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How Can CLL Patients Mitigate Distance and Technology Barriers to Care?

How Can CLL Patients Mitigate Distance and Technology Barriers to Care? from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

How can chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients overcome barriers to their CLL care like distance, technology, and other challenges? Dr. Kathy Kim from UC Davis School of Medicine details the challenges she’s witnessed for patients and some ways that both patients and providers can help bridge the gaps to optimal patient care.

See More from Best CLL Care No Matter Where You Live

Related Resources:

 

What Multi-Language Technology Innovations Are Available for Cancer Patients and Families?

What Key Questions Should CLL Patients Ask About Digital Tools Born Out of COVID?

How Can CLL Patients Avoid Pandemic Challenges Without Compromising Quality of Care?


Transcript:

Dr. Awan:

So is it going to be financially difficult to let’s say, get an app or download an app, which might have a subscription service, attached to it, so that’s the first question that I might have. And the second question is then, this is something that I run into every day. A lot of my patients are older. Some of my patients live on farms, a couple of hours, three, four hours away from Dallas in a relatively rural area, east or west of us in north Texas, and you know those people may not necessarily have access to broadband, they may not have access to high-speed internet. So, they may not be able to get online, or if they do get online, the connections are not the most perfect, so it’s always, the video is not pretty good, or they frankly, may not know how to operate, they don’t just don’t feel comfortable operating these devices or the tablets or phones, even though they might use them for making calls and texting, but they may not necessarily be very conversing with them or very at ease with them, so are those options really difficult for our patients to use?

Dr. Kim:

Yeah, so you’ve mentioned three really key areas, cost, connectivity, and what I will call digital literacy or digital familiarity, those are really three key areas that we need to address for anyone who wants to use these tools to be able to use them. So, cost is the first thing, most mobile apps are fairly inexpensive, and if you’ve downloaded anything from the Apple Store or the Google Play store, almost everything is free, or a few things might have you know $2.99, $8.99. Some of them do have subscription fees. So, the app itself is probably the least expensive part of it. The more expensive part is, do you have a modern smartphone that can actually, where you can download that up or do you have a modern tablet or a newer laptop that can actually use apps, right? Not just software, but apps, those devices is where the cost really comes in, and you know if you’ve got any kind of device, it’s every couple of years, you have to replace it or upgrade it to kind of keep it up-to-date. So that is definitely a barrier of the cost of the computing device or remote patient monitoring device, and that is where we really need to collaborate in the industry with our hospital systems and our provider systems, with our legislative representatives, with our insurance companies, to provide low-cost access to the devices.

The third thing is connectivity, which is both cost, and it is a cost as well as an accessibility issue, and for most of the uses in healthcare, as you’ve mentioned, we need to be able to do video, we need to be able to connect to the devices for data, and that means we either have to have a cell phone data , a mobile data plan that can run data on your phone or your tablet, or you need a broadband connection in your home, an actual Wi-Fi plan that comes installed. You need one or the other. And again, either of those options are quite expensive, if you do video visits, it can really eat up your bandwidth if you’re on a low band, low bandwidth plan or you’re paying for the minute or by the bit. It can become very expensive, so we have to have a cost-effective plan available to people, and again, there’s lots of policies or proposals, to be submitted both at the state level, and there are federal programs that are actually now subsidizing. So specifically, under COVID, provider organizations can apply to the federal government for special funds to offer telehealth help to patients, so many providers have bought tablets or other remote patient monitoring devices or things like that, that they can give out to patients.

Which brings us to the third thing that you mentioned, which is digital familiarity or digital literacy. We have to help people learn how to use these. So even if you use a cell phone, it’s different using a smartphone, right? The apps are different, the navigation is different, how you touch your screen is different, how these applications actually work, and how to get the data from your own device to a provider, to your doctor is a whole another set of skills, right? Do you have to pair these devices, do you have to register an account and have a password? Do you have to approve your doctor to get access, there’s all these questions about how you would actually do all this and this is where organizations like Patient Empowerment Network, that I know does a lot of effort to help patients more how to use technology, as well as the research that we have been doing at UC Davis in the community about how to support patients overcome all these barriers becomes really critical, we have to actually work together to make sure all three of these issues are addressed so that everybody can have access.

How Will the Medical Industry Change in the Coming Years?

Under the influence of technology, healthcare is becoming a more complex system. By introducing features such as: 3D-printing, Nanotechnology, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and VR/AR, it is critical to acquaint yourself with the latest healthcare developments to understand and control digital healthcare technologies. 

There are a lot of factors at play in the modifications of healthcare. Having a profound understanding of this growing intricacy will facilitate comprehension of what’s to come. With the help of USMLE prep, the medical community keeps growing with the addition of new students and ideas.

Which Factors Contribute to Change in the Medical Industry

According to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), justification of the development of healthcare is implicated by several factors such as:

  • Health insurance coverage: While insurance coverage is an assurance of more medical services, modern trends of insurers and employers place a fiscal obligation on patients in the form of deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance, which brings about slow growth rates
  • Healthcare product and service prices: It is evident that the increase in pricing of medical products and services has impacted healthcare spending growth
  • Demographics and patient idiosyncrasies: Variations in the health status and age of the population significantly affects how much is spent on healthcare
  • Market capacity: Healthcare providers are known for consolidating at a rapid rate. Incorporating others gives a more significant market power over insurers
  • Technology: This is one factor that has the most critical effect on healthcare change, according to MedPAC

 How Technology Will Better Healthcare

In the medical world, digital technology will result in extraordinary achievements. It could help revamp unsustainable healthcare systems into more sustainable ones. Technology is shaping healthcare in the following ways:

Robotics

This is one of the rapidly growing healthcare fields. Its developments vary from robot companions through surgical robots until pharmabotics, exoskeletons, and disinfectant robots. In 2019 Europe saw its first exoskeleton-aided surgery that enabled a tetraplegic man to control an exoskeleton with his brain. These sci-fi suits have many more applications that help both the patient and the caregiver.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial intelligence has the absolute potential to completely redesign healthcare. AI algorithms can design treatment plans, mine medical records, and develop drugs faster than any medical professional on the healthcare palette.

3D-Printing

3D-printing is capacitated to give rise to miracles in all facets of healthcare. We can print: artificial limbs, bio tissues, blood vessels, pills, amongst other things, with its help.

Healthcare Trackers, Wearables, and Sensors

This equipment is excellent for getting to understand ourselves better and reestablish control over our individual lives. These devices help you manage your: stress levels, weight, cognitive capabilities, and overall fit and energetic level. The real advantage of these tech-fueled appliances is that it centralizes the patient’s care.

Augmented Reality

Users of augmented reality do not lose touch with reality, and it ingrains information into the eyesight as fast as possible. These unique aspects allow AR to become a driving force in therapy for the receivers and providers of healthcare.

Medical Tricorder

As far as instant solutions are concerned, this gadget is considered every medic dream for an almighty and omnipotent device. It is a handheld device that enables you to diagnose and analyze every disease by scanning a patient.

Nanotechnology

We are on the brink of a nanomedicine era. Soon, nanodevices and nanoparticles will be critical; tiny surgeries, drug delivery systems, or cancer treatment.

Revolutionizing Drug Development

The procedure of formulating new drugs is long and expensive. There are techniques to enhance drug development with designs ranging from silico trials to artificial intelligence. New strategies and technologies are already dominating the pharmaceutical landscape and will continue to do so in years to come.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is altering the lives of patients and also physicians. It is possible that in the future, we will watch surgeries as if you wielded the scalpel, or you could travel home or to any other part of the world from your hospital bed.

Something to Think About

Technology is becoming more and more rooted in medicine, and it is essential to have an idea of the future methods of implementing healthcare with digital health on the rise.

5 Technologies Shaping the Future of Healthcare

From implants to self-diagnosis, innovation is growing in the medical industry, and can soon transform healthcare all together. Although technology has already evolved since the development of the microscope back in the 17th century, the health industry is still welcoming more advances to medical and surgical tools, as well as new ways to make effective medicines and vaccines.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the five ways that technology is pushing the medical industry to another level, and shaping the future of healthcare.

1. 3D-Printed Prosthetics

“Prosthetics are one of the most requested products in the medical industry, especially with amputee patients,” says Michael Keener, a business writer at Boom Essays and Academized. “And with 3D printing, it’s now easier to create prosthetic limbs, and make these products more accessible to people worldwide. Ever since the success of the 3D-printed mini heart, now 3D printers are a must-have.” 

2. Biosensing Contact Lens

Recently introduced by UNIST’s team of researchers, biosensing contact lens will be able to detect glucose levels in diabetic patients, whenever there are tears in the eye. Having built-in transparent electronics, the lens, fortunately, won’t bother people who wear them. Sounds amazing, right?

And although the lenses aren’t in the market yet, UNIST is hopeful that they’ll soon be available in the near future. 

3. Virtual Reality (VR)

VR is no longer reserved for video games. In fact, both patients and doctors can use VR to see what’s going on – whether surgeons are using it for noninvasive procedures, or patients want a virtual escape while they’re recovering from surgery in a hospital bed. 

In addition, VR software like Osso VR and ImmersiveTouch help future surgeons train for the real deal, and lets experienced surgeons and physicians perfect their operations and methods. According to a recent study from Harvard Business Review, VR-trained surgeons did around 230% better in their overall performance – faster and more accurate in performing surgeries – than traditionally-trained surgeons.

VR also makes surgery and post-operation less painful for patients. With VR being as noninvasive as possible, patients suffering from things like gastrointestinal, cardiac, and neurological problems find them less painful when using VR to visualize soothing images and scenarios to distract them from what’s going on. Even women in labor can use VR to distract them from labor pains. With VR, the hospital experience is less stressful for patients.

4. Wearable Trackers And Sensors

With wearable trackers like Fitbit, it has never been easier for people to track their steps and heart rate. But pretty soon, these types of trackers and sensors will be able to detect one’s health status, so that people can take better control of their lives. Whether you’re looking to manage your weight, have lower stress levels, check on your body cognitively, or find a good level to be fit and active, wearable trackers and sensors will soon be able to do those things.

Here are some of the technological advances to date:

  • Fitbit Ionic – Lets you monitor your sleep, and even tracks your workout.
  • Polar H10 – Helps you find the best exercises for you, and fine-tune your current practices. (Wear this with the Fitbit Ionic, if you desire.)
  • The Muse Headband – Helps you focus on the major things that make your meditation session successful.

Now more than ever, it’s easier for people to track their health, and get a better hold of what they would need to do to stay healthy and active. 

5. Nanotech

“Nanomedicine will soon be a reality, if not now,” says Hollie Kelly, a project manager at Bestbritishessays and Academ advisor. “People are already seeing nanoparticles and nanodevices as our drug delivery systems, tiny surgeons, and cancer treatment tools.”

For example, there is already talk about smart pills like the PillCam, which is a noninvasive, electronic pill that can relay diagnostic information about the patient and or release necessary medication via smartphone. The medical industry is hoping that these smart pills can take biopsy samples for further analysis, or take the place of traditional, invasive surgeries.

Conclusion

With technology already changing our world at a rapid pace, healthcare will surely benefit from innovations from technological advances. Although these technological advances may not show up overnight, you can rest assured that doctors, physicians, surgeons, and developers are working towards these solutions, and promising a brighter future in healthcare.


Molly Crockett writes for Ukservicesreviews.com and Big Assignments. She also writes articles about writing and editing on Best Coursework Services. As a marketing writer, she shares her unique lifestyle tips and personal development advice with her audience.

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