Chronic illness is a huge problem in the US. According to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (CDC), six in 10 American adults have at least one chronic condition.
For healthcare practices, chronic care management (CCM) is an effective way to treat these patients. However, there are aspects of patient health that these tools do not address, so implementing other technology can help to fill gaps in the service.
In this article, we’ll discuss four types of software that healthcare providers can use to support their CCM.
Why CCM is important for the long run and not just the short term
The role of CCM is not to provide a quick fix, and strategies will be different than those used for treating short-term conditions. Chronic illnesses typically affect patients for the rest of their lives, so CCM focuses on maintaining their quality of life as well as treating their symptoms. There are tools that educate and help patients make choices that support their health and care programs.
Why you must use other apps in conjunction with CCM
CCM is excellent for managing medical care, and providing patients the knowledge they need to manage their illness away from medical supervision. What CCM can’t do, however, is put wisdom into action.
For example, you can offer patients advice on how a more nutritious diet could help to control their condition. However, in day-to-day life, there can be gaps between intention and practice, and misunderstandings or lack of nutrition knowledge can sabotage efforts. Software can help keep patients on track.
Apps that support CCM
Regular exercise is one of the best ways to manage chronic condition symptoms. Working out can help lower blood sugar levels, improve heart health, improve back strength, and more. Exercise apps can help patients to ease themselves into a routine, track their progress, and stay motivated.
Every patient is different; what they can and can’t do—and will and won’t do—will vary. So, when choosing exercise software to accompany your CCM, it’s vital to choose one with numerous customization options.
In today’s hyper-connected world, meditation offers a moment of solitude for many people; and its benefits go far beyond getting a moment of peace.
JAMA Network Open carried out research on over 6,400 individuals in 2020, featuring over 60 randomized clinical trials. Their findings revealed that meditation can help to reduce chronic pain. Correlations between meditation and lowering acute and post-surgical pain were also positive.
However, meditation can be challenging for beginners. Many meditation apps offer guidance and motivational messages that can help patients stick to a schedule. They can also learn about different techniques and listen to soothing music, helping them improve their mental and physical well-being.
According to 2021 research by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), participants who got less than seven hours of sleep per night were 30% more likely to develop dementia.
Studies elsewhere have shown correlations between poor sleep quality and depression as well as other conditions.
Not getting enough sleep also makes everyday activities more difficult and patients with chronic illnesses may find that their symptoms worsen. Alternatively, they may not have the energy to focus on managing their condition.
Sleep apps can help patients suffering from chronic conditions to identify existing sleeping patterns so they can make the necessary tweaks. These apps can also remind them when it’s time to go to bed and it allows them to set goals, helping them stay on track.
Of course, you can—and should—offer advice to help patients improve their diets. Once you’ve provided this information, they still need a way to keep track of what they’re eating.
While you can encourage patients to write everything down, this is time-consuming and inefficient. Nutrient-tracking apps offer a possible solution. With these apps, patients record everything they eat and access massive nutritional information databases—often by simply scanning a barcode on a package or entering a keyword. Patients will see how many calories they’re consuming and can monitor their salt and sugar intake and macronutrient ratios. This helps them improve their diets and learn more about the food they consume, supporting conscious choices.
How ChronWell Can Help
ChronWell offers CCM solutions that enable medical practices to manage patient care remotely. In addition to treatment, our digital health services can provide the education needed to improve patients’ lives.
The remote patient monitoring (RPM) technology that forms part of our CCM offering was created by some of the industry’s best developers. You can also use our CCM alongside telemedicine and more, providing a well-rounded experience.
To find out more about how we can help and for a demonstration of our services, contact our team today.
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