In my last blog I talked about the need for health professionals to stay on top of new innovations and technologies. Patients are becoming more active and savvy in their care, and it’s important for us to be on the same page.
An example of this type of active patient is my colleague, Mike. I spoke about Mike in my previous blog, and told how he—a UX designer—developed several tools to help improve his healthcare experience after having a heart attack at 39. Some of his tools included:
A patient card
Mike found it frustrating that he was constantly asked for the same information from different members of his healthcare team. So he developed a laminated health info card that corresponds to the different stages of an office visit, and the type of information that is required at each stage. He reasoned that coming in with a pre-filled card would help save him and his healthcare staff a lot of time, and it did.
The front of the card includes information for the admissions nurses, and the reverse side contains information that nurses need once he is in the exam room. His nurses think it’s great, and Mike believes the card has helped his office visits run smoother.
My Daily Food Plan
Because of his condition, Mike has been visiting with a Registered Dietician. He was having a hard time with health numeracy, especially when trying to figure out the exact amount of certain foods he should be eating. The RD was using the USDA’s MyPlate illustration to try to guide him, but he really needed more information that was specific to him and his needs. So he created his My Daily Food Plan.
It’s still a work in progress, but this tool helped him better understand his daily food recommendations. It provides an area where the RD can fill in what she wanted him to eat. Then, she can go over it with Mike. Plus, the photos at the bottom helped Mike visualize correct portion sizes.
To get the most out of his office visits, Mike often uses the voice recorder app on his iPhone. Before, he found that he was having difficulty remembering and understanding what his healthcare team— specifically his doctors—were telling him. Having the ability to replay conversations and instructions has made a big difference in Mike’s patient experience.
The Wittings Blood Pressure Monitor is a blood pressure cuff that comes with an iPhone app, that Mike has found to be useful. He got this tool because he wanted to be able to track his numbers to learn what’s normal for his body, and what’s not. He didn’t want to have to wait for his check-up appointments. The monitor stores all the information on his phone via the app, and helps him understand his blood pressure over time, how different medicines and activity may have an impact, and tracks trends over time through graphs and charts.
To read more about new and innovative technologies, stayed tuned to surroundhealth.net—a product review section is coming soon! It’s where health professionals will be able to share innovative health products, as well as how they work in practice.