Open Yourself to the Future of Personal Connected Health

Mar 09, 2017

By: Amanda Greene, @LAlupuslady
As the Grateful Dead sang “The future is here.  We are on our own.”  I agree that the future is here but we are not alone.  The people, organizations and companies behind the revolution in connected health technology are working hard to improve patient outcomes while keeping cost efficiencies in mind.
You might have seen me walking the expo hall at the Personal Connected Health Alliance Connected Health Conference in December while I was “snapping” away with my smartphone in hand as I shared the newest technology with the online #Connect2Health community.  As a woman with Lupus, chronic pain and other autoimmune conditions I am someone who actively uses social media and technology to engage and interact with my friends, family and other patients.  My phone is more than a way to connect with people, I use my smartphone, tablet and laptop to connect to my health. 
As a patient with pre-existing chronic conditions, I am proof-positive that patients use technology to improve their wellness.  I use wearables and have three different apps to track and monitor my food, activity and disease symptoms.  But the advances developing connected health are astounding.  The innovative ways companies are using technology to improve patient treatment, care and outcomes is incredible.
Who knew that virtual reality (VR) could help patients relieve pain?  Until I experienced it first-hand I would have had serious doubts.  But when I put on the headset and found myself immersed in a “whole new world” and outstretching my arms to reach out and grab a tree branch did I realize that it worked.  And worked fast.  It was late afternoon on the second day of the conference, my body was exhausted, my feet and ankles swollen and I was in pain – until I got to the Samsung booth and put on a VR headset. 
The benefits of virtual reality in patient care have so much potential for easing pain and reducing anxiety.  Patients in hospital beds can escape to the natural beauty of the outdoors and fly with birds and butterflies.  Pre-op nerves can be soothed by a brief VR session where they are next to a river.  The opportunities to explore virtual reality in patient care have unlimited potential.