Dr Dania Simpa, CEO / Senior Consultant at Sabaoth Technologies Ltd, in this interview with SADE OGUNTOLA, looks
on how individuals can explore appropriate technology to improve their health.
How effective are fitness trackers in monitoring one’s health?
Wearable fitness trackers are advanced tools that can easily predict the sight of an infection or seizure that is about to occur. These devices monitor a person’s heart rate while walking or running, the number of steps you take in a day, and also monitor brain activity. These fitness trackers are very effective and have helped prevent many household accidents, especially when this tracker shows a sign. The person tries to put themselves in a safe environment and not expose themselves to any danger such as crossing the road, cooking with gas or sitting on a moving bicycle.
A portable fitness tracker assists treatments, monitors our health data and links it to our health care practitioners. This new technology has been proven to help prevent, predict and detect diseases on time and keep us out of bad situations.
The pandemic has made us all the more aware of reading about health-related issues. Are there any vital medical equipments or gadgets that people need to have at home to regularly monitor their health?
Since the spread of COVID-19, this has helped us understand the shift from physical appointments to a “do it yourself” method using medical equipment. The first medical equipment to be used in a home was first aid and assistant technology, but recently some medical devices have been produced as consumer products that allow people to manage their own health care more conveniently and independent.
The rate of use of medical devices outside official health facilities is increasing. It has been observed that more complex medical devices are found in homes to ensure healthy living. Equipment like glucometer, drug test, air purifier, etc. can be used in a home and it is highly advisable to buy one. The equipment can be used to support adherence to treatment regimens, encourage self-management, and provide patient education. Having these gadgets in a home improves the health of each member of the family and also lowers the cost of health care.
How can I use my phone to monitor my health?
A mobile phone has become an essential tool that cannot be done without and has changed a lot since the introduction of the first iPhone in 2007. The sensors built into phones can also help our daily health and well-being. Using Google Fit and other health related apps can track the movements of your body system. A cell phone can be used as a meal planner. It helps you eat healthy foods at the right time. With your phone, you can Google how to find out and prepare foods that are good for the body. A woman can use her phone to find out when she is ovulating, then a saliva test to be very sure. This is an alternative to the reproductive test.
There are many health apps and their different functions in every part of our body and a person is advised to have these apps on their cell phone and not just focus on the camera and media platforms. social.
Can the phone be used for a medical consultation?
The mobile phone is often criticized as having a negative impact like distractions, sleep disturbances or depression, but the device also has the potential to improve health care. A patient can improve their health by turning their phone into a personal health management system. There are many health promoting apps out there and they can be easily installed. This system or app encourages you to stay on track and maintain a positive attitude towards your health.
Getting consultations by scheduling appointments is another way to use your mobile device to improve your health. This reminds a person to be ready on time for meetings and to take their medication on time. Using your timer and knowing when to do the basics at the right time can help a person improve their health. A timer keeps you on track, maintains good time management, and helps you stay focused.
As a mobile phone has a negative influence on humans, it is up to us to use the device wisely and use it as a tool to stay healthy. There are many apps out there today that can put you in touch with a doctor or other health care official, as the case may be.
According to a study, integrating a mobile health app with ongoing medical care can dramatically improve the health of patients with hypertension. Is it true?
Hypertension is a serious disease that has resulted in many premature deaths around the world. It is a common condition. High blood pressure can be managed when patients limit their alcohol intake, engage in regular physical activity, quit smoking, work with a doctor, and more. A patient with hypertension can use a mobile device to learn and get solutions. A doctor can prescribe drugs and maintain regular appointments with his patient and also encourage his patient to adhere to electronic health interventions to provide a more flexible platform for healthcare.
Studies by groups on hypertension and other diseases have shown improved health outcomes.
How can our healthcare system harness the benefits of technology to improve healthcare?
More and more doctors are offering telemedicine solutions either directly or based on their hospitals. There are a number of telemedicine and mobile health options, or as you would call it now, digital health solutions. The health care system and doctors are already drawing on it. With the use of any technology, there is what is called the adoption curve. There would be early adopters who would try anything just to be “the first to use”. They are technology enthusiasts and push the boundaries of each innovation. After that comes the mass market, where almost everyone is now using the technology and finally you have the “latecomers”. They are the last people to give up the use of fixed lines for cell phones !! The technology must have been tried and proven beyond a reasonable doubt before adopting it.
I think we are now moving from early adapters to the mass market and the trend would continue with the use of digital health tools in the Nigerian health space.
How can Nigeria Maximize the Benefits of Telemedicine?
The use of telemedicine in Nigeria dates back to 2007 after it inaugurated projects in two university hospitals and six federal medical centers across the country, and the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic has led Nigerians to patronize this innovation without having to visit or be seen in among the crowds in a hospital. Telemedicine is an advanced way to access health services using digital devices such as mobile devices and computers.
One of the best ways for individuals and the government to benefit from telemedicine is to ensure that all non-urgent cases are treated using telemedicine. This reduces the spread of infection and the crowds, which in turn helps to limit the risk of contracting the disease. This method also saves time. Making sure your mobile devices and computers are well equipped to take calls without interruptions or loss of focus is another way to get the best results from telecommunications. A patient can choose a quiet, private room for their appointment and ensure that everything needed is available in order to enjoy easy communication.
The patient is advised to write and ask specific questions for clarity, to repeat the instructions given to ensure that they understand what the healthcare professional has asked for and take note of the responses. It will be a mistake when a person does not follow the medical instructions and choose to do what they want.
You will agree with me that telemedicine is the future of health care delivery in Nigeria. This system is a good way to get advice and it is more convenient for people to pay attention to their health and have them checked frequently.
What are the downsides of eHealth and mHealth that Nigerians also need to guard against?
The convenience and ease that mHealth and eHealth (digital health) have provided to improve our lives is overwhelming, but there are certainly challenges. Some of the downsides of eHealth and mHealth are: Not everything can be done through digital health. You would still need to see a medical professional at some point; the ecosystem is not well regulated – there is almost no way of knowing that the person caring for you is who they say they are and that they are qualified to give the necessary advice.
In addition, sharing private information and storing vital details can prove to be risky for the patient. The information of the users of the application can be falsified without the consent of the owner. We have the Nigerian Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) currently trying to handle this scenario.
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