Health care versus health technology

Health care depends on health technology in almost everything we do.  We read and examine CT and MR scans on the screen, e-mail each other using the electronic health record system (EHR) within the hospital, request blood tests and read the result on the screen. We use technology in order to make things go faster and be more accurate.

It is a paradox that when communicating with people outside the hospital we depend in most cases on telephone and letters per post. Dealing with patients in early stages of their palliative care cancer disease trajectory, the communication might be random and infrequent. As the symptom burden increases, both the patient and the healthcare provider will have to speed up the conversation frequency and let more personnel take part.

The locations of the different health care providers responsible for the care of patients with palliative needs are scattered and spread-out, which in turn make analog communication ineffective and slow. This change of need makes the technological adjustment especially urgent.  We need a fast, easy, secure and inclusive way of communicating, especially in our field of medicine.

Painful areas marked on a CPBM

Like most areas of medicine, technology and health go hand in glove. This is one of the reasons why we in palliative care do research in the field of medical technology. One of the target areas of the Ministry of Health and the local health authority is to make safe electronic communication between health care providers and patients possible. The pilot program of a computerized pain body map (CPBM) is one of our contributions to the patients when the security and judicial problems are solved.

Posted by Ellen Jaatun.


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