Have you ever thought about counting the times you check your phone each day? Even if there is no message on the screen, we tend to check, and double check – just in case.
According to a 2019 study on average we check our phones about 63 times a day. 69% of us check their smartphones within the first five minutes of waking up and 86% check their phones even when they’re with friends (1).
Safe to say we have an intimate relationship with our devices. Instead of giving a friend a call we drop a message. How many physical Christmas cards did you receive this season? And how many whatsapps and funny gifs? Communication has changed – and has created the urge to be available 24/7.
How is the health sector keeping up with this expectation? Interestingly, on-demand digital solutions are not very established yet. Most people still think of healthcare as an in-office experience. But there is a lot that can be done in the digital world.
Patients’ well being changes daily. And their symptoms and behaviors do too.
“How have you been feeling since our last appointment?”
“Are you taking your drugs regularly?”
The patient’s answer is mostly not precise – we can’t remember everything. That’s human. And that’s where technology can help.
Documenting one’s symptoms and drug taking compliance between doctor’s appointments can nowadays easily be done on your phone. But that is only the first step. Remember, relationships and communication are everything. This the magic of the doctor patient relationship and an important contribution to our health and wellbeing.
But this special bond is under siege from two sides. Patient expectations in a digital age and an increasingly time and resource constrained healthcare system. Patients want personal support and they want it now. Our phones amplify our basic human need for connection and are making us impatient. Used to instant gratification on their phones, waiting or physically visiting an office is increasingly unpalatable for patients. Keeping up with these new expectations is a big challenge for our doctors. But also a huge opportunity.
Preview: Explore the challenges facing the doctor – patient relationship
Stay connected, stay healthy!
P.S.: Ariana can help you give your patients what they want – get in touch to learn how she does it
- Milijic, M. 29+ Smartphone Usage Statistics: Around the World in 2019. https://leftronic.com/smartphone-usage-statistics/