What’s the best way to address patients’ needs? Technology already offers a number of solutions but which are not yet widely-used. Here are five issues that we know can be addressed by technologies, explained by Frédéric Mocellin, Business Development Manager Digital HealthCare at Econocom, and Ludovic Jaquet, Chairman of Cineolia, the Group’s specialist in providing digital services to improve patient comfort.
“These days it’s still up to the patient to coordinate the information to do with their medical record,” explains Frédéric Mocellin. Whereas blockchain, thanks to its architecture that can be used to store information securely and transparently, could centralise this information.
Thus blockchain could replace electronic health records, which is difficult to implement, due to “interoperability issues between the IT systems of the various doctors who need to consult the records,” says Ludovic Jaquet.
A LINK TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD
“Until now the patient experience has mainly been focused on treatment, rather than patient comfort. With digital, patients can have more control over their care,” says Frédéric Mocellin. “Now, patients are becoming more empowered and demanding, they expect more services from their hospital.” Certain services are starting to be developed in France, such as combined Internet and telephone access provided by Cineolia or the 42-TV channel package, which makes them feel at home and enables them to stay in touch with their loved ones.
The next step will involve helping patients having “regular contact with their friends and family,” says Ludovic Jaquet. A few initiatives are already being developed. “Social media and ‘family portals’ are the latest services to appear in hospitals,” says Mocellin. These totally secure networks allow families and friends to share photos, videos and messages of support with the patient.
EMPOWERING THE PATIENT
Two technologies can help empower patients. Telemedicine saves time for both patient and doctor, particularly where check-ups or consultations are concerned. But it’s also “a solution for ‘medical deserts,’” adds Ludovic Jaquet.
The other technology that can improve patients’ autonomy is the Internet of Things: quantified self apps that can alert patients and doctors in the event of a problem, based on information collected. “There’s even a connected pill that sends the user’s body temperature to their smartphone In real time and, if they allow it, to their doctor’s,” says Jaquet.
This has been tried and tested by the players of Nantes football club and French astronaut Thomas Pesquet! “This pill could result in shorter hospital stays, as it monitors the patient’s condition, just like a doctor does. If there’s a problem, the medical team is notified and can call the patient back in for some additional tests if necessary,” explains the Chairman of Cineolia.
MIEUX VIVRE SA MALADIE
Virtual reality can also offer solutions to help patients cope with their condition more easily. “Games will be used to improve patients’ wellbeing,” says Frédéric Mocellin.
This technology is already being used to help patients suffering from neurological disorders and autistic children.
These technologies have been deployed in a number of countries, and some French startups are also starting to innovate in this area, such as L’Effet Papillon, whose solution Bliss offers psychological and spiritual support for cancer patients.
BEING MORE ATTENTIVE TO PATIENTS’ NEEDS
In this respect, robotics can prove invaluable, as Frédéric Mocellin explains: “Certain gerontology departments and care homes have been experimenting with companion robots, which can help elderly people with memory issues.”
Similar experiments have been conducted with cancer patients, using telepresence robots to help relieve their loneliness when in isolation rooms.
“These technologies are being deployed very gradually, but we’ll be seeing more and more of them,” says Frédéric Mocellin. “But the most important thing isn’t the solution itself but the way we use it to address the patient’s needs.”
And that is precisely Econocom’s philosophy: from audit to deployment, thanks to its galaxy that has been carefully built to address a wide range of issues, the Group offers tailored solutions to match users’ needs!