Lifestyle Medicine Could Be The Key To Digital Health Adoption

Lifestyle Medicine Could Be The Key To Digital Health Adoption

In short, I’m trying to live like the patient of the future, using lifestyle medicine to prevent chronic diseases. Dealing with preventive measures that can be supplemented with digital health solutions, lifestyle medicine specialists can set the pace for digital health adoption on a larger scale. You might not have heard of lifestyle medicine before now, at least I hadn’t until my GP, Dr. Réka Vernes, pointed it out to me. This growing interest in lifestyle medicine can be attributed to the fact that people are increasingly becoming more proactive in managing their health thanks to the escalated awareness of the benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle. As Dr. Vernes puts it: “My goal for my patients is to be their healthiest version even with chronic conditions.” And to supplement a lifestyle to reach this version, digital health can be a key aspect.

“Trainees get lots of training on how to treat disease, but not as much on how to use nutrition and physical activity to prevent disease,” said Sarah Keyes, a certified lifestyle medicine professional at Baylor College of Medicine. “Through lifestyle medicine training, we are trying to change that and help the medical community treat disease by improving lifestyle-related behaviours.” Addressing those lifestyle behaviours to improve one’s health is what lifestyle medicine specialists focus on. She added, “we follow lifestyle health parameters to gain more information and other aspects of the patient; and this is where digital technology comes into the picture.” Indeed, digital health tools can augment lifestyle medicine specialists’ craft.

Core to the principles of lifestyle medicine is, as the Baylor School of Medicine pointed out, sleep and stress management, physical activity, relationships, and nutrition. Lifestyle medicine specialists can recommend such solutions to their patients, who can more effectively monitor these parameters remotely and consult with their healthcare provider when results seem off. With lifestyle medicine, such early detection and subsequent preventive measures can become commonplace. Lifestyle medicine emphasises nutrition, exercise, sleep restoration, stress release, avoidance of toxic substances, mental health and social connectedness as tools to better health based on scientific evidence. Such an approach helps empower patients with their health data, while allowing healthcare professionals to regularly monitor their parameters for a preventive approach. This will eventually lead to an equal-level partnership between doctors and patients that we promote at The Medical Futurist, and lifestyle medicine can propel this vision.




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