Defining Digital Health
At Altera Digital Health, we’re redefining what digital health means for patients, providers and the communities in which they live. And as our company shares this vision with our clients and the healthcare industry at large, we want to define exactly what we mean when we use the term: digital health.
Digital health is the use of technology to improve an individual’s health and well-being. At Altera, we empower patients and healthcare providers to achieve their goals with safe, patient-centered and highly usable solutions that are flexible, integrated and interoperable. Now, let’s break this definition down to gain a better understanding of what drives us at Altera, and what inspires us to help our clients deliver the care their patients and communities need.
Intersection of healthcare and technology
Innovative technology has always been a vital instrument in healthcare. The origins of digital health began in the late 1960s when pioneers like Dr. Larry Weed began using computers to improve healthcare delivery. Since the early beginnings of the electronic health record (EHR), digital health has helped increase patient engagement, facilitate care coordination, increase practice efficiencies and leverage data to improve patient safety and clinical and financial outcomes.
In addition to empowering healthcare professionals to deliver the best possible care for their patients, digital health also enables patients to engage in their own care. As defined by the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), patient and family engaged care (PFEC) is, “care planned, delivered, managed, and continuously improved in active partnership with patients and their families to ensure integration of their health and health care goals, preferences, and values.” More simply, it is patients and healthcare professionals working together to improve health.
Leveraging digital health, patients can more easily and effectively use technology to engage in their own health and healthcare. Using intuitive, highly usable apps that integrate with their providers’ EHRs, patients can communicate with their healthcare team, track a chronic condition, request a medication refill, schedule a follow-up appointment and participate in telemedicine visits, just to list a few examples. Using digital health tools, patients and providers can better collaborate and achieve healthcare’s Quintuple Aim.
Digital health at Altera
Altera has long committed to improving the lives of patients, families and healthcare professionals. In fact, as Micky Tripathi (current National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) describes in his article, “EHR Evolution: Policy and Legislation Forces Changing the EHR,” the origins of Altera’s Sunrise™ solution date back to 1971 with the creation of an advanced computerized physician order entry (CPOE) solution. Since then, Altera has continued to innovate with robust solutions for hospitals, medical practices and patients. For example, Sunrise™ Air helps clinicians streamline their days by enabling them to place quick orders and communicate with team members while on rounds.
This is a new era of healthcare. And at Altera, we’re on the front line, ensuring healthcare and technology can come together to truly drive better care and well-being for patients, providers and communities across the globe. Learn more about our innovative digital health platform here.