(NC)—Since 2000, people aged 65 and over have been the fastest growing users of the internet, according to Statistics Canada.
That's not surprising considering that technology is making it easier than ever for seniors – particularly those with mobility issues – to do everything from online banking to staying in touch with family and friends.
Since seniors are one of the biggest consumers of healthcare, it also makes sense that tools to help them maintain their health and independence are a key focus of some new technologies finding their way into the marketplace.
A recently launched digital consumer application is a perfect example. Mihealth helps people and their families to take better control of their health by giving them secure direct access to their personal, physician-validated health information including prescription and over-the-counter medications, allergies, immunizations, chronic conditions and test results. It works on a desktop computer through the internet, and is also available as an app for Apple, Windows, Android and Blackberry smartphones.
For many seniors, particularly those with chronic conditions, managing their health on a daily basis and keeping track of multiple medications, specialist appointments, and tests can be overwhelming.
Here are three ways seniors can benefit from this technology:
• Secure text messaging lets seniors communicate directly with their doctor or other primary care provider to ask questions, discuss lab results or book appointments.
• Networking features give seniors the ability to allow family members, friends and health providers to join their personal health network as limited or full access “guest users”, so everyone involved in their care can view the most up-to-date medical records, doctors' names, medications and health issues.
• The capability to securely store and access personal health information anytime and anywhere gives seniors more control, and the flexibility to share some or all of those details quickly and easily with a range of care providers, such as medical specialists, pharmacists, and emergency staff, resulting in more informed, better care.
According to Toronto-area physician, Dr. Betty Choi-Fung, there are also advantages for a patient's primary care physician such as fewer telephone tag calls, missed appointments, unnecessary office visits, a permanent record of all messages and changes to a patient's file, and reduced time pressure on the physician and his or her staff.
Dr. Choi-Fung says the biggest benefit of the new app for busy doctors is the time it saves.
“An app like this one is much more efficient than sifting through paper copies,” she explains. “As a result, I can spend more time with my patients.”
More information is available online at www.mihealth.com.