The increasing prevalence of long term conditions is well documented. However for many the true implications of such a large increasing strain on the current medical model is hard to grasp. For many in the UK, the NHS has provided everything needed for as long as can be remembered. Ok, so often individuals have had to wait two weeks for an appointment to see their GP when they were not feeling great but before long they were prescribed some medication and were off again. But can you imagine a medical system based around online communication and a large responsibility on self-management, how much do you truly know about your health?
The realists amongst us understand the severity of the situation, current diagnosis and management protocols aren’t sustainable. Waiting lists are growing and efficiency and quality of treatment is inevitably going to decrease. By 2030 40.5% of the population in the United States is predicted to be diagnosed with cardiovascular disease. Hypertension alone is predicted to account for 37.3% of the population (Heidenreich et al, 2011). Let me emphasise that point, nearly 2 out of 5 people are going to have high blood pressure! 2 in 5!!
I’m in no doubt that technological advances are going to adapt in order to meet the demands of prevalence utilising remote monitoring and automatic medical analysis, most likely through wearable technology and automatic detection from emergency services. However day to day management of general health will likely rely on wearable sensors and individual computer input with analysis to assess progression and deterioration. Without doubt innovations in this area are likely to benefit hugely magnified by the use of such technology increasingly the responsibility of individuals who will become increasingly self-aware.
Now is the time to look after number 1, it’s time to start tracking your parameters of health and wellbeing (using tools such as Lincus) in order to develop greater understanding of your condition because if predictions are correct, your GP may not be as accessible as they are right now.
Education is the best form of management, to understand is to experience and to track is to acknowledge, in the future you may just thank yourself for taking action now.
Taking positive control of yourself and your health is so important…
Jack Barton (Researcher, Rescon Ltd)
Heidenreich, P. A., Trogdon, J. G., Khavjou, O. A., Butler, J., Dracup, K. et al. (2011). Forecasting the future of cardiovascular disease in the United States a policy statement from the American heart association. Circulation, 123(8), 933-944.