High Tech versus Low Tech Medicine

I entered into a discussion today on Twitter about the lack of patients being interested in or in need of high tech options for their health care. Somewhat ironic, I thought, that we were using such a high tech platform to hear some dismiss the capabilities of such platforms to be engaging. However, it does beg the question which should we use?
I say, why not both! Just as we would never use the same blood pressure medication for all of our patients or use the same test to diagnose dissimilar diseases, why must we use a one size fits all approach to technology when it comes to patient engagement?
Whether you are a provider or a patient, I am sure you have friends and family who are more or less familiar with various technologies,social media platforms and the like. You may have friends who sit in line for hours just to get the opportunity to buy the latest gadget from Apple or Google. Others are still using fountain pens to write snail mail letters to friends and family. They just don’t like the tech. Just as it is our responsibility to determine which testing or drug is appropriate for each patient, we can also determine which patients respond to health tech and which do not.
You can’t always read a book by its cover. Patients either. I have some elderly patients who are tech groupies and will download any app you might suggest. If an app tells them it’s time to get moving, they are, well, apt to do so. There are also the millennials who don’t seem to fit the stereotype and really aren’t that into apps, especially if they are not games. However, you have to be knowledgeable about the available apps and present them to patients just as you would any other healthcare option.
Do some research. Educate yourself. You might find some apps you are interested in. If not, maybe your patients will be.

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