“Digital Health – a Patient Perspective” by Maria Hägglund

Maria Hägglund from Karolinska Institutet did a very interesting presentation on the “Digital Health – a Patient Perspective” as a part of the BioMed IT Arena at the Department of Information Technology at Uppsala University.

Maria Hägglund discussed the word “patient”, and that it is a very diverse group. She asked the audience who see themselves as patients, and indeed very few did.  She then explained that some people who have chronic conditions do not even see themselves as patients when they are not in visiting a doctor or similar. Others, however,  see themselves as patients when they have cold. Being a patient is a role that one can have in some situations, but mostly you are not a patient but a person who lives his/her life.

Maria Hägglund continued by concluding:

When we are designing tools for patients, who are these people?

Many patients are doing many things for themselves in self-care. Some of the patiens are very knowledgeable and ePatients, and know more about how it is to be a patient than the doctor. Health care professionals need to see patients as co-creators of knowledge. Maria Hägglund also gave examples from Sara Riggare who does research on patient empowerment at the same time as she is a patient herself. Selfcare is a large part of her life, and visits to the doctors is really only once a year.

Maria also described a study on lung cancer patients and their experience from health care. She says that many patients loose trust in the health care system and that they therefore call and ask, and make sure that the information has reached the right person in health care. The health care system makes patients not trust it sometimes.



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