We almost don’t notice it anymore. We view movies on demand, reach friends and family by text, Skype, or FaceTime, the CDC can see trends and predict the spread of the flu in real time by analyzing data on Twitter -- you can even get a flu shot delivered to your door through a ride share app.
So how is technology improving and how might it improve our understanding of our own health, of clinicians, and the healthcare team?
In my early years at Emmi, I’d spend hours reading about and talking with patients and clinicians about procedures like bunionectomy and pediatric hernia repair – often observing procedures. Even with all those descriptions, pictures and experiences, trying to understand what actually happened during a procedure or developmental phase was sometimes a bit like looking at origami or furniture assembly instructions:
Figure A: Bone being cut in the big toe.
Figure B: Bone rearranged in a way that didn’t seem possible based on figure A.
It was only when I saw the animation along with the description that I knew for sure that I understood how the bones were rearranged – or how an inguinal sac formed in a baby boy.
I’ve watched physicians try to explain atrial flutter to family members – and the blank stares they get when they talk about the heart’s electrical system. So how else can technology boost the signal to amplify and improve understanding?
In our 8th annual health literacy series, hear from patients, physicians, neuroscientists, behavior change experts, a human factors engineer, health communicators, and health communication designers.
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Geri Lynn Baumblatt is the Executive Director of Patient Engagement at Emmi. She is on the board of the Journal of Patient Experience, a regular contributor to the Association for Patient Experience, and regularly participates in health literacy and shared decision making, patient engagement and experience conferences at organizations like AHRQ, the Brookings Institute, the Society for Medical Decision Making, the Beryl Institute, Stanford Medicine X, and the Center for Plain Language. Catch her in October at MedCity Engage, HARC, and the Partners Connected Health Symposium.