Chronic disease affects 133 million Americans and 75 percent of U.S. healthcare dollars go to treat these diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and arthritis. However, advances in technology provide patients and doctors additional avenues to address care and reduce costs.
Many of the costs associated with treatment are related to the monitoring and frequent doctor appointments required. Virtual office visits using video chat, email or text messaging reduce costs and increase doctor-patient communication. Solutions like Virtual Care help patients manage their diseases using their smartphone or tablet, enabling real-time healthcare guidance.
The number of people accessing health apps on mobile devices is expected to more than triple by 2016. Interactive apps allow patients to take a more active role in managing their health.
For example, AsthmaSense sets reminders to take medications or test breathing, records symptoms, automatically calls for help during an attack and issues status alerts when asthma is “not well controlled” or “poorly controlled” based on National Institutes of Health guidelines. For those coping with diabetes, Glucose Buddy includes an A1C calculator and charts for logging blood-glucose levels, medications, food and exercise.
With emerging technology, those with chronic diseases will continue to have additional options to receive care and information while taking action to manage their care.