The developments and innovation in technology to enhance the quality of patient education, are mentioned in this article.
As healthcare costs rise all over the world, healthcare providers are being increasingly hard pressed to justify these sky rocketing prices. Healthcare providers in an attempt to maximize revenues are also constantly endeavoring to reduce the time spent per patient. But this often is extremely difficult to achieve because of the vast gap in the knowledge base of the physician and the patient. The proliferation of the Internet has contributed to the problem because patients are becoming more demanding about information regarding their ailments and the choice of treatments available to him/her. This increases the time spent per patient.
Effective patient education can only be provided by a doctor who has a deep-rooted understanding of his own value systems, and the awareness that the patients’ values may differ from these. He must also have the ability to achieve shared understanding with the patient and be able to share decision-making with patients at a level that meets their needs.
Organizations have spotted a market niche that lies vacant. This is the segment where technology driven products are developed to enable the doctor to provide wholesome patient education. Companies leveraging the power that information technology — television, videos, print media and the Internet provides, can inform and empower patients by providing them with the information and vocabulary they need to work along with their physicians to take charge of their own health.
The products are generally based on simulating various complications that occur in the human body. Further they also simulate the corrective procedures required to rectify the problem. They use the latest versions of generic animation software such as 3D Max, Maya, Soft Image, Flash, Director etc. If they have the capabilities, then software is custom developed for this purpose.
Nucleus Inc, is a leading developer of patient education packages, samples that can be downloaded from the site www.nucleusinc.com. This is done to make the procedure easy and the patient is able to view it, before he actually goes under the knife. As a result the patient is clear in his/her mind about the methods used and their implications. Every aspect of the package is animated coupled with a narrative by a medical expert. E.g. the entire Angioplasty procedure can be simulated using various Multimedia animation tools. A doctor could choose to demonstrate Osteoarthritis to a patient who suffers from it, to give a clearer picture of the disease.
Many organizations with Multimedia Animation capabilities are tapping into this lucrative field because of the enormous market potential and size. Companies have begun segmenting this market, thus creating further niches. www.xvivo.net is an organization that concentrates on the simulation of cell level mechanisms while there are others who simulate complications of only certain specialties. There are certain other companies that will create the package as a platform for pharmaceutical companies to market their drugs to doctors. These pharmaceutical companies pay for the development of these packages and gift it to doctors as a promotional tool.
Some of these packages are web enabled where the patient can view the procedure without paying a physical visit to the doctor. The content can be viewed over the Internet, in the comfort of your home.
The usage of packages such as this enables the healthcare provider to acquire an image of sophistication; it also becomes easier to justify the costs of the procedure. The patient compliance with treatment objectives also improves. Another hidden benefit that these packages provide is the avoidance of any law suit that a patient may file against a doctor because the package ensures that the patient completely understands all the details of the procedure that he will undergo.