No matter who you are, you are human. You are not impervious to the health needs that eventually affect all of us in one way or another. Even those who think they will never need a doctor eventually do.
For many of us, healthcare is something that doesn’t hold a forefront position in our minds. If this is you, count yourself lucky – this is not the story for everyone. However, even if only occasionally, you will sometimes need health help or medical care.
And even if an injury or sickness doesn’t land you in the hospital or require some kind of significant intervention at some point in your life, every human being has health needs that are much better met when they are addressed proactively.
Here are a few strategies for how you can more effectively navigate and manage your personal healthcare.
Tricks and Tools That Can Help You Manage Your Healthcare
Preserving your health, especially so that it can sustain you through the twilight years of your life, is made much easier when you give it proactive attention. Disregarding healthy practices until something serious or life-threatening happens means that your body will likely experience much more strain, stress, and wear and tear than it would prefer. This will take its toll in later life.
To avoid this reality as much as possible and proactively steward your health, here are some of the best tips you can apply to keep on top of your personal healthcare:
Do the Routine Stuff
No, really. Those women’s health screenings your friends talk about? The regular vaccines or check-ups that doctors recommend that feel unnecessary? They are vitally important. Engaging in health screenings and checks will catch any problems or dangers early in their development.
Doing this can save you incredible amounts of pain, time, money, stress, and sometimes even worse in the future. Plus, routine healthcare engagement means that other small things will be caught or improved as well to keep you in tip-top shape.
Use Alerts and Automatic Reminders
Even when we decide in our minds to treat healthcare as a priority, the practice of making it happen can sometimes fall through the cracks. Thankfully, we have plenty of tools, devices, and frameworks available to us that can help remind us to schedule that next appointment or go in for a check-up.
It’s a simple step that can drastically improve your engagement with routine healthcare. Simply putting reminders for applicable healthcare practices in your calendar or phone at recommended intervals can make sure they get done and don’t slip off the radar.
Keep Track of Your Data
Data is everywhere and its value only continues to grow. More data and information are stored about the average patient by medical professionals and organizations than ever before. Normally, most of that stays out of sight and isn’t usually accessed by the average patient.
However, by simply requesting to receive a copy after a visit to the doctor’s office, you can actually benefit from the wealth of information being generated about your health and physical history. This can help you in a lot of ways.
Switching medical service providers or insurances, needing health services when you travel or are not able to visit your regular doctor, and getting second opinions or researching your health yourself can all be made much simpler if you keep a copy of your medical history data somewhere you can access it.
Use Health and Wellbeing Apps
Countless mobile apps exist that are built specifically for engaging with better personal healthcare management. Many are high-quality and can even be completely free to use.
From appointment reminder apps, to fitness and nutrition tracking, to telehealth or chat tools that can make medical personnel more accessible than ever before – if you can think of a way an app might help you with an aspect of your healthcare, there is probably one out there already that can meet that need. Apps exist for chronic disease management, remote monitoring, vitals tracking, mental health training, medical terminology, and more.
A quick exploration will almost certainly reveal an app or two that can help you better or more effectively engage with your own healthcare needs.
The Future of Healthcare Management
Healthcare is an incredibly volatile landscape. Huge technological shifts and unprecedented changes in how our societies interact with healthcare around the globe are causing fundamental evolutions within healthcare. These will continue to change how it operates over the coming decades. It’s important to be aware of technologies and shifts in healthcare, even as some of these are just now beginning to appear on the horizon.
These technologies will fundamentally change the way healthcare is delivered over the coming years:
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI is a technological field that is exploding in development and application, particularly within the realm of healthcare. AI can be used in software form to analyze huge amounts of health data, help create diagnoses, detect the slightest disturbances on scans or images that are sometimes indiscernible to the human eye, and algorithmically contribute to medical decision-making in ways that never would have been previously possible.
AI can also be combined with hardware and machinery to create robots or intelligent tools. These can range from humanoid “hosts” that can interact with patients in the waiting room, to surgical arms that can be employed in surgical procedures that might be too precise or difficult for even the best physicians to attempt.
Providing healthcare remotely via telehealth is changing the face of healthcare. These services are especially valuable for people who live in remote areas, have reduced mobility or transportation options, or are elderly or immuno-compromised.
Telehealth provides a convenient alternative to traveling to a doctor’s office for many types of healthcare provision and consultation. Though telehealth will never replace some forms of in-person care, it can be a convenient, helpful tool for certain healthcare needs that can be served virtually.
As biotech and app-centric monitoring tools become more advanced and commonplace, our ability to make predictive decisions based on the increased amounts of health data we’re creating about ourselves as we go about our lives will continue to increase.
This could look like more intelligently scheduling check-ups or tests, catching adverse health conditions more quickly, tweaking diet or nutrition choices, and predicting procedures or treatments we may need in order to receive them in a timely fashion. This aspect of healthcare is just now being explored and will likely become much more commonplace over the coming decade.
Tailored Treatments Based on DNA Testing
DNA testing based on mail-in pathological samples isn’t anything particularly new, but the applications of this type of product will likely continue to enhance and grow. While it is currently more a novelty than anything to receive a detailed analysis of your ethnic history or your gut biome via a testing service, DNA testing and analysis will likely become more commonplace and sophisticated in the near future and allow for much more personalized treatment and healthcare provision.
Technology’s rapid advancement will likely foster even more breakthroughs and abilities we haven’t even glimpsed yet. The healthcare industry at large is highly motivated to accelerate technological innovation to reduce resource spend, save lives, and increase wellbeing around the world.
As you put steps in place to manage your own healthcare, keep in mind the wealth of tools and tricks available to you. These will not only elevate your healthcare management game now but will develop into even more sophisticated ways to improve that process in the future.
Medical Disclaimer: All the content available on the website is just for informational purposes. It’s not a substitute for any Professional advice. Don’t take it personally. As a medical student, I’m just trying to use my information through my content, and please keep in mind it’s not written by a professional doctor. Use the data just for educational purposes.
I have a Bachelor’s degree in medicine and am presently working at a renowned hospital in California. I used my leisure time to share my expertise with others through my blog. In addition to my work in healthcare, I like reading fiction and enjoy writing posts a lot. I want to use my writing to help the health sector on my blog site. You’ll get exclusive informational content about health & Fitness.