Top 7 trends in the e-health in 2014

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At the end of 2013 the IEEE Computer Society has published a list of the most important trends in technology for 2014. The development of the e-health was among them. The e-health is engaged in the biggest problems of medicine in the twenty-first century concern mental disorders, chronic diseases, stress-related illnesses, and aging society. We would like to present the top trends in the e-health field.

All-in-one devices

The e-health will not only grow intensively, but it is also going to ensure possibly maximimal comfort of its users. In order to achieve this goal, one device should be able to measure and store vital signs that are at present monitored by several different devices. An application that gathers such information should also be able to analyze data and suggest changes in one’s lifestyle.

Wearable devices

A t-shirt that can measure stress level and heart rhythm, wristband that measures one’s pulse and physical activities or chestbelt controlling one’s breath – those aren’t devices from sci-fi movies, but an equipment that is more frequently used during rehabilitations and daily vital signs monitoring. It can be expected that those kind of devices will become more common and cheaper because of a number of international companies, that are pioneers in the innovative solutions, are investing in their development.

On-line data gathering

Gathering patient’s data in one, properly secured place, is one of high priority expectations in the e-health. By exploiting such a repository, a doctor will have an easy access to a medical history. Digital database significantly improves contacts between a patient and physicians who can examine the disease symptoms simultaneously. The patient doesn’t have to bring large volumes of his medical history whenever he/she meets a doctor, as it would be just a click away. A particular emphasis should be placed on a safe storage of patient’s data.

Video consultations with a doctor

The possibility of video consultations provides many patients with an easier access to specialists. Instead of travelling to major cities and spending 40 minutes in queues, patients would be able to consult their health state from home. Such a solution would minimize very dangerous habit of “self-diagnosis” based only on doubtful quality information found on the Internet.

Home rehabilitation

An aging of societies and increasing frequency of chronic diseases are the main reasons of a growing number of people who need a constant health control. And this number will keep on growing. The e-health is a good solution of this problem, which provides a continuous monitoring of health in a domestic environment. Moreover, it allows to reduce both the healthcare costs and frequency of patients’ visits to hospitals.

Social media for health

Social media are being more commonly used as a therapy method and a way to exchange information between patients (e.g., PatientsLikeMe, SuperBetter, MedHelp or CureTogether). Doctors in the U.S. are already recommending a usage of social media as a support of treatment. Furthermore, a communication among patients suffering from similar diseases is also a way to obtain a moral support.

Mental health

In near future, Smartphones will take care of a society mental health. A mobile application that  will gather data about person’s moves, messages he/she sends and other phone activities, predeterminates if the person suffering from a mental disease (e.g., depression or schizophrenia) is behaving in an alarming way, which is symptomatic for the disease he/she suffers from.

Year 2014 is surely the time of an intensive e-health development. The growing awareness of the importance of the healthcare prevention and need for daily examinations in chronic diseases are factors that significantly affect a medical market. The market is responding to these needs with innovative solutions in the e-health.

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