Phone applications (apps) are able to deliver all manner of vital information between a health care provider and their patient. VGH is already using various apps and secure messaging services to help with emergency department safety during COVID-19, as well as helping patients track their personal health in and out of hospital to further personalize care.
Getting comfortable using these apps and secure messaging will help keep you informed of important information such as wait times, directions to care and health tracking information you can pull up any time.
Video call technology is growing leaps and bounds with improved image, sound and connection quality allowing for meaningful check-ups from the comfort of your home. Improving access, especially for those who have challenges leaving home, can have a profoundly positive impact on a patient’s quality of life, as it allows for them to be able to receive vital health care without stepping outside.
Booking these meetings can often be done online or with a simple phone call. Ask your doctor or health care provider.
In certain cases, patients are able to use monitoring devices at home that share vital information back to their health care provider including blood pressure, pulse, temperature, blood sugars and more. This data is shared during check-ups, and allows patients to provide fulsome data to help improve their care. If you’re interested, ask your doctor if you could benefit!
Patient input is key in developing these technologies and helping to ensure that these tools are both useful and easily understood. So feel free to be honest and offer your feedback with your health care provider — it only gets better when you do!
Dr. Kendall Ho is a VGH physician and the Research Lead for the Digital Emergency Medicine department at UBC. His work allowed our hospitals and health care centres to continue safely and securely offering world-class care in the midst of a global pandemic. The accelerated use of telehealth, utilizing donor-supported tools, will only continue to grow and help provide care that is more accessible than ever to patients across BC.