Information technologies cover all areas of human life, and healthcare is no exception to the rule. Doctors and their patients can benefit significantly from the use of mobile apps and other programs for the treatment of various diseases. However, the development of new tools intended to facilitate the process comes with challenges, and their full implementation requires time for adoption by hospitals. The efficiency of such technologies in terms of the provision of medical services should, therefore, be defined by a comparison of their advantages and drawbacks.
The use of e-health technology contributes to successful treatment for patients at hospitals. The principal advantage lies in the opportunity to process a larger amount of medical data, thereby lowering the workload of physicians (De Grood et al., 2016). It applies to the monitoring of chronic patients for possible complications with the help of reports from mobile apps they can regularly send to the hospital. This idea promotes greater independence of a patient and the ability to manage data without assistance. Another benefit of e-health tools is the solution to such problems as illiteracy or language barriers of patients (Zaman et al., 2017). Thus, healthcare services would cover more people who need medical assistance but cannot go to the hospital due to their inability to clearly understand the prescriptions of doctors.
Although the benefits of the use of e-health technology are undeniable, certain drawbacks can decrease the efficiency of its work. Most of them are connected to medical personnel and their decisions concerning the use of such technologies. The adoption of new mobile apps, for example, takes much time as it is necessary to not only incorporate them but also ensure their compatibility with the existing systems of healthcare provision (Zaman et al., 2017). Hence, the doctors tend to renounce the use of health apps due to the lack of time for their adoption and the risk of a decline in productivity. Moreover, physicians fear the possibility of losing contact with their patients, which can be essential for successful treatment (Zaman et al., 2017). In this case, it will be impossible to monitor the understanding of prescriptions and required actions in terms of complications by a patient.
Due to the rapid development of technologies, it is necessary to adjust to their use and successfully incorporate them into the existing practices by taking additional measures. To allow the mobile apps and other e-health tools to facilitate the work of doctors by taking on a part of their workload, training programs should become an essential part of their routine. Allocation of time for the adoption of new technologies would make the process easier and ensure their adoption by all members of medical personnel, not a part of them. As for the risk of the productivity of their work, the elimination of language and other barriers will only increase it as physicians will adapt to the new system.
The adoption of e-health technology such as mobile apps is intended to reduce the workload of medical personnel as well as provide healthcare services of better quality. However, their implementation depends not on individuals, but on hospitals, as only the promotion of their use by all physicians would make a difference in the long run. Both patients and their doctors would benefit from the degree of independence such technology can provide.
De Grood, C., Raissi, A., Kwon, Y., & Santana, M. J. (2016). Adoption of e-health technology by physicians: Ascoping review. Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare, 9, 335-344.
Zaman, S. B., Hossain, N., Ahammed, S., & Ahmed, Z. (2017). Contexts and opportunities of e-health technology in medical care. Journal of Medical Research and Innovation, 1(2), AV1-AV4.