The need for increase in patient compliance and proper health management has been rising steadily in the past 5 years. This has led to an initiative to develop a health information technology that will further enhance the health care support system and increase the standard of care for the patients. Current focus is now on the utilization of health care management systems in healthcare facilities like hospitals and primary care clinics. Health informatics technology is now widely being used by healthcare professionals in administering improved patient care and support.
While this area of health IT has been promising, research has now been expanded to make these technologies available to the patients and consumers themselves. These systems, when accessed by individuals receiving medical care, are dubbed as consumer health information technologies (CHITs). With this technology, patients are now able to access their medical history including their current medications, their admission and consultation records, even the specific facts and figures of their disease.
CHITs can also be employed by individuals to have an open communication to their healthcare providers and aid in various essential decision making processes for their condition. This technology gives the encouragement that the patients need to take control of their conditions and to be in charge of their health.
The potential of this new technology to develop the patient’s involvement in their conditions is especially ideal for chronic debilitating diseases such as diabetes.
In a recent study done by Calvin and Tao in Hong Kong, the effects of CHITs in the self-management of patients with diabetes were assessed.
A meta-analysis of 67 randomized controlled trials was done. Data were collected and was statistically analyzed. The results showed that there is a significant decrease in the levels of HgbA1c, blood pressure measurements, total cholesterol and triglyceride levels when the subjects use the CHITs as compared to the usual care that they go through.
These results just goes to show the positive effects of current health care information technologies on the consumer level with regards to the self-management of diabetes. However, although the conclusion of this study is promising, further research is still on its way to explore the effects of these new healthcare innovations in improving the patient’s prognosis.
Karsh, O. a. (2009). A systematic Review of Patient Acceptance of Consumer Health Information Technology. J Am Med Inform Assoc, 550-560.
Tao, C. a. (2014). Does the use of consumer health information technology improve outcomes in the patient self-management of diabetes? A meta-analysis and narrative review of randomized controlled trials. International Journal of Medical Informatics.