs an hour of preparation because you need to collate all the past reports, prescriptions and other such details.

Today’s smartphone savvy generation has got all the things in control through their phones. They also have a lot of fitness apps installed on their phones which track their fitness goals, calorie count, tablet reminders and all such things. But somehow maintaining a consolidated medical health record online has slipped through the cracks. For many of us, a complete record of all the personal health information still cannot found in a single location at any given time.

Let’s look at some of the advantages of maintaining a personalized digital health record, also called as Personal Health Record (PHR), and that will convince you to look for options to use your smartphone for your healthcare needs as well –

1. Manage your Health and Wellness

Having one place to access the healthcare records and information helps you stay on top of your health. You can maintain a list of your medications, health history, lab results, scans and X-rays, and all such details at a single location. It makes it easy to search and look for information – anytime, anywhere. You don’t need to have physical access to the report files in case you need some information urgently. With PHR, you can track patterns and better manage your health and wellness.

2. Better Inform your Doctors

Whenever you visit your doctor, you can get the most from the visit by updating your doctor with your latest health information. You can share the up-to-date list of medications, reports, or allergies. If you are tracking blood pressure, blood glucose, or weight at home, then you can easily share the latest information with your doctor. Such up-to-date information can help the doctors in improving the quality of care.  With such readily available information, you also reduce or eliminate duplicate tests, and receive faster and safer treatment.

3. Be Better Prepared for Medical Emergencies

In case of emergencies, it is important that the doctors know your previous medical history, the medicines or foods you are allergic to, your current medications and dosages, immunization records, a record of your surgical procedures, results of your recent medical tests and even emergency medical contacts etc.  During a crisis, it can get difficult to remember such important information and easily accessible PHR can be life-saving in such situations.

4. Chronic Health Management

Living each day with chronic ailments or medical conditions like blood pressure, obesity, depression, anxiety, or diabetes, is very difficult to deal with. There are many things which need to be done to properly track patterns and manage these conditions. PHR apps which can assist you in keeping track of medications, appointments, readings etc. can be very beneficial.

5. Set and Achieve your Fitness Goals

PHR apps help you track your activity, fitness activity, weight, diet, set goals, and track progress. One can easily monitor such information through interactive graphs and visualizations and keep track of the progress. This kind of self-motivation helps individuals in doing the right changes in the diet and activity to get the desired results.

Technology is undoubtedly bringing in a paradigm shift in the healthcare space – gone are the days when patient data and doctors notes were residing in silos at multiple, difficult to access places. Consumers today are looking to have complete information about their health data on their mobile devices with an option to share it with doctors as per the need.

दुर्बिणीतून गुडघ्याची शस्त्रक्रिया

दुर्बिणीतून गुडघ्याची शस्त्रक्रिया

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खुब्याची कृत्रिम सांधेरोपण शस्त्रक्रिया

खुब्याची कृत्रिम सांधेरोपण शस्त्रक्रिया

An article on Partial Hip Replacement published in a Marathi Magazine, Prabhat Aarogya Jagar on November 26, 2013

Author: Dr. Hrushikesh Ramesh Saraf, Orthopedist, Pune

(Dr. Hrushikesh Ramesh Saraf is an orthopedist practicing in Pune since 2004. His clinic is located in City Centre, 1st Floor, Opposite Ayurveda Rasashala, Next To Garware College, Karve Nagar, Kothrud)