Remote care: Distance may not be the biggest challenge > How to connect healthcare’s underserved communities

How to connect healthcare’s underserved communities

The conversation

Key opinion leaders from around the world, including Dr Githiniji Gitahi, CEO of AmrefHealth Africa, Healthcare Geographer, Cláudia Costa, Vanessa Carter, founder of hcsmAfrica and Jan Kimpen, Philips Chief Medical Officer, spoke to Philips Future Health Index about the importance of providing access to healthcare in rural and remote areas. The conversation included their thoughts about the need to streamline obsolete health data systems. 

Chronic disease and patients living with multi-mortalities is a major issue in mature and developing markets. Where there is poverty there are huge pressures on health systems and telehealth offers huge potential.” 

Jan Kimpen

Philips Chief Medical Officer

Our perspective

Why this matters for sleep and respiratory patients

 

Connected care enables us to bring many more millions of patients into the health system and support those with sleep and respiratory conditions with the opportunity to manage their condition at home. Keeping patients engaged with their treatment for conditions ranging from obstructive sleep apnea to COPD can be crucial to their overall health. However, there are still many hidden barriers preventing underserved communities from benefiting from technological advances in healthcare that enable that engagement to occur.

Addressing barriers to care

In order to tackle health inequities among sleep and respiratory patients we need to look at areas outside of healthcare, including education and the promotion of health literacy. In some cases, for example, health technologies may not be available to everyone or adaptive enough to different people’s needs. Digital solutions need to be designed with the patients in mind, which means understanding local settings, culture, behaviors and expectations of different people towards health and technology. By acknowledging and addressing potential obstacles to connected care, clinicians would be better able to track patients and help them stay compliant with their treatment. Addressing these issues has the potential to not only lead to better outcomes but may in the end lower the total cost of care by enabling early intervention.

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