Before deciding whether any digital tool for helping you manage your health is right for you, it is helpful to have a think about your health needs, how you currently manage them, and how confident you are in learning how to use new digital tools.
You could ask yourself;
- What health issues do I have?
- How do I manage my health?
- How confident am I with digital tools?
What health issues do I have?
Many of us are living with one or more health conditions that impact on our lives. Many more of us know that we are at risk of developing other health conditions, because of family history, lifestyle or environmental factors. The more health conditions you manage, the more benefit you might get from a digital tool that helps you keep track of test results, prescriptions and trips to the doctor.
It is important to consider as well that you can't always know what health issues are around the corner, or when you might need emergency care.
How do I manage my health?
Consider how you organise the management of your health conditions. Many people keep physical files of their health records, store them in the cloud or on a USB, while others rely on their health care professionals to store them.
If you have found it a challenge in the past to quickly summarise your health situation to someone new, or had to spend much time chasing up results or waiting for them to move from one health clinic to another, then a digital system that contains summaries of your health or improves how your health information moves from place to place may be useful to you.
How confident am I with digital tools?
Managing the privacy and security settings of the digital tools you use is important to make sure you're protected, and knowing how you can use a tool increases how well it works for you. For example, more and more health and wellness apps are available for smartphones, but they are not well regulated, meaning you have to exercise judgment.
Think too about how you can get help with digital tools. You can learn more about managing digital tools through programs like Be Connected, asking at your local library, or discussing it with family and friends.
- How to make the most out of your doctor's visit - 'Its Ok to Ask' from the Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services
- Create a list of your health questions - Question Builder, healthDirect
- Be Connected - free program of online learning resources and a network of community partners who offer in-person support so you can develop your digital skills and confidence