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Can a Simple App Improve the Patient-Provider Relationship?

Posted on November 20, 2015 by Robert Ridge

For anyone managing a chronic or life threatening condition, the value of investing time and effort in managing and understanding their health information is clear – poor or incomplete data can have a significant negative effect on their health. But the same is true for all of us – we can all benefit from tracking our health a little more closely.

Still, it would appear that many of us are more inclined to keep better records on our car maintenance, for example, than our own health. It’s odd when you think about it. We have grown accustomed to outsourcing ownership of our most sensitive personal information to the health care system only.

So in the spirit of giving Canadians greater control over their personal health data, we here at MedicAlert® Foundation Canada (MAFCA) teamed up with Self Care Catalysts, a patient solutions and behaviour analytics company, and created the My MedicAlert App which launched in June.

Since our founding in 1961, MAFCA has provided the means for over 1.3 million Canadians to take ownership of their health information, and now we’re giving them another tool to build their personal “health story” in one place by easily tracking aspects of their condition and lifestyle, such as medications, specific moods throughout the day, symptoms, and so much more.

Many Canadians already benefit from our well-known medical ID and services, which include comprehensive medical editing, 24/7 emergency hotline and family notification. The vision behind this app is to add a versatile tool that provides greater insight into their day-to-day health and ultimately improves management and treatment strategies with their health care team.

In just over five months, thousands have registered to use the app and are already benefitting from easily interacting with their MedicAlert digital health record, tracking changes in their health and lifestyle, and having a user-friendly way of sharing all that data with their health care practitioner. As one user said, “It is a life saver! Reminds me to take my meds and keeps a log for me to show my doctor, very handy!”

As we continue to evolve and enhance the My MedicAlert App, it will be exciting to see the impact for app users and their health care team in both the short and long term.

As we celebrate Digital Health Week, what role do apps play in the health care of Canadians? What are the considerations and opportunities?

Have a comment about this post? We’d love to hear from you.

rridge 100Robert Ridge

Robert Ridge is President and CEO of MedicAlert Foundation Canada, a registered charity and the leading provider of emergency medical information services, protecting more than one million Canadians since 1961. MedicAlert is a Better Health Together/Digital Health Week Supporting Organization.

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