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Health / Fitness

How technology is putting the future of healthcare online

The power of informed choices, better experiences, collaboration and social sharing will pave the way for better response and care

Do you worry if the doctor you want to see is covered by your insurance plan or wish you had all information about that doctor and other patients’ experiences with them? Do you have to wait on on the phone to confirm an appointment or wish that you didn’t need to step out to see a doctor and could be treated at your office or home – or have medicine delivered to your doorstep?

Have problems such as these ever led to you dropping the idea of going to the doctor because it’s too cumbersome, leaving you imagining healthcare that’s easier, quicker and smoother?

If you have answered yes to any of these, you are not alone. These are all seemingly unavoidable hurdles to seeing a doctor. Or are they really unavoidable? The way we experience almost everything is changing – from navigation to food delivery, tech is making our lives much easier, and healthcare is no different.

Patients can now turn to their smartphones as their first tool of discovery – for information about their health or aliments; managing health records; ordering medicine online; to search for an appropriate medical facility; and for reviews of doctors and practices – forming a personalised healthcare experience.

Free apps such as Healthigo enable you to do all of this – rate a facility, recommend a doctor, book a ride for the appointment, get the best of promotions from providers – in one place. Using AI-based technology and blockchain, we aim to enhance the patient experience, building a smarter, healthier community.

Patients, like any consumers, are now more demanding in terms of treatments, information, engagement and, above all, a satisfying, seamless and responsive user experience. No longer is a physical presence alone adequate to deliver healthcare.

Advanced data analytics now enable patients to search and connect with a doctor personalised to their preferences and based on unbiased recommendations and reviews – instantly. Leaving feedback or a review of the services you receive from a medical facility allows other patients to narrow down their search for a doctor or healthcare provider that can serve their needs.

Technology means appointment schedules can be managed in real time. This will eliminate long waiting lines, numerous phone calls and the uncertainty of the appointment taking place on time.

Another feature that digitisation of healthcare has brought is leaving feedback or a review of the services a patient has received from medical facilities, letting other patients find a doctor or a healthcare provider that can serve their needs.

Patients from even the remotest areas can now consult doctors online, getting instant solutions to health concerns, be it at home or at work.

Virtual healthcare means that even pharmacy delivery can be conducted online, providing a platform to order medicines online and have them delivered to your doorstep. It’s easy and convenient.

And the transformation from conventional paper to digitised health records gives patients an opportunity to store, share and access their lifelong medical history with ease.

So the next time you want to see a doctor, use your mobile, look for the doctor of your preference and book an appointment – in real time, safe in the knowledge that it will be covered by your insurance, thanks to insurance mapping.

The writer is cofounder of Healthigo, the region’s largest healthcare platform with access to more than 5,000 healthcare providers and 17,000 certified doctors

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