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The healthcare industry is in the midst of a digital revolution. We are witnessing a growth in healthcare consumerism, where patients and consumers are more active and engaged, keen to track their own health and are more understanding of their body. Digital therapeutics are emerging and disruptive technologies that overcome the limitations of place, time, and availability of healthcare resources in South Africa.
Digital therapeutics is the key to shifting from reactive healthcare to proactive holistic care. By leveraging technologies such as artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML), augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR), m-health applications, and gamified platforms, these software driven intelligent solutions empower patients and healthcare providers with high-quality, safe, and effective data based interventions.
Christo Groenewald, CEO of CompuGroup Medical South Africa, a MedTech company that has spent over 20 years researching and providing tools to doctors, dentists and medical professionals worldwide, has identified two key stages during the interaction between a patient and the healthcare professional, where digital platforms can build a more efficient relationship.
STEP ONE: Keeping accurate records
From the first call or appointment, preferably through an online booking system, being able to quickly capture data and access these records saves time and helps gain a deeper understanding of the patient’s experience. This also helps practitioners make informed decisions about the necessary treatment.
Clinical documentation can effortlessly be facilitated through the employment of systems such as SOAP (subjective, objective, assessment, and plan) or SINSS (severity, irritability, nature, stage, and stability) model, further complemented by user-friendly aids for methodical body chart completion.
Should a referral be necessary, the uniformity of the anatomy chart and notes make it easy for colleagues to understand the consulting history and it can be shared with the patient on request or their medical aid.
STEP TWO: Real time imaging
The future of medicine must include integration with diagnostic imaging, which currently often involves multiple departments and hard copies such as x-rays and scans. One digital therapeutics feature that is gaining popularity, especially in sports medicine, is the capacity to visually map pain and musculoskeletal concerns on an interactive 360-degree model of the human body, enhancing diagnostic precision and patient comprehension.
This visual system also helps with virtual consulting, requesting blood work from the labs or writing e-scripts, which is increasingly being done and recorded remotely.
Software programmes, such as Practice Perfect by CGM, are now trusted for their capability to easily capture comprehensive medical and treatment histories right at the point of care. This sleek approach facilitates efficient tracking of patient rehabilitation, fitness progress, and treatment responses. The ability to merge personal and clinical data in real time, paints a portrait of each patient's physical health, empowering accurate diagnoses, prognosis and subsequent follow-ups.
Top international MedTech companies have invested heavily in the development and advancement of their platforms so that they can be used to predict and manage a patient’s future health rather than reacting to symptoms. This will help reduce the disease burden and be a cost saving for insurance providers and private and public health sectors and empower patients to take control of their physical wellbeing.
Dr Roberto Beffa, a Cape Town based chiropractor states that “As a loyal Customer of CGM for more than a decade, I can confidently say that their Perfect Pair solution has truly helped shape my practice. The seamless integration of clinical notes and billing information in one user-friendly platform has transformed our operations, making the flow from clinical documentation to billing a breeze. Thanks to this efficient system, I can now dedicate more time to what I am truly passionate about – providing exceptional care to my patients”.
For more information about CGM’s Perfect Pair, which is a combination of Practice Perfect plus the powerful billing engine for physical health practitioners, CGM MEDEDI, visit www.cgm.com/za.