The importance of a personal health record app in diabetes management
Diabetes is a silent but powerful epidemic that threatens the world as we know it. More and more people are being identified as pre-diabetic all over the globe. India has even been declared the ‘diabetes capital of the world.’ Regardless of the causes, diabetes poses a very real problem for the people who suffer from it, and dealing with it can be downright scary!
As challenging as it is to manage diabetes, modern technology and medical advancements have taken us ahead by leaps and bounds. But all the information we have at our disposal is only useful when it contributes to creating user-friendly medical technology (MedTech). One example of this is the concept of personal health record (PHR) apps.
What is a PHR app?
PHR apps help you access all your medical history (from reports to scans to prescriptions and other medical documents) all in one location. Think of them like a Digilocker but for your doctors’ records. The days of having to carry loads of files and forgetting your prescriptions or appointment dates are long gone, as this centralised application gives you access to all of your medical history at the press of a button! They behave like a health monitoring app on your phone, as they contain all of your personal health information, but they’re much more comprehensive. They make access to health data easier for hospitals and help simplify medical care and coordination between you and your healthcare provider.
PHR apps are also affiliated with the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission, which, by assigning 14-digit Ayushman Bharat Health Account (ABHA) identification codes, allows them to link all your medical records digitally under one roof. The ABHA works like your medical Aadhar number and can be registered using your actual Aadhar number or driving licence.
This facility has been created so that managing chronic diseases (such as diabetes), is not a cumbersome and fear-filled experience. Creating accessibility is the first step in providing ease of mind to patients. And PHR apps are just the beginning of bettering the medical structure in our country. Old records, as well as recent test results, can be updated in these apps, and that creates an opportunity for patients to have a comfortable stay at any medical institution in the country.
Benefits of using PHR in diabetes management
To manage diabetes in India, there are several remedies you can apply at home (like monitoring your sodium, fat, and carbohydrate intake, being mindful of portion control, exercising, staying hydrated, etc.). But you also need to monitor the important details, and PHR apps play a huge role in that.
Blood glucose monitoring
Monitoring your blood sugar levels regularly is essential to managing your diabetes effectively.
A portable device called a glucometer can be used to measure your levels at home. Measuring your levels often (like before and after exercise or before and after a meal) can give you a better understanding of how your body reacts to different foods. This data, when regularly updated to your PHR app, gives your doctor current and real-time information to analyse and advise upon. This allows for better treatment of your diabetes and also helps in the early identification of any and all symptoms or signs that could be risky.
Medications also play a vital role in managing diabetes. They can help regulate blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and prevent or delay complications.
However, with so many medications available, it’s difficult to track the various dosages and prescriptions and whether they’re causing any side effects that may be harmful. Actively recording your medications can ensure your treatment process moves forward seamlessly and has the desired effect. PHR apps help to ensure that personal records of medication, along with observations of any noticeable symptoms, can be quickly considered when progressing with treatment and help your doctor notice any harmful trends (including those that could be potentially fatal).
Remote monitoring and telehealth
As a person with diabetes, travelling comes with various setbacks, and there are many reasons you may not be able to visit your medical professionals regularly.
However, in the current day and age, remotely accessible healthcare is available and vitally important. With a PHR app, you can share real-time data with your doctor, which can help in timely interventions and adjustments to treatment plans. Additionally, PHR apps allow patients to have virtual consultations with their physician, making it possible for you to have regular check-ins from any corner of the country.
Communication with healthcare providers and emergency access
As mentioned above, one of the perks of using a PHR app is that you can securely share your health data (such as medications taken and glucose levels) with your healthcare provider.
In the unlikely event of an emergency, such immediate access to such crucial health information can help the professionals at hand make informed and quick decisions, which can prove life-changing for a person with a chronic illness like diabetes.
Data analysis and trends
PHR apps are very nifty in that they not only record and store your data but also analyse it! Such smart MedTech apps have special analysis tools that can identify and pinpoint trends and patterns in your health metrics. They can observe related factors like lifestyle, medication intake, and blood glucose levels and note fluctuations. These features help make healthcare simple and efficient and promote long-term diabetes management.
The integration of PHR is becoming a dominant part of the effective management of diabetes and other illnesses. And the significance of a PHR app becomes obvious as it opens up a path to a structured and personalised approach to diabetes care. Most of all, it makes maintaining good health so much simpler.
Systematic records of medications, dosages, blood sugar levels, appointments etc., allow key health information to not only become accessible but life-altering. Such strides in MedTech allow individuals to lead worry-free lives and makes managing diabetes easier. And isn’t that the goal for all innovations in technology?
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