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Do you know the difference between e-health and connected well-being?

We often confuse the all-too-similar areas of e-health and connected well-being. The border between real patients required to monitor themselves on the one side and people who want to take better care of themselves on the other is sometimes porous. Here’s a brief explanation.

Do you know the difference between e-health and connected well-being?

n 2014, the estimated value of the connected health market in France was €2.7 billion, a figure that could reach €4 billion by 2020*.

This tremendous growth is being driven mainly by the increase in the average age of the population. In the broad field of connected health, we must differentiate, however, between e-health and connected well-being. What do they have in common?

Both are related to the Internet of Things (IoT). They use objects that have WiFi connectivity to allow real-time transmission of information to a smartphone. Their difference is that they are not aimed at the same population. Connected well-being gives healthy people a tool to measure their well-being. Whereas connected health is redefining the relationship between a patient and their doctor.

Connected well-being: the trend towards taking control of our bodiesIntroduced to the market in 2013, there are now many objects relating to connected welfare. They include bracelets, watches or activity trackers that measure our daily calories, number of steps taken, heartbeat, sleep phases, etc. These objects instantly send the collected information to our smartphone, more precisely to a dedicated application that shows a dashboard with indicators to monitor our well-being. It’s easy to distinguish moments of fatigue or periods of stress, etc.Connected well-being provides useful data to everyone to improve their physical condition. Not because we are not healthy, but so that we stay that way, for example by encouraging us to exercise more. These objects give us a sense of control over our own bodiesE-health: medical instruments for patients and health professionalsDo you suffer from respiratory failure?

Choose a connected oxygen analyser. Are you prone to hypertension? Measure it with a connected blood pressure monitor. Are you struggling to measure your diabetes reliably? There are connected blood sugar monitors. As you’ve no doubt understood, e-health is for people with a chronic disease. Once reserved for doctors, these objects are now available to the general public. But be careful, self-care does not mean self-diagnosis. Patients can use objects to monitor their conditions, but the opinion of a health professional will always prevail over the patient’s.

It is wrongly believed that connected health encourages self-medication, but that is not the case. Instead, the idea is to send results to practitioners so they can decide if a consultation is necessary, or urgent. During the appointment, the patient arrives with their daily data, allowing the practitioner to refine their diagnosis and possibly detect diseases that today are typically found too late.Connected health is an additional tool. These objects give the doctor remote monitoring data; they therefore have more data to refine their diagnosis. And for the patient, this removes inhibitions and anxiety in the reporting relationship with doctors. The patient feels more responsible and empowered with respect to their condition.For the patient, this may help to remove inhibitions and anxiety in the reporting relationship, caused by the "white coat effect".

The patient feels they have more responsibility in the face of their condition, reassuring the most hypochondriac. Connected health a win-win relationship?*

 Study of 2014 by Xerfi analysis firm is available

 If you are interested in this topic, you may like: Rights for robots?


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