Healthcare Efficiency Through Technology Expo
Our Exercise Referral and Low Back Pain Course Specialist Anthony Crozier recently attended a ukactive event in Leeds, covering the use of technology in healthcare. Here’s his thoughts from the day.
As the title suggests, the theme of the day concerned how technology can improve consumer experiences with regards to healthcare. One of the major elements discussed was the facilitation of mobile technology across the workforce, allowing access to centrally logged information at the touch of a button using a variety of devices, on a variety of platforms. There were multiple seminars that discussed how this could be achieved, detailing the effectiveness that could be gained in the consumer experience – consumer being the general public. One view was that healthcare professionals (HCPs) would be able to have real time access to patient information without the strain of the paper trail and the data confidentiality concerns that go with it. This would streamline HCP experiences from a public perception, but also allow an easy transfer / access to current data. You also have the patient experience concerning accessing services electronically rather than face-to-face and out-dated protocols.
There is such a reliance on technology currently, highlighted by the 40,000 `health related` apps available across mobile devices. The key point identified was that this was not a new concept, but the way we use the technology needs to change. A common theme is that a company / person will purchase a technology and then decide how to use it, which in reality is backwards. You need a strategy in place for what you want the technology to do for you, with justification that it will lessen the workload and provide value to all concerned. Then you use this strategy to decide which technology can fulfil the brief, etc. Again this can be related to personal training and health from the perspective of wearable trackers such as the Pebble, Fitbit, Jawbone and other app related physical activity tools currently available - can these tools be used to reduce the obesity burden? Have you got the correct app for your needs / client needs? One consideration is the motivation such apps can provide; the trainer needs to be proactive in setting goals for clients. It has been highlighted that this initial drive can be lost when the novelty of the app disappears.
However we choose to look at it, technology will always be a part of our lives and the fitness industry is no different. Can we embrace it and use it to assist our clients? Or do we bury our heads and not take advantage of the data these tools can provide? The current emphasis is changing from sport and exercise towards physical activity and getting people moving - surely the right app can encourage this.