Baby Steps towards the Self-Management Revolution

Jack Barton | 2014-08-03 08:31:30

The strain on the current medical model and the growing need for self-management is well recognised. More and more people are getting sick and doctors are becoming busier and busier. Ultimately there comes a point in which individual care is going to be diminished, some would argue that point has been and gone. Great innovation is often catalysed after identification of a growing problem. Technology is attempting to bridge the growing doctor and patient disconnect whilst involving key stakeholder groups in management of those diagnosed with long term conditions.

Proteus health is at the forefront of the revolution. Recent developments from the company are attempting to measure vital parameters of health and wellbeing whilst putting diagnosed individuals at the centre of their health care and treatment. Through use of a tiny ingestible sensor inserted into medication, a worn sensor on the outside of the body and an application users have the ability to track numerous variables that impact health and wellbeing. Through the application platform individuals have the ability to decide what data is shared with stakeholders such as doctors, family members and friends. All parties can be informed of activity, which medication has been taken, vital signs and numerous other parameters.

The ability to keep everyone informed of real time events relating to individual health and wellbeing provides significant opportunity to improve management of long term conditions whilst reducing strain on not only the medical model, but also carers, family and friends.

Putting the technology into context, if the individual who is utilising Proteus health technologies forgets to take their medication, a family member can use their own version of the application, recognise that the individual has forgotten and remind them to take their prescription thus improving the management of an individual’s condition.

Not only can such a technology improve management of conditions but it also has the power to reduce responsibility on the individual themselves reducing common psychological effects of self-management such as anxiety.

The only issue I see is one’s willingness to ingest a sensor technology! I’m happy to give it a go, but are you?

Jack Barton (Researcher, Rescon Ltd)