Activated Patients and Families

In an article in today’s Straits Times, Dr Mark Chan wrote about ‘activated’ patients and families, who care to learn more about their medical conditions and take charge of their health. “Activation refers essentially to having the knowledge, skills and confidence to manage one’s health in such a way as to improve one’s health-related outcomes”.

Dr Chan mentions significant problems to achieving this approach, including doctors’ lack of time, necessary skills to empower patient, and supporting healthcare framework. All very real and true.

Perhaps technology could be a way to facilitate these processes. This means providing patients with easily accessible information and resources (e.g. online). Another way is to facilitate communication between patients, families and caregivers. We hope that IUVO notes can help fill this gap.

Watch out for your heart when stock prices change

In today’s Straits Times, a study by National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS) found a link between stock market volatility and heart failure hospitalization. This was independent of air pollution levels, which is a possible confound that could cause an increase in heart disease.

The researchers rightly pointed out that the emotional well-being (apart from physical well-being) of the patient is important. They also ‘admitted that one limitation of the population-based study was that it was hard to determine the exact cause behind the association’. This was because no patient data regarding age, gender or vested interest in stocks were available.

The researchers’ honesty and candor in raising the above caveats have to be appreciated. With the increasing interest in data and analytics being applied to healthcare, one needs to be very aware that correlational studies remain as such – causative effects cannot be proven. Perhaps relating to the observed effects is the general economic climate belying the volatility of the stock market that affects the man in the street.

Reference article here



IUVO trio – Gwen, Jack and Mom

When we developed the IUVO app, we had in mind a model of care where patients became interested and took charge of their health. Where better to start than to compile their own medical history (notes). So that they could visit any doctor or any hospital, and the medical team there could start off where the last consultation ended .. continuing the medical care. And since many patients requiring such care also required good family support, we had our family trio of Gwen, Jack and Mom..