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Doctor-Patient Communication: Digital Technologies Are Coming

The patient is increasingly turning to Doctor Google

Today, when a person feels a symptom, he immediately starts a search to understand the causes: often he prefers to rely on the Internet, the so-called “Doctor Google“, rather than contact the doctor, in order to avoid waiting times in the studio. Starting from the research, users find “do it yourself” solutions by choosing a suitable drug to solve the situation in which they find themselves, trying to identify it among the descriptions reported by some site.

There are also frequent requests for advice to online doctors and the exchange of opinions on communities where support can be found.

It, therefore, seems that with the advent of digital technology the relationship between doctor and patient has become weak and here comes the Digital Health that seeks to mend this relationship on both sides through more immediate interactivity and multi-channel communication.

Digital Health: the medicine of the present

With Digital Health we mean ” digital health“, that is the encounter between technology and the medical field; on the one hand, this link facilitates the work of the doctor in informing on pathologies and therapies, on the other the patient who can increase his knowledge through internet research.

Rather than defining it as “medicine of the future”, we could say that Digital Health is the medicine of the present, given that digital technology has now invested any area, improving its aspects.

The Web Health Marketing is characterized in particular by big data: a very large amount of information born from the relationship between doctor and patient, given by all the connection points between the two figures. Thanks to big data, doctors are able to identify the best prevention and treatment strategies.

Medicine also becomes a personalized service, given that the new system puts the patient at its center with its characteristics that make it different from all the others, such as personal habits or style and life context.

The advantages with digital

Thanks to new technologies, doctors are able to further improve patients’ quality of life, both through new tools for diagnosis and treatment, and thanks to constant health communication.

The Internet allows the doctor and the patient to stay in touch so as to exchange questions and answers on relative doubts and, as a doctor, to filter the information that the patient finds on the websites (not always reliable).

In particular, thanks to technologies, doctors improve:

  • Patient care techniques;
  • Disease prevention strategies;
  • Health communication with patients, more direct;
  • The organization of work activities;
  • The possibilities of growth of one’s business.

As for the patient, instead, they improve:

  • Contact with the attending physician, who is more empathetic;
  • The assistance service, faster and multi-channel;
  • Greater confidence built also on the testimonies of other patients;
  • Waiting times, as the doctor could answer questions via online connection or, for example, prescribe a digital recipe rather than a paper one.

Improve doctor-patient communication with Digital Marketing

The doctor has a number of Web Health Marketing tools available that allow him to further improve the relationship with patients. Among these, for example:

  1. The website, which must be as clear and simple as possible in order to be used by all users;
  2. The blog, a story tool with which you can prove to be reliable;
  3. The social networks to interact with patients in a more dynamic with photos and videos;
  4. A card on Google MyBusiness to group all the contact information;
  5. database to organize all patient information and data in a practical and orderly manner;
  6. Sponsorship campaigns with Google AdWords & Facebook Ads to increase web traffic;
  7. E-mail marketing, by sending regular newsletters (preferably customized);
  8. The promotions, for example with the use of coupons that provide for discounts;
  9. The feedback, with which you can build your reputation online.

From the GfK market research shows that:

doctors communicate with their patients mainly via email for 46%, whatsapp for 44% and SMS for 40%, without forgetting the applications, which are used by 73% of doctors.

The technologies have transformed the doctor-patient communication by decreasing the physical contact, of presence, but improving the service and above all the information, making it more available. 
The care and advice are personalized and takes into account the characteristics of the patient who does not have to spend their time in a doctor’s office.

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