Can technology humanize medical care?
by Jessica Herráiz, July 29, 2020
This is reality. The COVID-19 pandemic that we are living through has prompted healthcare systems, public as well as private, to develop tools for telemedicine and patient monitoring, revealing a new landscape of possibilities in the doctor-patient relationship. These platforms are becoming a perfect ally for physicians, helping them to optimize their time and work, and will most likely continue doing that in the future.
In this context, when these technologies are being used more than ever in the healthcare environment, an often-asked question has arisen again: Can technology contribute to the humanization of medical care?
At the present time, there are more experts and healthcare professionals who say that it can. This attitude was reflected recently in the online seminar “New Cancer Care”, organized by the ECO Foundation, when it was stated that “We need a more humanized medical care, and this has been possible during this pandemic thanks to technology and the superhuman exertion of the healthcare teams”.
This was also a recent theme in an article by Ship2B, an accelerator of social impact startups, “The improvement of health and quality of life requires a comprehensive view of people”, in which Jaime del Barrio, President of the Digital Health Association, stated that the digitalization of certain processes, “even though it seems like a contradiction, would contribute to humanization”. This is because “to the extent that the time I spend as a professional can be quality time dedicated to people, that will be of greater value”.
In this way, we are witnessing how technology has enabled, and is not only enabling us to reduce the hospital burden caused by COVID-19, helping to improve certain processes, but also to optimize the time used by the physician in caring for their patients, providing accurate monitoring of the patient’s situation without taking extra time and also even allowing for a more personalized relationship through these tools.
At Persei vivarium, prompted by this reality, we are continuing to work on our digital platforms in order to offer tools that facilitate data collection by physicians in their clinical practice, as well as by the patients in the course of their illness. We are mindful of the fact that, in this situation, it is critical to have these tools prepared to meet the needs of the healthcare professionals, helping to improve the ways we address this disease and other diseases that affect us.
To paraphrase Dr. Carmen Beato’s statement in the webinar, “Telemedicine in the post-COVID era of continuous care”, “Technology will lend us a hand”. Now, let’s lean on it to take advantage of its enormous potential, not only in the current situation, but also in the future.