Nikki C.

How does digital health support patients/caregivers to become more active participants in their health care?

Digital health care can provide caregivers immediate access to patient data and generate informed patient participation, while facilitating more efficient and economical access to all partners in a patient’s recovery. Health data collected by a patient and voluntarily shared -for example via heart rate/sleep/EEG monitors, CBT/thought diaries, pedometers, smartphone health applications can increase personalization of care and record real-time changes in health status that may speed up recovery.

Share an experience where digital health had an impact, or could have had an impact, on you as a patient, caregiver or family member.

Post-concussion, I couldn’t effectively communicate my condition and travel overloaded my senses, exacerbating symptoms and impeding my recovery. Capturing health data with wearables, smartphone apps, online forms etc. helped me organize and advocate for myself. Video appointments from a patient’s home, digital prescriptions and increased data-sharing could alleviate many of these difficulties. Increased team data-sharing could reduce duplication of effort, evaluation and resources.

The theme of the 2016 Infoway Partnership Conference is “A Conversation About Digital Health”. How do you believe you can contribute to the conversation?

I understand policies governing data access and privacy, and have experienced first-hand the frustration duplications of time and energy in our current system cause patients. I believe increased data access between professionals and patients, and cost-effective personal software and devices linking to that data, can streamline our system and patients’ health. I speak both languages: ‘practitioner’ and ‘patient’, and my ‘translation skills’ can facilitate meaningful conversation.

How will you apply and share what you learn from Digital Health Week and the 2016 Infoway Partnership Conference?

I am currently educating numerous doctors on digital services, devices and platforms that can streamline their practice. I am active in patient advocacy and would bring knowledge gained back to teams of health care professionals I interact with professionally and as a patient. My injury has helped merge my professional and personal experience to authentically communicate how the use of digital health care methods can overcome limitations and inefficiencies, and increase agency, in health care.