The Future of Healthcare Is Better Communication
The Internet, applications, mobile devices, wearable technology and other digital tools have changed our society's collective expectations of how we live, work and play. These ever-evolving technologies also create opportunities to improve healthcare delivery and enhance patient-to-provider interaction. But which opportunities will have the most beneficial impact?
To begin a focused inquiry to that essential question and identify digital solutions to pressing issues in healthcare, Seattle Children's established a Digital Health initiative in October 2013, led by Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, author of the book Mama Doc Medicine and a practicing pediatrician known nationally for her Seattle Mama Doc blog and social media and digital health thought leadership.
"Right now, roughly 80% of people search for health advice on Google or online patient communities," said Swanson. "Doctors can and should be taking advantage of these burgeoning worlds by engaging in and providing their expertise to those conversations. There are huge opportunities for listening, learning and sharing."
Swanson and her team are working on several pilot programs, collaborating with tech innovators to discover ways to more effectively deliver meaningful information to patients and families. She also continues to write for Seattle Mama Doc, translating new science and parenting information to thousands of readers each month.
Initial projects include building tablet and web applications designed to educate current patient families. Right now the team is piloting a new tool called Virtual Handshake™, a community-centered application designed to introduce patients and families to providers, care delivery and medications before and after the visit.
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