mHealth is typically promoted to Doctors on the clinical advantages and patient safety opportunities that they can experience when information is at their fingertips, or the time and cost saving opportunities that can be gleamed from doing away with paper, or the advantages and improved experience that anytime/anywhere access can provide to the patients they care for.
One reason that I’ve yet to hear is on the basis that it will help stem the generational gap that is growing between them and younger patients.
An In At The Deep End article titled “Unwelcome reminders of a generation chasm” that was published in November’s ICGP Forum Journal by Aideen Coleman – a 30 year old Doctor who practices in Cork – sums this growing issue up quite succinctly:
“I was in the course of consulting with a teenager who had injured her wrist when I struck up a conversation about school… …I joked that now she wouldn’t be able to write at school for the next while given she had just injured her wrist. To this comment she rolled her eyes and informed me that her class in fact used iPad tablets and therefore she would not be inconvenuenced by her injured wrist. She then looked pitifully at my sad piece of paper and drug-endorsed pen that I had been happily using to record my notes”
When you appreciate the importance parents place on the confidence that their children have in their Doctors it really is a surprise that we don’t have Doctors wielding iPads in a desperate attempt to avoid looking so 1950’s.
I get the feeling that in only a few short years we’ll have Doctors reporting patients rolling their eyes when they realise they are being cared for by a Doctor who hasn’t yet got a secure website, who still doesn’t allow them to share their information and medical history BEFORE they meet in the consult room and continues to think it’s okay to fail to provide them with any documentation when they’re leaving…