Patient engagement places patients at the center of their treatment and disease prevention. Actively including patients in their care empowers them to make healthy choices and understand their health risks and conditions. Technology enables patients to take part in this in a clear and user-friendly way. These are some of the ways that healthcare technology is helping to engage patients.

Telehealth Apps
The demand for healthcare at any time or place spurs the development of telehealth apps to increase patient engagement. These apps make it possible to connect with doctors on their phones. This model makes it easier to engage populations who might otherwise skip a doctor visit, especially preventative care. Patients who have anxiety about going to the doctor or live in places far from a provider can push a button on their smartphone to connect to a doctor. Using telehealth apps also makes it easy to store and retrieve patient data for both doctors and patients.

Automating Communication
One of the biggest wastes of time and money is unnecessary follow-up with patients. This typically occurs through patients phoning office staff or their doctors to ask questions about their medications, reminders for visits, or to seek some form of clarification. Automating that process alleviates the demand on providers for this communication and empowers patients. Chatbots, in particular, allow patients to ask basic questions, put in a request for a refill prescription, and automate basic tasks. Providers can even use this technology to book appointments and discern the level of care patients need.

Big Data on Community Outcomes
Along with the switch to more technology-driven patient care comes greater access to big data. Through health-related apps, research, and government surveys, it is possible to leverage big data to understand and predict necessary interventions in an area. Risk factors for a community can include lower incomes, high migrant populations, sedentary lifestyles, large homelessness populations, and more. Analyzing data metrics that correlate with poor health outcomes can allow policymakers to introduce measures to counteract potential problems. Private firms can also use the data for targeted investment in programs that can improve health outcomes.

Healthcare technology that centers on understanding patients in their entirety to engage in their care is essential. The more that providers and firms create tools that effectively allow patients and their communities to participate in disease prevention, the better health outcomes are. These tools help engage patients individually and as a community.