Now that we are in 2019, its time to really take your health seriously. We aren’t talking about the usual “let’s lose a few pounds” as a New Year’s resolution; what we mean is taking advantage of the technology, information and health products available these days that can help your health today, tomorrow, and the rest of your life.
This is true whether you’re a young professional or a retiree, and it’s never too late to make some life-altering changes. Outline your goals beforehand and make a list of what you need to do to achieve them. With the advances in technology over the last several decades, staying on top of your health is easier than ever before.
If you’re retired, chances are your health needs are a bit different. Staying active is crucial, even if it’s only a walk around the neighborhood each day. This prevents muscle atrophy and weakness. If you’re struggling with movement and slowing down, consider investing in a remote monitoring with predictive analytics, especially if you live alone. These services can prove to be life-saving in the event of an emergency and it’s one way technology is helping to improve the quality of life for seniors. You can also make your home more mobility friendly if you have trouble getting around. This will limit the amount of stress you put on your body.
Caring for mental health
At least one in five Americans suffer from some form of mental illness, so chances are you know someone who does. Mental illness can lead to many devastating consequences including drug addiction, homelessness and relationship failures. The first step to getting help is recognizing that there’s a problem and getting a diagnosis from a qualified doctor as each diagnosis is treated differently in terms of medication and coping habits. There are many ways to get help including facilities that offer ACT therapy, rehabilitation and psychological help. In cases where medication and other forms of therapy fail, some doctors turn to TMS therapy, which uses an external electromagnet to stimulate the nerves in your brain that affect your mood. It sits on your head, offering a non-invasive method of treatment.
One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions–if not the most popular–is weight loss. Whether you have 5 or 50 pounds you want to lose, with a lot of hard work and dedication, you can make it happen. Try out new exercise routines streamed right to your smartphone or tablet via apps, and increase your activity to burn more calories in addition to overhauling your diet. It’s okay to indulge in sweets, but keep consumption to a minimum.
One of the largest barriers of delivering mental healthcare is the critical shortage of mental health professionals across the country, despite the significant prevalence and impact of mental health conditions. The National Alliance on Mental Illness and the National Institute of Mental Health report that 1 in 5 Americans live with a mental health condition and more than half of American adults with mental illness did not receive treatment in 2016. The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration estimates an additional 70,000 mental healthcare providers are needed by 2025 to meet the expected growth in demand. In Chicago alone, patients may wait upwards of 10 months for a psychiatrist appointment.
Timely and quality behavioral healthcare is essential for improving patient mental health outcomes and increasing provider satisfaction. Telehealth is emerging as a viable approach to traditional on-site care methods, as it can rapidly improve the delivery of care by effectively addressing patient needs while reconciling the workforce gap. Specifically, telehealth can allow for immediate consultation (especially crucial in time-sensitive situations), increased treatment capacity and collaboration across the continuum of care, and improved outcomes (especially by allowing patients to receive care in the comfort of their own home).
Increased Access to Care In a given year, approximately one in 25 adults in the U.S. experiences a serious mental illness that substantially interferes with, or limits, one or more major life activities according to the National Institute of Mental Health. The American Journal of Psychiatry reported that untreated mental illness is estimated to cost approximately $100 billion annually in lost productivity.
Patients can benefit from providers who use video-based technology to conduct “virtual consults” when providing an initial diagnosis, as well as making recommendations for admission, treatment, transfer, or discharge. Additionally, for ongoing treatment, video offers patients a way to participate in ongoing care and support via “virtual visits” with mental healthcare providers. Convenient access to care can help patients who may avoid seeking initial mental healthcare and/or ongoing treatment as some patients may unfortunately avoid visiting a nearby mental health clinic or provider for a needed diagnosis if they are wary of public recognition and social disapproval. Patients might also not adhere to scheduled follow-up appointments if visits to these “known” mental health clinics in one’s community are required. With telehealth, patients can remain comfortably at home and confidentially receive the care they need.