It’s true that nothing quite beats a personal touch. As humans, we have the need for personal interaction, or social interaction. Our intense involvement on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter is a prime example of this tendency.
When examined a little further, psychologists conclude that despite our propensity to, at times, want to get away with murder, we have a need for accountability. For various reasons, being monitored by a type of Big Brother makes us feel less isolated.
Most personality types have this need to be accountable to something or someone, and this knowledge is handy for application in all sorts of fields and dynamics. Most recently, it has been rolled out as a very effective methodology of getting patients to take their medicine.
Behold, the selfie medicine initiative.
Keeping Tabs On Tablets
Selfie medicine is in essence a smartphone app that pushes people to take their pills. The patient opens the app and then proceeds to record a video clip of them taking their medication, as prescribed. The video is then forwarded to someone at the patient’s clinic or medical centre, where the prescription was first filled out. The person receiving the video clip is employed in a position dedicated to monitoring patients and the administration of medication.
According to a popular press page, this is already a daily routine for many patients in the state of Houston, and the practice of selfie medicine is paying off dividends in favour of the state’s overall health administration system. In essence, the practice of selfie medicine is replacing the need for nursing staff to visit the homes of patients in order to ensure that they are indeed taking their medicine, as required and prescribed. Putting the patient in charge of his or her own daily regime by means of the app is a much cheaper process.
In Houston, as well as various other cities, the technology is currently being employed in the treatment of Tuberculosis patients. At a Tennessee clinic, the selfie medicine initiative is being used in the effective treatment of opioid addiction, and researchers are currently investigating how effective the system would be in the treatment of Hepatitis C.
The Life And Death Issue
Selfie medicine is a technological intervention process that has its aim focus on solving a very real problem in the worldwide health administration system. Statistics suggest that people aren’t very prudent when it comes to completing medication cycles, as much as up to 50% of the time. So severe is this problem that the tendency is leading to more than 100,000 deaths every year. When considering that the failure to correctly take prescribed medication is a matter of life and death, one begins to understand why a stronger measure of personal accountability has become necessary.
The World Is Digital
Another alternative that has been suggested, in the place of selfie medication, is the use of digital transmitters. With the advancements made in the field of nano-technology, it’s no longer a far-fetched idea to fit medication with digital transmitters in order to monitor whether a patient has actually swallowed his or her pills. This type of technology can be used for everything from online shopping, to an online casino, and now, to improve the public health system.
Privacy Problems and Potential Pitfalls
As with most new ideas, there are concerns about the selfie medication system, with one of the main ones being privacy. Another challenge is the one of consequence. What happens when a patient fails to upload the video of them taking medication? Since the law doesn’t allow for any repercussions for patients refusing medication, what will the consequences be? Suggestions have been made to encourage patients to take their pills, including a system where medical insurers do not pay for medication unless those who it is prescribed to prove that they are taking their pills.
In the end, every system has its flaws, but selfie medication is one that seems to have more pros and cons, and as it can save lives, it’s yet another example as to how tech is changing the world we live in for the better.