HOBBIES ARE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

Do you have a hobby? Hobbies can give meaning and purpose to your life in retirement. As Robert Putnam points out in his book, Bowling Alone, it’s easy to discount the importance of hobbies and social engagements. Putnam details the widespread decline in civic engagement, from PTA memberships to neighborhood potlucks and bowling leagues. Over a couple of generations, Americans have misplaced the concept of free time.

SPECIAL PLANS FOR YOUR SPECIAL PEOPLE

Lily is a beautiful, active and full of personality toddler who happens to have Down syndrome. Lily’s parents and I have been friends for years and I have the continuing pleasure of watching Lily and her siblings grow up. While Lily is becoming a physical therapy rock star and hitting all her milestones in a timely fashion, her parents have started planning for the future.

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WHY WE ENJOY OUR HOBBIES

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a hobby as “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation, engaged in especially for relaxation.” Hobbies include anything from playing a musical instrument to gardening, bird watching or sewing. A hobby is a way of focusing on something you enjoy just for the sake of that enjoyment. It may also be a way to clear your mental palette. You could be stressed out by a situation at work or the challenges of raising children and need an escape.

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Remote Patient Monitoring: The collection, transmission, evaluation and communication of individual health data from a patient to their health care provider or extended care team from outside a hospital or clinical office, such as the patient’s home. This is done using personal health technologies including wireless devices, wearable sensors, implanted health monitors, smartphones and mobile apps. Remote patient monitoring supports ongoing condition monitoring and chronic disease management and can be synchronous or asynchronous, depending upon the patient’s needs. Emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), will enable better disease surveillance and early detection, allowing for improved diagnosis.


Technology-Enabled Modalities: Telehealth and virtual care solutions also provide for physician-to-physician consultation, patient education, data transmission, data interpretation, digital diagnostics and digital therapeutics. Personal health devices and sensors, either alone or in combination with conventional drug therapies, can be used for disease prevention and management.


Telehealth offers improved access to health care for consumers in distant locations. It is helping to reduce or contain the cost of healthcare. It will increase efficiency through better management of chronic diseases, shared health professional staffing, reduced travel times for both provider and patient and fewer or shorter hospital stays.


The ATA asserts telemedicine visits will not replace office visits entirely, but they do provide a versatile and convenient way to manage patient care and increase satisfaction.


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While telehealth has been making an impact on medical care for nearly 30 years, the COVID-19 pandemic has definitely spurred its increased usage. Because of quarantine mandates, more patients are logging on to their computers to visit their physicians from the comfort of their own homes. Virtual care is here to stay.


The American Telemed Association (ATA) is working to ensure everyone has access to safe, effective and appropriate care when and where they need and want it. The ATA also provides education and resources for patients and physicians alike.


According to the ATA, telehealth has advanced from a “curious form of clinical communication” to a mainstay in the way providers and consumers interact. It has gone from being a side feature of the health care system to an expectation. It has increased consumer access to health care and enhanced the reach of health care services, especially to rural and underserved communities. Health care providers and hospital systems can do more good for more people through telehealth. It is available 24/7 and has high customer satisfaction. Using telehealth services, patients can receive care, consult with a provider, get information about a condition or treatment, arrange for prescriptions and receive a diagnosis. The quality of care offered and received via telehealth does not diminish because there is no personal contact.

TELEHEALTH - KEEP PATIENTS, DOCTORS IN TOUCH

Telehealth is safe and convenient for both patients and the clinicians who care for them. Personal health information is securely collected and transferred.


Video visits work best for patients who want to discuss labs or imaging results, do not need detailed examinations, have limited mobility or transportation issues and simple acute problems. Of course, patients who are acutely ill should be seen immediately, and patients who have limited options for privacy can always be seen in person in the doctor’s office.


The most commonly used approaches in telehealth include:


Virtual Visits: Live, synchronous, interactive encounters between a patient and a health care provider via video, telephone, or live chat.


Chat-Based Interactions: Asynchronous online or mobile app communications to transmit a patient’s personal health data, vital signs and other physiologic data or diagnostic images to a health care provider so they can review the information and deliver a consultation, diagnosis or treatment plan later.